Just one fifth of London's cycling budget has been spent in Outer London since 2008, despite the suburbs housing more than half the population, with the highest potential for extra cycling journeys, so says the Green Party.
Under the stewardship of London Mayor Boris Johnson, budget has been funnelled overwhelmingly into the centre, argues Darren Johnson, Green Party Member of the London Assembly, in a new report called ‘Outer London’s Lost Cyclists’.
Just five of the nineteen outer London boroughs will have had any junctions improved or any superhighway, quietway or mini Holland completed in them by May 2016, the report reveals, and the future of the cycle programmes in Outer London 'hang in the balance' as Johnson will be leaving the Mayor role with many schemes still unfinished.
Darren Johnson's report makes recommendations to grow cycling in Outer London, including:
- The Mayor should seek powers from government to assume control of borough roads where local councils block plans for cycle superhighways
- An ambitious London-wide cycling target must be set, as well as appropriate goals for each borough, taking into account population growth and local cycling potential
- London’s Mayor must boost cycling funding in the next TfL business plan, the money coming from its reserves, and stop underspending the cycling budget
The Green Party member added: “We are now seeing some top quality cycle lanes in parts of central London and that is very welcome, but people who want to cycle in outer London have had a raw deal while Boris Johnson has been in office. He delayed and cancelled the superhighways he promised to link outer London communities with the centre, and he failed to make the big intimidating junctions safer for cyclists.
“We know that millions of short suburban car trips could be made by bike instead, freeing up road space, cleaning up the air and making people fitter. This Mayor dithered for years, then finally started to build some quality schemes such as the Waltham Forest mini Holland. The next Mayor must expand this programme and complete all of the superhighways and quietways in the pipeline to kick start an outer London cycling revolution.”