London Cycling Campaign calls on Boris Johnson to protect investment in cycling from Treasury cuts

London’s ambitious Vision for Cycling in London must be protected from Treasury cuts, the London Cycling Campaign has told Boris Johnson.

Earlier this year, the Mayor promised £386m for cycling over the remainder of his current term of office, but there’s a possibility this could be reduced following Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement on 26 June 2013 that Transport for London will get 8.5% less than the Mayor asked for to spend on all transport provision.

LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said:

“We were delighted when the Mayor made good his promises to our Love London, Go Dutch campaign by announcing unprecedented financial support for cycling in his Vision for Cycling.

“We know the Mayor’s recognises the fantastic value for money that investment in cycling provides, better than any other form of transport, and that cycling brings wide-reaching benefits to our city.

“For these reasons, the Mayor should prioritise cycling spending, and stand firm to his Vision for Cycling, protecting its programmes from cuts.”

The Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan said recently that Transport for London needs to ensure that its limited funds are used for the most “productive” investment, namely cycling.

Gilligan noted that the proposal for a bike route on Victoria Embankment, as contained in the Mayor’s Vision for Cycling, would deliver 1,000 journeys per hour in each direction at a cost of just £10 million - the equivalent of two additional tube train services, which would cost hundreds of millions of pounds to build.

In an article in the Evening Standard on 24 June Gilligan said:

“A quarter of all rush-hour traffic in central London is now bicycles — almost two-thirds of traffic on some main roads. In the morning rush hour, no fewer than 38,000 people enter the centre by bike. The bicycle is a mass mode of transport — and an indispensible one. Imagine what it would be like if all those 38,000 people were driving cars or crammed into the Tube?”

The £386m spend on cycling over the next three years is part of a £913m programme over the next decade – a large part of which is contingent on Treasury funding.

In announcing his expenditure plans earlier this year Mayor Johnson said that "changing London to make it friendlier to the bicycle is one my most important goals" and he explained that his Vision for Cycling marked a “profound shift in my ambitions and intentions for the bicycle in London”.

Speaking of the specific measures laid out in the Vision for Cycling, the Mayor’s Transport Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy said:

"I commit Transport for London to funding and delivering them as one of its highest priorities."

We’re calling on the Mayor to stand by these commitments and protect the cycling budget in its entirety because promoting cycling is one of the most cost-effective ways of enabling London’s increasing population to make local journeys efficiently and cheaply.

Cycling can also help save London from substantial future costs arising from poor air quality and rising obesity.

Love London, Go Dutch was the UK’s biggest ever cycling campaign and secured promises to emulate Dutch-style programmes to support cycling from all the leading candidates in the 2012 Mayoral Elections. 42,000 people signed the Love London, Go Dutch petition and 10,000 people participated in the Big Ride.

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