Clashes between Downing Street and Sadiq Khan on London’s cycle paths Business

Tensions between Downing Street and Sadiq Khan’s Transport for London have recently escalated over plans to give the councils money even after the cycle lanes were destroyed.

Andrew Gilligan, the PM’s transport adviser, stepped in and vetoed TfL’s plans to hand out £ 100million for policies that encourage ‘active travel’, according to correspondence seen by The telegraph.

Correspondence between Mr Gilligan, Boris Johnson’s cycling assistant during his tenure as Mayor of London, and Will Norman, Mr Khan’s walking and cycling commissioner, reveals growing tensions between the two men.

“Can we talk comrade,” Mr. Gilligan asked Mr. Norman in a WhatsApp message on August 4. After no response two days later, he said, “Can we talk please comrade”.

The Downing Street adviser, who is a government observer on TfL’s board of directors, was seeking to finalize the allocation of active funding to London boroughs.

A few weeks earlier, he had blocked proposals to allocate funds to the councils that had removed the cycle lanes.

“We are still not strong enough with the authorities removing the schemes,” he wrote on July 16 in response to TfL’s plans.

“The danger point, and the potential tipping point is now, as more and more councils remove or consider removing programs. Now is the time to take a stand against backward advice. “

Ten days later, Mr Gilligan sent an email at 4:48 am to say that despite the change in the allocation of funds, TfL was still not sending a strong enough message.

“You say that you have updated the borough funding letters to make it clear that no funding will be provided to the boroughs in order to remove the temporary schemes – but I can’t see it.

“Could it be clarified please?” In the sense of: “We will not fund, now or in the future, any advice to reduce active travel facilities, or to eliminate or weaken programs. In line with the new national guidelines, programs should not be terminated or weakened prematurely, or without proper consultation, or without clear evidence that they are not working. Councils that do so will receive reduced funding ”.

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This notice was published: 2021-09-27 09:18:16

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