Bring cycle hire bikes to Merton, councillors urged
Bringing central London’s cycle here scheme to Merton should be a priority for the council, Liberal Democrats will argue tonight.
The party has submitted a motion to tonight's full council meeting, at Merton Civic Centre, in which their two councillors call for negotiations to begin as part of the scheme going to parts of Wandsworth, Fulham and Chelsea in 2013.
Councillor Mary-Jane Jeanes, who represents West Barnes ward, said: "Cycling is good for us all. As cyclists we benefit from the exercise; and everyone benefits from lower pollution levels if we have fewer cars on our streets.
"Expanding the bike hire scheme to Merton will encourage more people to try cycling.
"The expansion is also the perfect opportunity to make the Cycle Hire Scheme better - there's growing evidence that the scheme's full potential is not being reached - for example, only 23 per cent of members are women, and the membership system can be confusing for first time users.
"Merton Council can play its part in making the scheme better for everyone by using negotiations on expansion to deal with the issues - and part of this will be thinking about what Merton can do, for example, on improving road safety".
The Barclays-sponsored bicycles will come to Wandsworth next year, with plans to install them in Clapham Junction station.
It is estimated to cost £2m in taxpayers’ money up front, but Wandsworth could receive £25m from the bank in additional sponsorship.
Other motions to be discussed by councillors at tonight's meeting (Merton Civic Centre, 7.15pm):
- Following the Olympics Games, Conservative councillors want Merton to set up the Sophie Hosking Challenge - an annual sporting event for eight to 11-year-olds in a bid to promote public health and tackle childhood obesity. Councillor Suzanne Evans, shadow Health spokeswoman, said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build on the success of the London Olympics and Paralympics and celebrate the fantastic achievements of the borough’s very own Sophie Hosking, who is such a great role model for our children."
- Labour councillors have called on Stephen Alambritis, the council leader, to write to the Department of Transport to express Merton’s opposition to plans to terminate Thameslink Wimbledon loop trains at Blackfriars. The plans have been opposed by politicians from all main parties, including Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond, who became a minister in the Department of Transport after last week’s reshuffle by Prime Minister David Cameron.
- Conservative councillors have called on the council to note “serious concerns” over a Merton Council-backed plan to build up to 250 homes on an industrial site near Raynes Park station. The Rainbow Industrial Estate plan was criticised at a public meeting in July for being an “outrageous affront to democracy” after the plans were presented as being a statement of council policy.