Mayor Boris Johnson has been accused of either “misleading” Londoners or failing to understand his bike hire sponsorship contract after it was announced Barclays is walking away from the deal three years earlier than expected.
On Tuesday it emerged that the bank’s association with the Mayor’s flagship cycle hire scheme would end in 2015.
Transport for London has denied the bank is quitting early and claims “the current sponsorship deal with Barclays ends in two years time”.
The original £25m contract, signed in 2010, was to end in 2015, however in 2011 both City Hall and TfL announced the deal had been extended until 2018 with the bank committing a further £25m.
A joint press release issued in July 2011 stated: “Barclays have agreed to invest a further £25m to extend its sponsorship to 2018, including the Phase 3 western expansion from 2013.”
The Mayor has since confirmed both the revised end date and total contract value of £50m on a number of occasions.
In February 2013 he told London Assembly Member Darren Johnson: “TfL will receive £50 million over eight years, and will continue to operate the contract as agreed” and also that month described the deal as being “worth £50 million over eight years.”
Assembly Member Johnson said the discrepancy between the Mayor’s answers and TfL’s latest statement “means that he either he was misleading us or he simply didn’t know.”
Mr Johnson said the loss of sponsorship money risked the Mayor having to divert “a lot of the funding needed to create safer junctions and quality cycle routes” to increase public subsidy of the hire scheme.
The Mayor’s office have been asked to comment.