Cycling in Outer London

MQT on 2017-01-18
Session date: 
January 18, 2017
Question By: 
Navin Shah
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


How will Outer London's cycling infrastructure benefit from your budget for cycling?


Answer for Cycling in Outer London

Answer for Cycling in Outer London

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Assembly Member Shah, can I begin by just thanking you for your constant championing of outer London?  It really is important for outer London not to be forgotten by this administration as it was with the last one, and I am determined it does not happen. 


There is huge potential for cycling in outer London.  Half of all trips that could be cycled but are currently being conducted using other means of transport are made in that part of London.  TfL’s business plan published in December will almost double the cycling investment of £770 million, making cycling safer and easier.  It will deliver healthy streets across London, and I welcome Assembly Member Russell’s question on this very issue earlier on in MQT.  It is an opportunity to do things differently and ensure we realise the potential of cycling across the city.  Dr Will Norman, my new Cycling and Walking Commissioner, will start in post next month, and he will work closely with councils across London to make sure that the boroughs benefit from the record levels of investment we are putting in.  Cycling Superhighway 9, a new route which TfL will consult on this year, will benefit outer London residents in the London Borough of Hounslow where the route will run, and also residents in nearby Richmond and Ealing. 


In addition, more than 20 Quietway routes will be planned or rolled out during my mayoral term, making cycling easier and more appealing across outer London.  Boroughs from Brent to Croydon, from Hillingdon to Barking and Dagenham, will benefit from this extra investment.  Indeed, Brent has made excellent progress on its section of Quietway 3 from Regent’s Park to Gladstone Park, which is due to open this year, and in Harrow TfL is about to commence feasibility work with the borough on a proposed Quietway route between Wembley Park and Harrow Weald via Harrow Town Centre. 


Other initiatives in outer London, such as Mini-Hollands, which are currently transforming the environments for pedestrians and cyclists in the three outer London boroughs of Enfield, Kingston and Waltham Forest will move forward.  There will also be funding for boroughs through a new Liveable Neighbourhoods programme to make town centres and neighbourhoods attractive places in which to walk, cycle and spend time and money.


Navin Shah AM:  Thank you, Mr Mayor, for your response also highlighting the substantial amount of spending to the tune of £770 million over five years for cycling.  It is very welcome, of course.  What I wanted to highlight is that obviously these are outer London boroughs, but clearly the ones where major planned growth through opportunity and intensification areas is planned.  Those are the opportunities where initiatives on cycling and strategies for cycling are very important, given the huge amount of housing and jobs that will be planned, and therefore the major infrastructure required to maintain that.  That gives opportunity for introducing better cycling initiatives and indeed having more sustainable transport and infrastructure. 


Do you not agree that from that £770 million investment that you mentioned, a substantial amount should go to outer London?  Your plan does not indicate how much of that £770 million could or would go to outer London areas.  Are you able to tell us whether you have any figure, or can you come back to me?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Our consultation is a genuine and meaningful one, both the draft budget and also the Transport Strategy we are working on.  It is really important that assiduous, hard-working Assembly Members, boroughs and MPs lobby for where they think the spending should go.


What I am quite determined for is that both Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport, and Will Norman, when he begins as the Walking and Cycling Commissioner, understand the needs of outer London.  It is not simply a question of cycling from outer London to inner London.  It is also cycling within the boroughs and the connectivity is really important.  I am not being prescriptive from the centre.  I would be disappointed as the Mayor if the advice I received was not that outer London gets a significant sum of this money.  It is really important.


Can I say this?  We cannot separate cycling from walking.  We have to start realising that, intentionally or unintentionally, a perception has been created that it is cycling versus the rest.  That is why we want some joined-up-ness and that is why the London Plan is going to be important going forward in relation to how we think about where people live, work, play and study, but also walking and cycling in relation to how this is going forward as well.  Look at where the Mini-Hollands have begun.  Waltham Forest is an example of one of the best with the footfall that the businesses receive and the walking that is encouraged and so it is not just cyclists benefitting from that Mini-Holland scheme.


Navin Shah AM:  A last question, if I can have a brief response on that?  In your manifesto, you committed to beginning a new round of Mini-Holland schemes.  Can you confirm that every outer London borough will receive support for such a scheme should they want it?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Should they want it.  The key thing is, we have to try and persuade local authorities why it is a good thing, they have to persuade residents why it is a good thing.  I recognise that some of these can be unpopular and we need to work with councillors who work extremely hard and know their patch better than, with the greatest respect, staff working at TfL or City Hall do.


Navin Shah AM:  Thank you very much.


Gareth Bacon AM:Just very quickly, Mr Mayor, just to follow up Assembly Member Shah’s question about outer London boroughs receiving support should they wish it.  Is there a number attached to that?  This is a genuine seeking information question; I am not trying to score any points here.  Do you have any numbers in mind that outer London boroughs could bid for in terms of money?  Would they (Overspeaking)


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  For cycling or other things?


Gareth Bacon AM:  For cycling.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  No, we are not going to cut the ambition.  Can I say this?  One of the reasons why my visit to Bexley last week - and thank you for coming - was so important is that with the best will in the world, until you go and see an area - you saw the narrow roads between the ancient woodlands - until you see the vast scope for development, you cannot really fully appreciate it.  The short answer is, no, we are going to be ambitious. 


One thing that might determine that is numbers, obviously.  If there is a Quietway or a cycling lane with only 12 people using it, it is probably not a sensible use of money, but if we can get footfall or wheels going through, that might be more attractive.  No, we are not being prescriptive about outer London getting Y pounds versus inner London getting X pounds.


Gareth Bacon AM:  Would it be a formal process like the Mini-Holland process was when boroughs bid competitively for significant funding, in that case, or would it be on a smaller-scale, case-by-case basis?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  One of the things I recognise is the criticism, fair or unfair, of the way TfL allocates funding.  It tends to be formulaic and so we are trying to move away from that because it has led to criticisms.  In Government, the same criticism is made of the Treasury, by the way.  We are looking to move away from formulae that do not appear to work, and therefore one of the things we are consulting on, genuinely, is what the best way is to allocate this money.  There is no point announcing record increases if people are not receiving them or seeing the benefits and so it is a genuine consultation.  If there are better ways to allocate money, we are happy to listen.


Gareth Bacon AM:  Thank you very much, Mr Mayor.


Tony Arbour AM (Chairman):  I cycled through beautiful Hampton Wick in outer London this morning.  It was nice, crisp, clear and even.  I feel much better for it.  The next question on moped-enabled crime has been withdrawn, so it is now Assembly Member Copley’s question on Westminster’s purchase of housing in Hounslow.