A cycling campaigner in Croydon has urged the borough to spend more money to make roads safer for cyclists, citing figures that show a rise in the number of cyclists seriously injured on its streets. The local authority, however, says that it is already investing in cycling.
Austen Cooper of the Croydon Cycling Campaign told the Croydon Advertiser that according to research he has conducted, the London Borough of Croydon had sought £2.8 million for funding for cycling from Transport for London (TfL) between 2006/07 and 2008/09.
He says that the borough received £1.8 million of that, but has spent only £1.4 million of it. Meanwhile, from 2005 until 2012, the last year for which figures are available, the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured in Croydon rose from eight to 20.
In November last year, cyclist Roger De Clerk lost his life near East Croydon railway station following a collision with a bus – one of six London cyclists who died during a two-week period.
The Croydon Advertiser said that Mr Cooper intends to "beat the council round the head" with the figures until more investment is made.
He accused both the ruling Conservative party and the Labour opposition of lacking the “political will” to change the situation but says that there are opportunities to grow cycling there.
"Croydon has Westfield coming and plenty of section 106s which could fund a cycling project," he explained.
But a spokesman for the borough said: "Croydon has bid as aggressively as any other local authority for cycle funding and has generally been successful in obtaining and spending substantial sums of money.
"We have a wide range of capital projects designed to improve cycle routes and we have an annual programme of cycle training and road safety campaigns designed to encourage more people onto two wheels."
Last year, we reported that the borough had ruled out bringing the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme to Croydon, but added that it wanted to become one of the areas of outer London where Mayor Boris Johnson plans to trial his “Mini Holland” initiative.
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.