Taxpayers will pay at least £67.8m to fund London’s Cycle Hire scheme, almost £18m more than the maximum contribution from sponsors Barclays bank.
Although Transport for London has adopted a policy of not publicising non-Barclays funding sources, figures provided by Mayor Boris Johnson show that Londoners are funding the greatest share of the scheme’s set-up costs.
The Barclays’ sponsorship deal is worth a maximum of £50m by 2018.
The Mayor and Transport for London have repeatedly refused to publish their contract with Barclays.
However the £50m sponsorship money is understood to be paid in annual instalments based on the scheme meeting contracted performance criteria.
Where those criteria are not met, it is understood that Barclays can reduce the total amount of sponsorship money.
In an answer to Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon, Mayor Johnson confirmed that the cost of implementing the scheme’s current two phases was £119.8m.
As previously reported, the costs of the recent eastwards expansion were met in part by Tower Hamlets council which provided £2m.
Other councils have been told expansion into their boroughs is “conditional” on them also providing £2m of funding.
The Mayor’s figures show that taxpayers have provided the majority of the scheme’s upfront costs, with TfL providing the shortfall between the borough funding and the money received so far from Barclays.
Even if TfL had received the entire £50m promised sponsorship from Barclays upfront, taxpayers would still have paid £67.8m to date. The staged payments of Barclays’ funding means the actual taxpayer contribution is likely to be far higher.
Despite being a minority funding partner, Barclays continues to benefit from blanket publicity from the taxpayer owned TfL.