Revealed: H&F Council’s financial motive for backing flawed “Cycle Superhighway” scheme

Last month I stated that I had asked Hammersmith and Fulham Council about its financial interest in supporting Transport for London’s “Cycle Superhighway” scheme – which most residents who have contacted me agree would not merely be poor value for money but actually detrimental to the borough.

The Council Cycling Officer has now responded to my query as follows:

“Hello Cllr Phibbs,

I hope you are well.

I’ve been asked to respond to your requests for more information regarding the use of the Council’s logo, and what funding the council has received from TfL, and any future funding.

The use of the Council’s logo on the consultation documents follows the same principle that we adopted for the Better Junctions consultation last year, and reflects the partnership that we have with TfL in developing the proposed CS9 Route. Like our colleagues in Hounslow, we have been working with TfL for over a year to bring this initial proposal to public consultation.

The partnership enables us, as officers representing the Council, to advise and develop the proposed route using our local knowledge and technical knowledge to inform the proposal.

Our aim is simple, we want the best for our residents and we also want to secure investment in the Borough. (The Mayor of London has committed £70m for the development and implementation of a CS9 route from Olympia to Hounslow. Based on this total figure delivery of the Hammersmith sections are estimated at approximately £15-£20m.)

TfL are an important source of investment for this type of infrastructure project for cycling, but cannot build anything on Borough roads without our permission. In the case of CS9, subject to the outcome of the consultation, and the decision of the cabinet, my team will carry out the detail design of the route and will use our own contractors to hopefully eventually build the scheme.

The Council is committed to working together with TfL to secure the implementation and operation of Route 9 to meet one of the aims of the 2015 Cycling Strategy to make cycling less intimidating in the borough, and ultimately to increase the share of all journeys in H&F which are made by bicycle from five per cent to eight per cent.

The Council is also committed to cooperating  with TfL with regards to agreeing the alignment and other details concerning Route 9 in the Borough Area including any special interventions or road treatments appropriate.

In return for this knowledge and work, TfL have agreed to reimburse the Council in respect of all costs and expenses reasonably incurred by the Council in connection with Route 9 Activities.

Currently TfL have funded officer time on the project from 2016 to date to a value of £119,577.

If the consultation is positive and a decision is made by our cabinet to proceed to the next stage, which is detailed design, officer time will be paid for by TfL to develop the detailed designs, work with local residents and businesses to ensure that the best scheme is implemented in Hammersmith, and then create a construction package that leads to implementation. No prediction of this value has taken place yet and will not take place until the consultation outcome is known and the cabinet decision made.

If the consultation is not favourable there is no future investment connected with cycling along this route.

If you need any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.”

So that’s £119,577 to be getting on with – and a big chunk out of the “approximately £15-£20m” if the scheme is allowed to proceed.

By the way when it comes to the aim “to make cycling less intimidating in the borough” I have been interested by the number of the more gentle cyclists who have declared themselves filled with dread at the prospect of the “Cycle Superhighway”.

5 thoughts on “Revealed: H&F Council’s financial motive for backing flawed “Cycle Superhighway” scheme

  1. TfL have agreed to reimburse the Council in respect of all costs and expenses reasonably incurred by the Council in connection with Route 9 Activities

    TfL money doesn’t grow on Jeremy Corbyn’s money tree. It is extracted from local residents through a levy on our Council Tax.

    TfL wasting money on social engineering (mandating a large increase in journeys cycled) is one reason why residents’ council tax went up last year. So much for Cowan’s manifesto pledge to reduce council tax faster than before….

  2. Obviously the “more gentle cyclists” must just love cycling round the mincing machine of Hammersmith gyratory with buses, cars and HGVs on all sides.

  3. If we’re talking financials Harry, can I ask what value you would put on the following;

    1. The cost of congestion to business
    2. The cost of congestion to your constituents in time wasted
    3. Premature deaths in London due to air pollution
    4. KSIs on the road
    5. Obesity in the general population to the NHS

    Thanks,
    JimF
    (a former constituent and now living next door in Acton)

  4. Hi Cllr Phibbs.
    Thank you so much for posting this excellent response from your borough cycling officers. They sound like they are worth their weight in gold. As an NHS doctor, I’m very worried about London’s next generation. 80% of our kids are not getting the minimum amount of daily exercise into their day to keep them healthy. In my area of London, 25% of kids are already clinically obese when they leave primary school.
    It’s fantastic to see a council actually take action on such an important public health issue.
    Brilliant work!

  5. Are you seriously the suggesting the council have been bought off for £120k?

    Let’s get CS9 done and then look to extend it to Kensington Gore. Having moved to Olympia a couple of months ago and cycling to work each day, I can tell you that the current arrangements are bonkers, bringing bikes and vehicles into unnecessary conflict.

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