London councils have so far agreed to pay a total of £6.1m towards the cost of the capital’s Cycle Hire scheme.
Transport for London has agreed contributions from four councils and is in discussions with the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea over an unspecified contribution.
New figures reveal that an agreed £2m contribution from Tower Hamlets for the eastern expansion was later “reduced by £100,000 due to fewer stations being constructed than were initially agreed following planning and operational constrictions at proposed locations.”
The transport body has also agreed contributions of £2m each from Hammersmith & Fulham and Wandsworth councils and £200,000 from Lambeth towards the scheme’s expansion to the south west.
Last year MayorWatch revealed that officers and councillors in Wandsworth were told expansion into their borough was “conditional on the Council making a financial contribution of £2 million.”
The level of confirmed borough funding now stands at almost half the contribution from sponsors Barclays bank.
Despite being a minority funder of the £225m scheme, the bank has sole naming rights.
TfL has repeatedly sought to downplay the role of the boroughs in supporting the scheme, failing to mention their contributions in press releases and publicity material.
In March 2012 TfL refused an FOI response requesting details of its discussions with boroughs, claiming to do so “would adversely affect TfL’s ability to secure the contributions towards the cost of the expansion of the Scheme which we are seeking from the Boroughs, or other landowners, and therefore would be likely to prejudice TfL’s commercial interests, by increasing the proportion of costs which would have to be met from TfL’s own resources.
“Disclosure would weaken TfL’s position in current and future negotiations with the Boroughs, and other landowners, by revealing the contribution we are prepared to consider accepting in each negotiation.”
TfL also previously claimed that revealing the level of funding paid by Barclays “would adversely affect TfL’s bargaining power when negotiating other sponsorship opportunities.”
It finally provided the figures in December, apparently with no adverse effect on its ability to achieve best value for Londoners.