Commentators have known for some time that Boris Johnson’s cycle hire sponsorship deal with Barclays was incredibly poor value for Londoners and has created a black hole in the scheme’s finances.
Transport for London, unwillingly, has been forced to admit it has no idea when the scheme – promised to have no cost to the taxpayer – would break even.
To help stem the losses, TfL has been mugging local councils for £2m each to fund the scheme’s expansion at the same time as they’re delivering spending cuts in line with Government plans to reduce the deficit.
Meanwhile, City Hall have paid £27m in bank charges to Barclays over 3 years, mostly from TfL.
Even as scheme users face a doubling of fees, TfL continues to act against the public interest by refusing to confirm how much of the promised £50m the bank has actually paid.
It almost doesn’t matter anymore. In doubling the scheme’s fees, Boris has finally admitted just how cheap a deal the bank got.