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Borough 'LIP' funding revealed

Transport for London's package of 'Local Implementation Plan' funding by borough revealed for £69m pot...


Two funding streams

Transport for London’s (TfL) funding allocations for its Local Implementation Plans (LIP) per borough have been revealed following some sleuthing by Sylvia, our Brent Cycling Campaign Coordinator and trustee. The boroughs share a pot of £69m per year since the new funding deal with government has been agreed, on top of TfL’s £80m for walking and cycling specific schemes that it is working on separately. LIP schemes are traditionally mostly walking and cycling positive – but they can be anything that works to advance the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. So they also include bus stop and bus corridor improvements, town centre and station refurbs and often are used for cycling schemes outside just route delivery such as cycle parking, residential hangars, training.

The allocations are now available with more detail on TfL’s borough pages and there’s more detail on LIP specifically on TfL’s page here. We don’t know why, but 2022 onwards LIP allocations for Bromley, Camden, Enfield, Greenwich and Tower Hamlets are yet to be made available. Sylvia however, has compiled the results for all the boroughs available into a spreadsheet we’ve shared online to view here.

Initial allocations, not the full story

What is important to understand about these allocations is they’re not the whole story. TfL has its own scheme list that it is using its £80m to fulfil, working with the boroughs that these schemes are being delivered in – and we don’t have full sight of those schemes yet. There are also several boroughs missing from the list, which might explain why the entire lot doesn’t add up to £69m. More, these are not the final, but initial or indicative allocations.

All the schemes here, as pretty much is the case with all schemes TfL works on with boroughs now, will be ‘gated’. Boroughs will need to go through a series of stages, each with a small allocation of funding, including feasibility, design, engagement, consultation, to get to the stage of funding construction and delivery. Boroughs will need to move each scheme through these gates and indeed show willing and ability to do so, to unlock funding. If a scheme is allocated funding, but doesn’t pass the quality test, or it falls over at consultation, the funding stream stops there. As some schemes will inevitably fail, that leaves a pot of funding allocated that won’t actually be used by the borough.

On top of this, since the start of the Covid ‘Streetspace’ period, it is clear that TfL has been dynamically reallocating funding for schemes between boroughs based not just on schemes moving through their gates, but also pace. So if a borough is allocated funds for five schemes but six months on only two have been moved forward, there are discussions clearly happening with boroughs to send unspent funding elsewhere. This means:

  • It is incumbent on boroughs to design and deliver good schemes, and move at a good pace, if they want to retain allocated funds.
  • It is not your borough being penalised if they haven’t been allocated a big amount, or another borough has been allocted more. Your borough can at any point start moving faster and being bolder and then ask for more funding allocated its way, or vice versa.
  • Whatever numbers are on the spreadsheet for your area are not the likely end numbers and remember, TfL has an entirely separate pot it is also using.

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Seen from behind, a young girl in a pink coat rides a bike with tassles on the handlebars and a woman rides behind her on a Santander Cycle. They are on the Park Lane cycle lane with wands visible in the background