Santander cycles recorded the largest number of hires in its 11 year history last month.
A TfL press release states “There were 1,219,804 hires during the month, an average of 40,660 daily hires – well above the 37,917 average daily hires in September last year and the 32,323 average daily hires in the three Septembers prior to the pandemic.”
Despite the growth, large areas of London still lack any cycles including Lewisham and Greenwich.
TfL’s strained finances ensure boroughs need to contribute. Up to now neither have.
That allowed an expansion to various sites near Cycle Highway 4:
Southwark council also state that docking stations will be installed in Camberwell and Peckham as well as the Old Kent Road by 2023.
Lewisham have stated they are now looking into it and will raise it with TfL at a meeting this month.
Greenwich have also stated support for the scheme but claim funding obstacles rather than use sources of funding such as developer income or revenue from traffic fines which are ringfenced to transport once costs are covered.
Greenwich have a long track record in failing to use their own funds obtained from new development to top up TfL funding for transport projects via the Local Implementation Plan. They were last among Labour boroughs in London in doing so, and almost last of any borough before the pandemic.
It was then revealed by TfL earlier this year that Greenwich council are last in London for income from developers obtained via the Community Infrastructure Levy despite being a borough with some of the highest build rates.
So not only are they not allocating money, they’re failing to even collect it.
The council followed up to state they collect more income than Lewisham in a council report for councillors. However they were comparing old Lewisham data with up to date data in Greenwich. When compared like-for-like data, Lewisham have collected millions more income.
Totals up to 2019/20 in income collected by Lewisham from developers are £15.9 million and £8.4 million from Greenwich.
It would appear Greenwich have failed to collect millions owed to the authority which could assist with projects such as cycle hire expansion. Preliminary investigations have discovered £1.7 million owed with more likely to follow.
There’s a post coming up on that scrutiny meeting shortly.
For now there’s no confirmed plans for expansion in Lewisham or Greenwich,. Developments to the east in area such as Woolwich continue to be built with no provision for cycle lanes alongside hampering expansion in years to come:
Plans to rebuild Morris Walk estate were approved last week which also leave little space for a cycle lane and bus lane:
This all makes future expansion of not only cycle hire difficult but also usability if and when they ever appear this far into south east London.