Mayor secures record investment in cycling in London

05 December 2016

·         TfL Business Plan to commit an average £154m per year for cycling over the next five years – nearly double the amount spent by previous Mayor

·         Record investment represents an average £17 per head per annum, on a par with Denmark and the Netherlands

·         Two new Cycle Superhighways – CS4 and CS9 – to be consulted on next year

·         Sadiq Khan says cycling can provide ‘huge benefits’ improving health and cleaning up our toxic air


The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has today announced that a record £154 million per year will be spent on cycling over the next five years. The investment, part of the Transport for London (TfL) draft Business Plan being published later this week, goes well beyond his manifesto commitment to increase the proportion of TfL’s budget spent on cycling.


The record investment will help Londoners get about quickly without having to use a car, which will benefit people’s health, improve air quality and encourage the shift towards more healthy and active travel. It will also include substantial benefits for pedestrians with new pedestrian crossings and more pavement space.


Over the course of the Business Plan, up to 2021/2022, a total of £770 million will be spent on infrastructure and initiatives to promote cycling. At an average of £154million per year, it is almost double the £79 million per year spent over the last mayoral term. This investment represents an average £17 per head per annum and is on a par with Denmark and the Netherlands.


Sadiq Khan hailed the record amounts of money being committed for cycling in the capital and promised 'further detailed plans for making cycling a safe and obvious choice for Londoners of all ages and backgrounds'.


Over the previous Mayor’s last term, 2.4 per cent of TfL’s budget was spent on cycling. Over the course of the new Business Plan 5.5 per cent of TfL’s budget will now be spent on cycling.  Previous Cycle Superhighways have been mired in controversy with criticism of consultation processes and construction not being properly coordinated. The new Mayor has pledged to learn the lessons from the past.


This new cycling budget, which will help achieve the target of 1.5 million cycle journeys per day by 2025/26, includes the completion of phase two of the North-South Cycle Superhighway from Farringdon to Kings Cross, which will begin construction next year. It also includes the extension of the East-West Cycle Superhighway from Lancaster Gate and work to deliver Cycle Superhighway 11 from Swiss Cottage to the West End, which the Mayor has given his endorsement for and next steps will be announced imminently.  


The Business Plan also confirms funding for two new Cycle Superhighways. Consultations will begin next year on Cycle Superhighway 4 from Tower Bridge to Greenwich and Cycle Superhighway 9 from Olympia towards Hounslow, with each route also tackling a number of traffic-dominated junctions. These new routes will open up even more of south-east and west London to cycling. The gaps in cycle routes left by the previous administration will also be looked into to make sure they usefully connect with each other, particularly in central London.


Working with London boroughs, the three Mini Hollands in Enfield, Kingston and Waltham Forest and at least 20 more Quietway routes will be planned or rolled-out, making cycling safer and easier in different parts of London including Hammersmith, Finsbury Park, Croydon and Barking.  


The record investment will deliver more joined-up cycling infrastructure right across the city, including a new cyclist and pedestrian bridge linking Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf, creating easier connectivity in the area. It will create an important connection between south-east London, the docklands and beyond, linking the forthcoming CS4 to the existing CS3 and CS2 routes north of the river.


Having now secured record investment in cycling over the next five years, analysis will continue to be undertaken to develop a strategic cycle network that identifies potential new Cycle Superhighways and Quietways, as well as new Liveable Neighbourhoods.


Research, to be published in the next few months, identifies the links that are fundamental to the development of a cycle network. These include connections between Wembley and Hammersmith, Kilburn and Edgware, East Finchley and Hoxton, Tottenham and Camden Town, Hackney and Canary Wharf, Greenwich and Oval, Streatham and Oval. TfL will work with relevant boroughs and other partners to assess the feasibility of these much needed improvements.

The Mayor will very shortly be appointing a new walking and cycling commissioner for London. Unlike with previous Mayoral appointments the post has been properly advertised with an open and fair recruitment process. The Commissioner will be an advocate for active travel in London – raising the profile of both cycling and walking, and working with TfL to make cycling safer and easier.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said:


“I said in my manifesto that I’d be the most pro-cycling Mayor London has ever had. Today I’m delighted to confirm that TfL will be spending twice as much on cycling over the next five years compared to the previous Mayor. Making cycling safe and easier can provide huge benefits for us all – improving our health, cleaning up our toxic air, and helping tackle congestion. By spending £770 million over the course of the next TfL Business Plan, we’ll now be spending the same per head as Denmark and the Netherlands – places famous around the world for their cycling. 


“Our plans include consulting on two new Cycle Superhighways next year, in addition to a new East-West Route. And unlike the previous Mayor, we will continue to focus on how we can minimise disruption and congestion as we push ahead with the construction of new cycling infrastructure. 


