Suburbs transformed for cyclists in £100m ‘mini-Holland’ revolution

10 March 2014

All eight of the outer boroughs shortlisted for the “mini-Hollands” programme will win funding for substantial and transformative change, the Mayor Boris Johnson, announced today.

Three boroughs – Enfield, Kingston and Waltham Forest – have been selected for full mini- Holland status, receiving up to £30 million each for changes including:

• Kingston: A major cycle hub will be created and the plaza outside Kingston station will be transformed. New high-quality cycling routes will be introduced together with a Thames Riverside Boardway, a landmark project which could see a new cycle boardwalk delivered on the banks of the river

• Enfield: Enfield Town centre will be completely redesigned, with segregated superhighways linking key destinations, three cycle hubs delivered across the Borough and new greenway routes introduced

• Waltham Forest: A semi-segregated Superhighway route along Lea Bridge Road will be developed as well as a range of measures focused on improving cycling in residential areas and the creation of “Hackney-style” cycle-friendly low-traffic neighbourhoods.

Bexley, Ealing, Merton and Richmond also had exceptional proposals. TfL will work with them to take forward substantial parts of their bids to improve cycle routes and facilities. Bexley’s application, in particular, strongly impressed the judges.

The eighth finalist, Newham, whose application was equally impressive, has been invited to submit a bid for funding under TfL’s major schemes budget to go towards a £16m plan to remove the Stratford gyratory and reshape Stratford town centre.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “I have been incredibly impressed with the standard of the mini-Holland entries and by the thirst among all the finalists to transform themselves into better places for people. It has been so hard to choose between them that I have decided that all shall have prizes.

“Areas once terra incognita for the bicycle will, over time, become every bit as cycle-friendly as their Dutch equivalents - places that suburbs and towns all over Britain will want to copy.”
 
Leon Daniels. Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL said: “From the moment we launched the Mini-Holland programme we have been blown away by the ambition and scale of the proposals from boroughs across London. The proposals from the eight finalists were all of exceptional quality and we look forward to working with them all to help make town centres across London more friendly and accessible to cyclists and pedestrians.”

Though the mini-Holland scheme focuses on improving conditions for cyclists, it will also transform significant parts of each winning borough’s public realm, cut overcrowding on public transport and reduce traffic congestion, pollution and parking pressures.

The winning bids include redesigns of key town centres, new suburban Cycle Superhighways, Dutch-style roundabouts and rail superhubs. TfL analysis shows that over half of potentially cyclable journeys made in London are in the suburbs. The programme’s aim is to move significant numbers of suburban car journeys, which are often short and highly cyclable, on to the bike.

Changes will be funded from the £100 million Mini- Hollands budget, other elements of the cycling budget and the TfL Major Schemes budget.

The awards were announced by the Mayor at a cycling summit of borough leaders and portfolio holders jointly organised by City Hall and London Councils, the organisation representing the 32 boroughs and the City of London.

Twenty outer London boroughs were eligible for the mini-Holland competition and 18 applied. All 32 boroughs, including inner London boroughs not eligible for mini-Holland funding and those outer boroughs not shortlisted, are working with TfL to take forward new routes under the Mayor’s Vision for cycling.

Now that the mini-Hollands have been settled, funding allocations for the other boroughs can follow shortly. All 32 boroughs have already held detailed discussions with TfL and its delivery partner, Sustrans, about the new Quietway network of direct and continuous routes across London on low-traffic back streets. Discussions have also been held with boroughs to be served by the new Superhighway routes.

At today’s event, the Mayor also announced that the first two new Quietway routes, direct and continuous routes on low-traffic back streets, will open later this year. They are from Waterloo to Greenwich, serving a wide area of south-east London, and from Bloomsbury to Walthamstow. A further six routes covering all points of the compass have been selected for accelerated delivery next year.

Mayor Jules Pipe, chair of London Councils, said: “Councils across London are committed to making cycling an enjoyable, safe and easy way of getting around. The ‘mini-Hollands’ programme is an important part of the comprehensive approach to safety that cyclists and all road users want to see. All eight boroughs have worked hard to deliver exciting and practical proposals for this competition, and all will no doubt be looking forward to putting their pro-cycling visions into reality.”

British Cycling's policy adviser, Chris Boardman, said: "The boroughs that have won funding today have demonstrated that they understand what a vision of a true cycling nation looks like. Almost half of London households do not have a car, and around a quarter of journeys in inner London are now by bike, so it's logical that infrastructure and resource for this desirable form of transport reflects this.”

Councillor Liz Green, Leader of Kingston Council, said: “This is a huge boost for Kingston. Our plans will transform how people get around the borough on two wheels and help more people choose to cycle more often. Our vision is to improve our town centres for everyone, with safer roads for pedestrians as well as cyclists, less traffic congestion and a better environment.”

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Chris Bond, said: “The success of Enfield Council’s bid for Mini-Holland funding means we have attracted significant investment into our borough and this is a huge opportunity for us to revolutionise cycling. We are absolutely committed to improving our cycling network, transforming our town centres for residents and getting more people on their bikes and this investment will radically accelerate that process. The council has already delivered a wide range of schemes to improve cycling in Enfield and this funding from the Mayor of London will help the borough build on its previous successes and expand on them significantly.”

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Waltham Forest, said: “We worked really hard to look at what we could do to improve the borough for cyclists and put forward some really quite radical plans. This huge injection of funding will mean we can reshape Waltham Forest for those that already cycle and those that have told us they want to cycle more. It will make a significant difference to the quality of life of our residents and others who cycle in Waltham Forest.”

German Dector-Vega, Director for Sustrans London: “We are extremely excited about these first two Quietways as they are both routes that people already use or where significant regeneration will take place. There is already great ambition and collaboration between local authorities, Sustrans and TfL to put forward designs that will provide a high quality experience for all cyclists. They will be fun to ride, will show off some attractive back streets and will greatly reduce barriers to cycling. New links, improved crossings and better access to the many attractions along each route will make local trips and journeys into central London easier.”

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Notes to Editors

1. Highlights from Bexley, Ealing, Merton and Richmond’s submissions include:
o Bexley – Creating radical new junction solutions for cyclists in key locations and rolling out an extensive segregated and semi-segregated cycling network
o Ealing – A cycle-friendly redesign of Ealing town centre and a special cycling "quietway" between Ealing and Southall
o Merton – Redesigning Wimbledon town centre on Dutch principles and building a cycle hub at the Centre Court shopping centre
o Richmond – New cycleways on unused land alongside railway lines