A small part of the Transport Users’ meeting was devoted to cycling but there was no
invited speaker. Mr. Smith from Bexley Council opened the proceedings by saying there was not a lot to report.
Councillor Stefano Borella (Labour, North End) put our minds back to 2014 and the not quite successful Mini-Holland bid. Bexley had been awarded a share of the runners up prize of £10 million. Where was it was his question? Mr. Smith said Bexley expected to get “the lion’s share” of that money but none had been forthcoming.
Money had been spent on planning a cycle route from Bexleyheath to Abbey Wood.
The TfL man (Mr. Healey?) said that “there was a £913 million pot for ten years for mini-Holland and Cycle Superhighways and borough cycling. It is oversubscribed. Superhighways and the Mini-Hollands are costing a lot of money”. As a result the budget was reassessed “about a year ago”. The promise of a share of the £10 million for Bexley was made by the Cycling Commissioner and “we have been unable to meet those cycling commitments the Cycling Commissioner made to the borough”.
Council Leader Alex Sawyer thanked Mr. TfL for his “exceptionally good and diplomatic answer” and then proceeded to voice his extreme displeasure. He criticised “the colossal waste of money which is the Cycling Superhighway on the Embankment which has done absolutely nothing to improve traffic flow and is nothing but a pain in the backside”.
When money is promised it should be “honoured and not spent on pet schemes of the Mayor when there are more pressing issues in the outer boroughs such as Bexley”.
If all Bexley Councillors were as honest as Alex Sawyer tries to be the need for BiB might disappear.
When Alex eventually makes it to the Leader’s position he will not, like the present subservient incumbent, be appointed the Mayor’s Ambassador to Outer London. But Boris will be gone by then and replaced by someone even worse.