Transport for London says informing Londoners how much funding it wants their local boroughs to provide towards the cycle hire scheme would “prejudice TfL’s commercial interests.”
In February we revealed that the scheme’s £40m eastwards expansion was being partly funded by Tower Hamlets council and that boroughs within the westwards expansion have been told the roll-out is “conditional” on them providing £2m towards the scheme.
Transport for London has continually declined to reveal how many other boroughs it is seeking funding from or how much it expects boroughs to contribute overall.
As reported last week, London’s boroughs, taxpayers and fare payers are funding the majority of the scheme’s set-up and operating costs.
To date, the cost to the public purse exceeds the maximum level of financial support being provided by scheme sponsors Barclays. Regardless of this, the bank continues to enjoy high levels of PR from the taxpayer owned TfL.
Responding to a Freedom of Information request, TfL maintains that informing Londoners how much their local boroughs, which are facing budget pressures due to the UK’s austerity measures, are expected to pay:
“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.”