In a vote at the end of last week, a majority of London Assembly members told Mayor Boris Johnson to increase the amount earmarked for cycling in next year’s (2013/14) GLA budget.
Currently £104m has been allocated for cycling – significantly less than the £145m the Assembly called for in its ‘Gearing Up’ report. £145m is two percent of TfL’s 2012/2013 budget – matching the two per cent proportion of London journeys made by bicycle.
All Labour, LibDem and Green Assembly members voted in favour of the budget amendment. Speaking for the Conservative Group, which abstained on the motion, Gareth Bacon AM said that they were “not against this [amendment] in principle” and wanted to see details on how the increase could be achieved before it is put to a final vote at the end of this month.
During last year’s mayoral election campaign, Johnson pledged his support for the London Cycling Campaign’s ‘Go Dutch’ campaign.
LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said: “Following LCC’s Love London, Go Dutch campaign the Mayor promised Londoner’s world class provision for cycling. The very least he must do to make good this promise is to ensure investment in cycling at least matches – if not exceeds – the share of journeys currently made by bike in the capital.”
The Mayor’s pledge included making London’s streets as safe and inviting for cycling as Holland, and in particular to (within this current term of office):
1. Create three flagship site development schemes to showcase the best international practice to support cycling and walking.
2. Ensure all major developments on the roads under his control adopt Dutch-style measures to promote cycling.
3. Complete the Cycle Superhighways programme to the highest international standards.