"Bring Boris Bikes To Merton" Say Local Lib Dems

Call for action on proposals to talk to Boris

Liberal Democrat councillors in Merton are calling for action over proposals to bring Boris Bikes to the borough.

In September 2012, the borough's two Liberal Democrat councillors proposed that negotiations begin on bringing the scheme to the borough, and council bosses were asked to open discussions with London's mayor, Boris Johnson.

The Lib Dem motion highlighted that the negotiations were an opportunity to argue for improvements to the scheme.

The scheme's full potential is not being reached - for example, only 23% of members are women, and the membership system can be confusing for first-time users. Merton's Cabinet was also asked to report on what could be done locally, for example, on improving road safety.

But questions tabled by Liberal Democrat London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon have revealed that nothing has apparently happened so far.

According to the Lib Dems, Merton Council representatives met with the Mayor's Cycling Commissioner in May, and the cycle hire scheme wasn't even mentioned. 

Merton Lib Dem councillor Iain Dysart (left) said: "Without dissent, councillors from all parties backed our idea to bring the cycle hire scheme to Merton and to use the negotiations as an opportunity to improve the scheme for everyone. It's hugely disappointing that the Labour administration seems to have taken no action on this whatsoever.

"To show that they're not just going to ride-roughshod over this democratic decision, Labour should set out their plan for expanding the cycle hire scheme to the borough and improving cycling generally."

But Cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge responded: "We are committed to achieving a considerable increase in cycling in Merton. That is why we are about to make a comprehensive bid to the Mayor for extra funding.

"We are talking to Andrew Gilligan, the Mayor's Cycling Commissioner about our ambitions and as part of that bid we will be supporting the introduction of the Barclays Hire Scheme in Wimbledon town centre."

July 2, 2013