A cash boost has been announced by Boris Johnson as part of a pledge to make the roads safer for Merton’s cyclists.
On Wednesday, the London Mayor said Merton Council would be given £155,000 for cycling improvements - the lowest amount given to 13 ‘Biking Boroughs’ who each pledged to put cycling at the heart of their transport strategy.
Mr Johnson said: “My cycling revolution continues and I am determined to help more residents of outer London to take to two wheels.
“In the last year alone we have seen a 15 per cent increase in the number of cycle trips using Transport for London’s roads.
“The funding I am committing to Merton will enable them to make the physical improvements that will make cycling safer and more convenient for local people.”
But Mr Johnson's electoral rival for London Mayor next year, Green party candidate Jenny Jones, was highly critical that more money was not given to the borough.
Ms Jones said: "This is a pathetic amount of money which will achieve little of substance for cycling in outer London, particularly for Merton who are getting the least amount of money despite its huge potential.
“There is double the amount of people making longer cycle trips than the rest of London.
“One of the cycle superhighways runs from Merton directly into the city and more funding should be allocated for cycle training to ensure that the people of Merton feel confident enough to use it."
When Merton was first announced as one of the Mayor’s Biking Boroughs last year, the council said it would work with schools, NHS Primary Care Trusts and local businesses to promote cycling.
The commitment to providing a cycling-friendly parking strategy included plans to install more secure cycle parking spaces or improving junction layouts to make them safer for cyclists.
Councillor Andrew Judge, Merton’s cabinet member agreed with Mrs Jones that the £155,000 grant - to be given to Merton over three years - was disappointing.
He said: “We were hoping for £300,000 so we are very disappointed and do not believe it reflects the quality of our bid.
“We have got the end of the Cycle Superhighway in Colliers Wood and we need to build on that advantage that that brings in terms of cycling provision.”
How would you improve cycling in Merton? Leave a comment below, call 020 8722 6335 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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