Transport for London have today confirmed funding for street projects in boroughs across London over the next financial year.
£63 million is allocated from the Local Implementation Fund across the capital – which isn’t much different to pre-pandemic totals despite sharply rising inflation.
TfL’s funding constraints derive from income shortfalls post pandemic and in subsequent agreements with the Department for Transport.
LIP has long seen allocated funds to each borough for smaller projects and additional funding for major schemes.
In the past those major schemes included Eltham’s town centre upgrade. Greenwich town centre pedestrianisation would be funded out of the same pot.
There isn’t funding for any major project in Greenwich next year, with money for further preparatory work.
In previous years plans were revealed to close College Approach and King William Walk to traffic.
This source of funds is one long covered on this site. It’s one where south east London boroughs have lagged behind much of London for supplementing Transport for London funding with their own cash.
Greenwich were last of all London Labour boroughs during the last three year period before covid when it came to allocating income from new developments. Most London councils allocated substantial sums into the millions.
Here’s Lambeth allocating a total of £3.9 million from S106 and CIL.
Greenwich opted for £208,000 over three years from development funds.
Lewisham allocated £3.99 million from Section 106.
Let’s not even get into how and where it was spent. Greenwich Highways loathed telling their own councillors let alone the public. Each year many London boroughs would provide detailed reports and consultation. Greenwich would provide barely any details.
Whenever residents request street improvements in Greenwich the Highways Department plead poverty and blame TfL while failing to mention potential income locally has not been raised. Watch any Highways Committee meeting to see it. As sure as the sun rises, excuses and deflection will be seen.
Yet it’s not only new developments that can secure money for transport improvements and contribute towards increasing TfL’s annual funding pot.
Two other sources are parking revenue and income from CCTV fines.
Greenwich are way behind much of London there too. The Parking Department has been a shambles for many years regularly failing to meet income targets.
In recent weeks they’ve begun stating they will not enforce pavement parking in various areas seemingly against laws in London dating from 1974.
None of this helps aid active travel or improving income for transport and street improvements.
Then there’s revenue from fines and utilising CCTV. This is generally for moving traffic offences such as going through no entry signs though can be used for those who park outside schools and in bus lanes.
They only adopted this power 15 years after it became possible and 30 out of 32 other London boroughs long had.
Then when adopted, a Freedom of Information request showed they were barely issuing any fines. Some spots saw single digits for offences over an entire month according to the authority. A nonsense any visit to those sites revealed.
Chronic hotspots such as a bus lane in Plumstead – where over 100 bus drivers signed a petition about illegal parking making it a dangerous area – was not even chosen as a spot to be covered.
If a council could do less to raise revenue to improve their borough than Greenwich it’d be hard to imagine how.
Four major sources of funding – Section 106, Community Infrastructure Levy, parking revenue and CCTV revenue – are not being utilised to any great degree to top up limited funds from TfL.
Yet the council continues to insist that the vast majority of projects and funding must come from those very same limited TfL funds.
If we’re to see sizable improvements in coming years those sorely need reform – and quickly.