“With record amounts of money now committed for cycling in London, we will continue to work over the coming months developing further detailed plans for making cycling a safe and obvious choice for Londoners of all ages and backgrounds.” 


Ashok Sinha, CEO of the London Cycling Campaign, said:


“This unprecedented investment in cycling shows the Mayor is serious about meeting his promises to triple the extent of London’s protected cycle lanes, fix the most dangerous junctions and enable boroughs to implement major walking and cycling schemes. It will help make London a better, greener, healthier and less congested city.”


Matt Winfield, London Director of national walking and cycling charity, Sustrans, said,


“The Mayor is right to secure this record investment for cycling to tackle dire air quality and improve our health, while making more efficient use of our limited road space.  


“It will help more Londoners get around in a way that’s easy and affordable, while making our city an even more attractive place to live, work or do business.”


Patricia Bench, Hammersmith Business Improvement District Director, said: “We are fully committed to promoting healthy and active travel to Hammersmith’s employees so this is very welcome news.


“Cycling has become such an important part of London life that I’m glad the Mayor is improving the infrastructure and initiatives available to people. In Hammersmith we have seen huge numbers of workers take to their bikes for the daily commute and businesses have told us that they want more initiatives for safer cycling and improved air quality.


“Transport for London is already working on making the Hammersmith gyratory easier to navigate, so we’re delighted that they will continue to make the area more accessible for cyclists and will consult on a new Cycle Superhighway through Hammersmith”.


Mike Brown, London’s Transport Commissioner, said:  “Londoners are really embracing cycling and if we make it safer and easier even more people will choose to switch to a bike to get around the city. The benefits of this are huge, and our draft business plan sets out how over the next five years more will be invested in cycling than ever before.

“Working with London’s boroughs we will create more safe, easy and well-connected cycling routes and encourage the shift towards healthy and active travel that impacts less on the environment and makes London a more pleasant city to live in.”


Donald Hyslop, Chair of Better Bankside, said: “Fourteen per cent of those working in Better Bankside already cycle to work. We believe that cycling is a crucial element of making our area the best for those who live and work here, as well as a great destination. I very much welcome the Mayor’s announcement to increase funding for cycling in particular to link up routes across London.  Better Bankside will continue to work with Transport for London to ensure that this investment helps make our streets more liveable for all.”


David Lan, Artistic Director, Young Vic: “At the Young Vic we are extremely pleased to learn of the record levels of investment in cycling in London over the next five years.  We are well aware of the potential environmental benefits. Our audiences, our actors, and all the many other people who work here travel to our theatre from all over the capital.  We are deeply and practically engaged with issues of sustainability, so it’s crucial to us that there is safe and easy access to our building for those who choose to cycle and that we’re well-connected to our colleagues and collaborators in other boroughs.”


Joyce Lorigan, Chair of Urban Partners, said: "With unprecedented growth being seen across the international transport hub that is King's Cross, St Pancras and Euston, this investment in cycling is welcomed. Thousands of workers cycle to this area every day, and thousands more visit or pass through the stations. Improving the safety and provision of cycling will make the area easier to access, more pleasant to move around and ultimately supports the wellbeing of our community, which is at the heart of what we are seeking to achieve"


Cllr Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council, said: “The Mayor’s decision to invest record amounts in cycling is great news for all Londoners and is very much welcomed by the boroughs.  We want a greener, cleaner and healthier capital. By putting cycling at the heart of our long-term transport plans it  will ensure Londoners have a free, easy and healthy way to travel, keeping our city moving, reducing congestion and improving air quality.”

Notes to editors

TfL’s Draft Business Plan will be considered by the TfL Board at its next meeting on 15 December.


A new Liveable Neighbourhood programme will also be launched next year, with the aim of creating more attractive, accessible and people-friendly streets, where everybody can enjoy spending time and being physically active. All boroughs will be invited to develop proposals for the Liveable Neighbourhoods in their area for potential funding, fulfilling the Mayor’s commitments made in his manifesto.


TfL is also developing the new Safer Junctions programme that will be announced next year, addressing the priority locations that urgently need attention. Work to make Stockwell gyratory safer for cyclists will soon be complete and the transformation of Archway already underway will make the area safer for pedestrians, cyclists and people using the local public transport links. Next year, Old Street roundabout and Hammersmith Broadway will be the next junctions to be made safer and easier for people to walk and cycle.


Increasing the amount invested in making cycling safer and easier will help further break down the barriers. The Mayor has committed that by the end of his term, all off-road lorries will be banned from London’s streets and only HGV vehicles with a good rating of Direct Vision will be operating by 2024. The most unsafe HGVs will be banned from London roads completely by 2020, and by setting out our plans now, we expect many lorries will have been upgraded well before that ban comes into place.

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