BORIS Johnson bounced back from claims he was wavering over HS2 on a visit to Ruislip, as he demanded 'a better business case and a bigger tunnel'.
The Mayor of London was on the campaign trail ahead of the Greater London Assembly elections on May 3, to make his third visit to Ruislip in less than a year.
As often seems to be the case, the sun shone for the blonde-haired Tory incumbent on Wednesday morning as he stepped off his 'battle bus' to greet crowds in Victoria Road, Ruislip Manor.
Many of them were donning Stop HS2 t-shirts and Mr Johnson took the chance to rebuff claims that Labour rival Ken Livingstone would have a better chance of halting the proposed high-speed railway through Hillingdon.
He told the Gazette: "If it wasn't for me we wouldn't have a tunnel at all. I want a proper business case for HS2 and a proper consultation."
Mr Johnson said he wanted to extend the Ruislip tunnel to Ickenham, and asked about Mr Livingstone's pledge to take the government to court over HS2, he said: "Ken had 11 court cases as mayor and I don't think he won a single one."
On a tour of shops in Manor and in Ruislip High Street, business owners generally seemed happy to see Mr Johnson.In February a grant of £2.7million was agreed by the mayor's office to boost the appearance of both Victoria Road and Joel Street in Northwood Hills.
The money will come from the Outer London Fund and work is due to start this summer on improving the street scenes in both areas.
Boris said: "It has been very encouraging that I am hearing a lot more confidence from shopkeepers for the year ahead."
Paul Miller, owner of Specialized, a bike shop in Ruislip High Street, thanked Mr Johnson for raising the profile of cycling.
"Anyone who supports bikes is a winner for me," he said after meeting Boris.
"You used to be a wierdo if you cycled but now it is a totally different vibe."
However, it was not all positive. Some passers-by told Boris they would not be voting for him again because the Conservate Party had "let them down" since their return to government in 2010.