Boris’s £150m cycling underspend

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson underspent on last year's cycling budget by a massive £38m, according to new figures.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson underspent on last year’s cycling budget by a massive £38m, according to new figures.

Released yesterday, the figures show that over a third of the allocated £111m budget for 2013 was left unspent – at a time of large increases in the number of cycling deaths and injuries on the capital’s roads.

As mayor of London, Boris Johnson could have used the money to improve cycling infrastructure but decided not to do so.

It would be unfair to single out the incumbent Mayor, however. Underspending has been a reoccurring theme in the Transport for London Office, with statistics showing that the cycling budget has been continually underspent for each of the previous six years. Out of the proposed £588m budget for these six years, only £438m was used, leaving a total of £150m left over.

Commenting on the figures, Green Party AM Darren Johnson said he was “angry about the fact that people have been killed and seriously injured while money that should have been used to make roads safer has been left unspent”.

“This £150m under-spend is more than the Transport for London budget for safer junctions over the next decade. Transport for London has had the time and the money to have made around 50 junctions safer during the last six years. That is a lot of pedestrian and cyclist deaths and injuries which could have been avoided if Transport for London had got on with it,” he added.

This table shows TFL’s continuous underspending on cycling from 2008-2014, leaving money that could be effectively used to save lives, in the bank.


Year Total claimed Actual spent Carried over
2008/09 £55m £44.8m £10m
2009/10 £111m £57m £54m
2010/11 £116m+ boroughs £100m + boroughs £16m
2011/12 £94m £82m £12m
2012/13 £101m £81m? £20m?
2013/14 £111m £73m £38m
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