Mayor of London Boris Johnson has today announced £17.3 million in funding for improvements in cycling that Transport for London will make available to boroughs throughout the city. Sustrans has welcomed the cash injection, and says that initiatives at local level are a fundamental part of growing levels of cycling.
The money, to be made available over a three-year period, will be spent on a variety of initiatives aimed at making cycling in the capital easier, safer and more accessible to a wider range of people, according to a TfL press release.
Initiatives include providing more cycle parking spaces across the city – 5,000 of them in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea alone – as well as making cycle training available as well as Safer Urban Driving courses for 15,000 drivers.
Mr Johnson said: “As part of my Cycling Vision, we are engaging in a vast £1billion programme of improvements to transform cycling in London.
“Making some of this money available directly to the boroughs will help ensure that cycling developments reach communities across the capital.
“These local schemes will add to the innovative measures we’ve already announced, including enhanced cycling superhighways, urban ‘Quietways’ for more cautious cyclists, and turning some outer boroughs into mini-Hollands.”
Leon Daniels, TfL’s managing director for surface transport added: “Getting more people cycling, and more safely, are priorities of both TfL and the Mayor, and the nearly £1 billion commitment to cycling we are investing in the next ten years is testament to this.
“All 32 boroughs and the City of London bid for, and received, funding through our Borough Cycling Programme to create more cycle parking, cycling training and driver training, all of which will help deliver significant cycle safety improvements.”
Both the mayor and TfL came under criticism last week from Green Party London Assembly Member Darren Johnson, who accused them of consistently underspending money budgeted for cycling to the tune of £150 million since 2008.
In response, TfL said that he had got his maths wrong and that some amounts allegedly underspent had been counted twice or even three times, giving an artificially inflated figure.
It added: “The level of expenditure into cycling during the next two years will increase significantly as the major new projects outlined in the Mayor’s Vision for Cycling progress from design to on-street delivery."
German Dector-Vega, London director for the sustainable transport charity, Sustrans, said: “I’m delighted to see further funding to the boroughs to improve cycling at the most local level.
“Borough support for cycling is arguably the most important as it gives local communities specially children and young adults the training, safety awareness and local facilities needed to gain confidence enough to access other routes like the Cycle Superhighways and forthcoming Quietways.
"Boroughs working with Communities are also best placed to deal with some of the more difficult problems in innovative new ways.
“We want all Londoners to have the choice to cycle wherever they want for whatever purpose and as often as they like. This vision starts at the local level so we need everyone to come together to make it a reality soon.”
An example of how an individual borough may use the money allocated comes from Ealing, which will use part of its funding to put lorry drivers through cyclist awareness courses.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, the borough’s cabinet member for environment and transport, commented: “We’re proud of what we’ve achieved in Ealing to make cycling safer, easier and more attractive.
“This funding has enabled us to build on these achievements with initiatives including vital cycle safety training for HGV drivers and cycle training for residents of all ages and abilities.
“It’s also made it possible for us to provide additional and safer cycle parking across the borough. Together we are making cycling more appealing in Ealing.”
The amounts made available to each local authority in London under the Borough Cycling Programme are as follows:
London Borough Total allocated funding (£) Barking and Dagenham 416,230 Barnet 717,500 Bexley 371,000 Brent 468,700 Bromley 497,750 Camden 346,100 City of London 294,500 Croydon 491,200 Ealing 622,607 Enfield 607,000 Royal Borough of Greenwich 462,000 Hackney 606,000 Hammersmith & Fulham 296,000 Haringey 420,450 Harrow 568,000 Havering 596,400 Hillingdon 326,000 Hounslow 525,000 Islington 262,140 Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea 629,000 Kingston upon Thames 515,160 Lambeth 712,000 Lewisham 656,985 Merton 387,000 Newham 905,000 Redbridge 680,400 Royal Borough of Richmond Upon Thames 212,000 Southwark 579,000 Sutton 398,640 Tower Hamlets 695,000 Waltham Forest 813,100 Wandsworth 361,700 Westminster 938,000 TOTAL 17,377,562
In September last year, TfL announced the eight boroughs that had been shortlisted for ‘Mini Holland’ funding, with key features of their submissions including:
• Bexley – Creating radical new junction solutions for cyclists in key locations and rolling out an extensive segregated and semi-segregated cycling network.
• Ealing – A cycle-friendly redesign of Ealing town centre and a special cycling "quietway" between Ealing and Southall.
• Enfield – Introducing a Dutch style roundabout, with protected cycle lanes, in Edmonton Green, segregated routes along main roads and a "Cycle Superhub" in Enfield town centre.
• Kingston – a New York "High Line" style public space, for pedestrians and cyclists, along the railway line and across the Thames, a new network of routes, a cycle boardwalk on the banks of the river and cars removed from part of central Kingston.
• Merton – Redesigning Wimbledon town centre on Dutch principles and building a cycle hub at the Centre Court shopping centre.
• Newham – A complete redesign of Stratford town centre, removing the gyratory; new off-road Superhighway routes.
• Richmond – New cycleways on unused land alongside railway lines.
• Waltham Forest – A new cycle superhighway on Lea Bridge Road and a Dutch-style roundabout at Whipps Cross.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.