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Ealing and Northfield

Labour’s cycling story is all spin and no cash

Haven Green has been defaced for four months now whilst Ealing Council builds a “Cycle Hub” near the station. This is essentially a rather nice bicycle shed. I am all for bicycle sheds but I am not sure why such a large part of Haven Green has to to deal with specialists from fence installation overland park, Kansas, since February, but at least it will be more beautiful.

Cllr Mahfouz, Labour’s Transport and Environment lead, and leader Julian Bell love to twitter on about their own cycling exploits and have announced this facility at least three times. Every time they re-announce it the delivery date gets later and later (here, here and here). They are now talking about the Autumn. It was originally proposed to be ready in May. It is typical of the council’s approach to project management that a small project like this takes up half the park for half the year.

The project is running so late that some wag has defaced the sign so that it now reads: “COMPLETION SUMMER 2013ISH”.

Mahfouz is less keen to talk about the source of funds for this project. It all comes from the London Mayor. The money comes from Boris, the incompetence is home grown Labour incompetence.

We discussed the Labour’s approach to cycling policy at the last cabinet meeting.

The Finance section of these reports is always worth reading:

3.1 Funding for most cycling schemes in the Borough is via the Local Implementation Plan (LIP) allocation from Transport for London (TfL). There have also been ad hoc funding sources made available such as the Biking Borough funding for the Ealing Cycle Hub and S106 money such as that used to fund the planned Brompton Cycle Hire scheme at Ealing Broadway.
3.2 The Council does not however at the moment receive the level of funding from either TfL or the Department of Transport required to deliver a significant improvement in cycling infrastructure.
3.3 Any schemes taken forward would need to consider impacts on other modes and would be subject to appropriate levels of consultation, including consideration of any financial implications.

So no money from Ealing’s own mainstream revenue or capital funds then. The only money will come from the Mayor or maybe some Section 106 from developers when they apply for planning permission. Labour hope that you will be impressed with their fine words but they will not put up money into cycling. Their spending priority is the Southall car park.