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Barclays claws back Boris bike sponsorship over performance failures

Bank takes back £1.5m of £50m cash outlay

Barclays has clawed back more than £1.5m of its £50 million funding for the London 'Boris bike' cycle hire scheme, a Freedom of Information request has shown.

The bank, which has a contract with TfL which involves meeting various performance criteria, took back the deduction in the latest installment of sponsorship in January 2013.

In a response to the website MayorWatch, Tfl said: “The financial deductions made up to 31 January 2013 under the terms of the Barclays sponsorship agreement are £1.57m. This consists of £0.57m of Scheme Service Levels (KPIs) and launch targets and £1.0m Scheme Usage (Trip Total Target).”

According to TfL, since April 2012 all performance indicators have been met, implying that the penalties imposed relate to performance in the scheme’s first phase.

But TfL were not the only losers: by January 31st, TfL had deducted £2.6m from Serco, who manage the scheme, for failing to meet its obligations.

TfL had threatened 'significant penalties' to the company unless they did more work to reduce the number of empty docking stations across town.

London Assembly Member Darren Johnson said: “Londoners have been taken for a ride with Barclays sponsorship of cycle hire and superhighways. Rather than getting an upfront £50m Barclays cheque towards cycling, Londoners are getting less than the Mayor repeatedly claimed and we are getting it on a drip feed.

“Barclays have got their name splashed all over town. Yet the Mayor has ensured that the local authorities who have  also put public money into the scheme get none of the recognition.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on

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