Councillors have expressed concern that Kingston’s Go Cycle programme will have to be finished ‘on the cheap’.
Transport for London (TfL) had to pause funding for the scheme due to its financial problems caused by the coronavirus crisis, and now Kingston Council is hoping to finish it with reduced funding from TfL’s new Streetspace Fund.
The borough received the second-largest allocation of any London borough, but the vast majority – £1.95 million – has been allocated for the Go Cycle programme.
This is less than the previous Mini Holland budget that TfL had originally allocated for these projects.
Matthew Hill, Assistant Director of Highways, Transport and Regulatory Services said all four Go Cycle schemes would have to be redesigned to reduce costs, including less civil engineering work and cheaper materials.
Conservative opposition leader, councillor Kevin Davis, expressed concern about how effective the new cycle lanes would be if costs were cut.
He said: “I do get worried when I start to hear that we’re going to cheapen the schemes and make them less expensive than we had intended by less civil engineering because I’m not sure, the evidence that we’ve had so far of the schemes indicates that slightly softer approach necessarily works.
“It certainly doesn’t keep the cyclist lobby happy if we go down a cheapened approach to implementation.”
Cllr Hilary Gander said elements of the cycle infrastructure, such as kerb stones, were relatively cheap and very easy to “bolt in” and keep cyclists safe.
“There won’t be compromises in that sense, and certainly as far as the major infrastructure such as the river link, that will be completed to absolute safety standards, it is a bridge after all.”