Croydon's bidding for a share of outer London cycling cash - but Boris bikes aren't part of the plan

Four outer boroughs are to become 'mini-Hollands' according to Mayor

by Sarah Barth   May 11, 2013  

Traffic Jam in Croydon Pic: Chris McKenna

Croydon council is planning to spend a share of £100m investment to turn the borough into a cycling hub - but the plan does not include extending the Boris bike scheme that far south.

The plans, designed to catch the eye of TfL and the London Mayor, include substantial redesigns to transform the town centre into a cycle haven.

Four outer London boroughs will be selected to receive cycle cash to transform them into what the mayor says will be 'mini Hollands'.

Apparently the sticking point is the number of suitable locations for docking stations.

Councillor Jason Perry, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and transport, said: "We'd love to have Boris bikes, but I'm told the model of the Boris bikes dock wouldn't really work in a Croydon setting."

Councillor Steve O'Connell, Croydon's London Assembly member, told the Croydon Local Guardian: "I set my stall out early on to lobby for Croydon to be top of the list if the Mayor was going to pilot an outer-London standalone bike scheme.

"I am now less convinced that Croydon would lend itself to the Boris bike scheme, because of the way the logistics work."

"But our engineers are working up some really good other cycling schemes that I think will benefit our residents."

To reach the Mayor's stated target of a 400% increase in cycling by around 2025, the focus needs to move out of inner London and into the outer boroughs, where where an estimated two-thirds of the potential new cycling trips must be made.

There are 20 outer boroughs which could all hope to receive £500,000 of the £100m cash, but the focus is on four 'mini-Hollands' instead.

But Darren Johnson, a member of the London Assembly transport committee, wrote in the Guardian: "Another argument for taking it slow is that these "mini Hollands" are innovations that need testing. Yet there is plenty of experience from other countries, or even from within inner London of local authorities doing the right things. Hackney, for example, now has more people commuting by bike than car.

"We learned lessons from the government-funded cycling demonstration towns several years ago. Haven't we gone beyond the piloting stage?

"My fear is that TfL simply does not like funding lots of smaller schemes run by local authorities – even when they add up to a big strategic shift in the transport system.

"We had exactly the same problem with the 'smarter travel' pilots under Ken Livingston. These were meant to encourage use of sustainable transport, and piloted in only three London boroughs before promises of a roll out across outer London when successful.

"Despite positive results, the scheme was praised but then cancelled by Boris Johnson. I can imagine the next, mayor doing exactly the same with the 'mini Hollands' when the current, mayor leaves office in 2016."

1 user comments

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They might want to watch this before calling anything Holland and not the Netherlands.

http://youtu.be/eE_IUPInEuc

posted by Jakal79 [55 posts]
11th May 2013 - 12:39

2 Likes