Caroline Russell on Blackfriars Road

News from Caroline Russell: Mayor failing as cycle spending falls off cliff

08 February 2019

The Mayor promised ‘record investment’ in cycling when he was first elected but new figures show a massive underspend that Caroline Russell AM warned about in her recent report. [1]

The Mayor has missed his own promised target of spending a ‘record’ £154 million per year on cycling, and the figures show just how far he’s fallen short as only £90m was spent in 2018-19 and just £86m over this financial year. [2]


Actual spending
2016/17 155 127 28
2017/18 166 90 76
2018/19 124 86 38

Caroline Russell says:

We were told that London would become a byword for cycling – but nearly three years in the Mayor isn’t putting his money where his mouth is.

When the Mayor boasted of a record average spend, he celebrated spending that hadn’t happened yet – and judging by the figures will never happen.

We’ve warned before about letting the cycling budget slide – the previous TfL commissioner called it an embarrassment and to be frank, this Mayor should also be embarrassed. He has twice announced larger budgets and, so far, he hasn’t met any of them.

We’ve seen how things can be done in Manchester – Chris Boardman is inviting boroughs to submit bids every quarter to get projects on the ground quickly but London is lagging behind. The new routes the Mayor announced last January are only just being consulted on. Why all the delay?

The Mayor should be spearheading a cycling revolution, not be constantly on the backfoot.

Caroline’s report ‘Cycling Proficiency?’ has several recommendations for the Mayor to meet his pledges, including:

•    Finish safety studies for all junctions in his Safer Junctions programme 
•    Publish plans for brand new routes that will make up the mileage to meet his pledge to triple segregated lanes
•    Bring about political support to match the public support for the shovel-ready schemes

Notes to editors

[1] Cycling Proficiency? Caroline Russell, Nov 2018

[2] Mayor secures record investment in cycling in London, Mayor of London press release, Dec 2016

[3] Budget sources:
MQ 2016/0081 Cycling budget after 2016/17
MQ 2018/0092 Cycling budget
MQ 2018/5188 Cycling budget

Actual spend sources:
MQ 2018/5189 Cycling budget (2)
MQ 2018/5349 (18/19 is a forecast) Spending on Cycling