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Boris confirms New Year 2009 fireworks at London Eye

The capital will see in 2009 with a fireworks display centred on the London Eye and the South Bank, Mayor of London Boris Johnson has confirmed.

Boris Johnson has chosen to continue the tradition established by his City Hall predecessor Ken Livingstone and ordered a fireworks display to start London's New Year with a bang.

Renowned pyrotechnician Christophe Berthonneau will once again light up the night sky though organisers will surely hope to avoid last year's complaints from revellers who said that they couldn't see the fireworks through the clouds of smoke which hung in the air.

The display from the London Eye will be broadcast live on BBC One.

The display will mark the London Eye's tenth anniversary. It is a decade since the infamous 'river of fire' caused such disappointment amongst Millennium revellers.

"London has some of the best bars, restaurants and hotels in the world," says Boris Johnson.

"I can think of no better city to spend New Year's Eve and these fireworks will remind Britain and the world of the joys and charms of this city all year round.

"I'm particularly keen to remind the global business elite that London offers them unique opportunities and an inimitable lifestyle.

"Even these tough economic times cannot detract from the wealth of architecture, culture, gastronomy and people which make London the best city in the world to work, rest and play."

Viewing areas will be set up along the Thames but capacity will be restricted.

For those able to able to get into the viewing areas there will be specially mixed soundtrack from BBC Radio 1 as they wait for the fireworks at midnight.

There will be all night travel on Tube, DLR, Tramlink and selected National Rail services in the Greater London area on New Year's Eve. 24-hour bus routes will run as normal, but there will be a reduction in bus services leaving central London from around 7pm to 3am because of road closures.

There will be free travel on all journeys from 11.45pm to 4.30am on Tube, DLR, Tramlink and buses, as well as some National Rail services on selected routes out of London after midnight.

South Bank residents can find out about the plans for this year's event including details on road closures, crowd management plans and public transport updates by attending the South Bank Forum on Thursday 11 December. Representatives from event management firm Jack Morton Worldwide will be present to share information and answer questions.

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