TfL cuts healthy streets funding as Tower Hamlets mayor slammed for ‘regressive policies’
TfL has cut Tower Hamlets’ LIP funding while it works to better understand the borough’s policies to “encourage people to use public transport, walk and cycle and reduce private vehicle use”.
and live on Freeview channel 276
TfL’s Local Implementation Plan (LIP) funding is distributed to all London boroughs, and is provided to support efforts to improve the health and safety of the capital’s streets via initiatives such as new cycle routes and 20mph speed limits.
Alex Williams, chief customer and strategy officer at TfL, said: “London’s boroughs are at the centre of our plans to transform access to walking, cycling and public transport and the Local Implementation Plan programme is vital in providing more localised investment in bus priority, walking and cycling schemes across the city.
“This investment will deliver benefits, especially in outer London and plays a huge role in our determination to provide a green, healthy and sustainable future for all Londoners.”
In the latest funding round announced by TfL, Tower Hamlets however had its share cut substantially, with the transport body confirming the majority of the money is on-hold while it works to “better understand their policy on creating schemes that encourage people to use public transport, walk and cycle and reduce private vehicle use”.
Particular pushback has been reported in response to his plans to tear out the borough’s low-traffic neighbourhood (LTN) schemes, including those situated around Old Bethnal Green Road, Columbia Market, and Brick Lane.
‘Shameless and destructive attitude’
Rob Andari, of Bethnal Green campaign group Save Our Safer Streets, told LondonWorld the team are “glad to see how seriously TfL is taking the mayor of Tower Hamlets’ regressive proposals”.
Mr Andari added: “It is extremely disappointing that we have got to a point where Tower Hamlets is unique amongst all boroughs in London in terms of backsliding on established local and national policies to support walking and cycling, to the extent that TfL is withdrawing its active travel funding. Don’t forget, two thirds of households in this borough don’t own a car or van – the third lowest level of car ownership in the country.
“We were dismayed to hear the Mayor of Tower Hamlets actively celebrating the withdrawal of TfL funding at the council meeting on March 15. He has shown that he is proud to introduce changes to streets which favour car journeys over those by walking and cycling. It is a shameless and destructive attitude which will harm the people of Tower Hamlets.”
A TfL spokesperson said: “We’re determined to ensure people living in every borough are able to walk, cycle and use public transport safely, and schemes delivered by boroughs play a vital role in this.
"We have allocated £180,000 in funding to Tower Hamlets for cycle training but are unable to give any further funding at this stage.
"We are working with the borough to better understand their policy on creating schemes that encourage people to use public transport, walk and cycle and reduce private vehicle use before we make a decision on remaining LIP funding.”
A Tower Hamlets Council spokesperson said: “Our LIP funding allocation is pending further discussions with TfL. We will continue to work closely with them to achieve a positive outcome for the borough.”