Successful Greenways programme victim of TfL budget changes

photo Greenways, like this new one in Beckenham, provide safe and useful links for walkers and cyclists 


Another section of successful cycling and walking route has been opened in Greater London, in Beckenham, as part of the Greenways programme, but Transport for London is still planning to remove the ring-fencing on the spending from 2011 and half spending.

Greenways are walking and cycling routes through the capital's green spaces, including alongside rivers.

LCC persuaded the previous Mayor Ken Livingstone to set up the programme with a ring-fenced budget because Greenways can be four times more effective at persuading people to take up cycling than on-road facilities (TfL-CCE statistic).

Funding for the Greenways programme was £4 million in 2009/10, split between borough-promoted schemes (£3.2m) and those from other authorities (£0.8m).

In 2010/11, the programme will be just £2.3m, with £1.6m for borough schemes and £0.7m other.   Originally, boroughs sought funding of £6.2m for this financial year.

From next year, Cycling on Greenways will no longer be a centrally funded project, leaving boroughs to decide on their own spending, a situation that has not been successful in the past.

TfL said, "Recent reforms to the [funding] process have made it easier for boroughs to promote schemes that better reflect local priorities while meeting broader mayoral objectives; including Greenways in this process gives the boroughs greater freedom and flexibility in meeting local demand for these schemes."