More than 500,000 journeys per day are undertaken by bicycle in London. There has been a 91 per cent increase in the number of people cycling on London's major roads since Transport for London (TfL) was created in 2000. To continue to support the huge rise in the popularity of cycling in the Capital, the Mayor Boris Johnson and TfL are investing a further £55m in cycling this year - up from £36m last year, and a ten-fold increase on the £5.5m spent on cycling in 2000. The London Travel Report shows that two per cent of all journeys made in the Capital are now made by bicycle. The above information is from a TfL press release.
Can we put this into perspective for NZ? With a population of some 7.4m, Greater London has nearly twice the population of NZ (4.268m), and five times the population of Auckland (1.4m). TfL fully funds the local boroughs for cycle infrastructure, whereas in NZ, local authorities have to contribute 40 to 60% of the funding from rates, with the rest coming from Land Transport NZ as a subsidy. The forecast expenditure for NZ for 2007/08 is $14.5m, including $3.0m for Transit NZ (who are 100% funded by LTNZ).
This year's TfL expenditure equates NZ$145m, or adjusted on a per capita basis to NZ$84m. So even if we assume that the local body component doubles once the local rates are taken into consideration, we may be spending some $26m in NZ this year on walking and cycling infrastructure, i.e. less than a third of what TfL is investing in London on a per capita basis. The outcome is that in London, they have nearly doubled the mode share of cycling since 2000, whereas it has declined in NZ.
Does anybody need more proof that as a country, we are not investing enough in walking and cycling?