Londoners Rarely Cross The River, Says Dubious Survey

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 168 months ago

Last Updated 23 July 2010

Londoners Rarely Cross The River, Says Dubious Survey

Photo / jules_l
Are you a north Londoner who has "never crossed the river for work or play"? Then you're not alone: more than half of northerners 'fess up that they've never hopped over to the other bank. South siders, though, can pat themselves on the back: 80% of them crop up north of the river at least once a month for cultural spoils.

Says who exactly? The bods at CultureLine, who seem more obsessed with banging on about the north vs. south divide than a roomful of American Civil War re-enactors. Their survey, the results of which are published today, was based on a sample of just 300 people, or less than 0.01% of the population of Greater London. Such a minute sample means that their discovery of facts like "south Londoners have more eclectic and cultural tastes" — claims that certain sections of the media have lazily reported as actual news — are completely meaningless.

So what's the point? CultureLine, lest we forget, represents a geographically dubious network of east London cultural institutions, ones that are (roughly) mapped out by their proximity to stations on the Overground line that runs from Dalston to West Croydon. Such surveys are mainly a way of drawing attention to their project; a laudable initiative, but one whose credibility is marred by redundant claims.

Forget the calls from CultureLine to "challenge the north-south London prejudice"; it's high time Londoners began challenging dodgy surveys that use bogus statistics to pigeonhole people into geographical boxes.