Not so fast Ken, say London boroughs

Lack of consultation angers capital's councils

It’s only a day since London Mayor Ken Livingstone announced his ambitious plans for cycling in the capital – or three if you include the leak to the Guardian – but the cracks in his grand scheme are already starting to appear.

As reported on BikeRadar yesterday, the Mayor’s Greater London Authority is in charge of just 5% of London’s roads. The remaining 95% fall under the control of the 33 Londonboroughs and yesterday the Chairman of their Transport and Environment Committee, Councillor Daniel Moylan, issued a blistering response to the Mayor’s proposals.

“It is frankly appalling that they [ the boroughs] were not consulted on this new strategy,” he said. “We are deeply frustrated with Mr Livingstone’s disregard for the boroughs – just because he presides over a ‘personal fiefdom’ doesn’t mean that he should act like a despot.”

As for the successful implementation of the Mayor’s ambitious plans, Cllr Moylan poured what amounts to an ocean of cold water on that prospect : “I don't think much of this will happen. Why should the boroughs listen to Mr. Livingstone when he has long since stopped talking or listening to them? He seems to be believing his own rhetoric about Londonbeing his personal fiefdom. If he truly wants his strategy to succeed, he should suspend the proposals, take the time and decency to consult with the boroughs, and then work up a strategy in partnership that will actually work for the capital.”

A spokesman for the Councils added: “Large swathes of the Mayor’s proposals require the sign-up of the boroughs and without that they are nothing more than empty election promises. The boroughs are frankly insulted by the Mayor’s position - he continues to ride roughshod over democratically elected councils.”

A spokesperson for Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, said: "The Mayor has always made clear that he is fully committed to consulting all London boroughs on his strategy to improve cycling and pedestrian facilities throughout London."  Transport for London cites the Clear Zones Partnership with Westminster and Camden Councils, the City of London and the RoyalParks and existing proposals for the cycle hire scheme as evidence of that commitment.

In response, a spokesman for the London Councils said: "It may be the case that there has been consultation between the Mayor and individual boroughs in the past, but on this occasion there was none. "

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