£7m funding gap as Kingston Council haggles with TfL over mini-Holland project

£7m funding gap as Kingston Council haggles with TfL over mini-Holland project

£7m funding gap as Kingston Council haggles with TfL over mini-Holland project

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

Parts of the flagship mini-Holland cycling scheme could fall by the wayside unless Kingston Council can agree with Transport for London ways to bridge a £7m funding gap.

Six months after winning a share of the Mayor of London’s £100m cycling initiative, the authority has fine-tuned its plans for the scheme and found costs may soar to more than £41m.

TfL has so far agreed to fund the project to the tune of £34m – already £4m more than initially expected.

But a report by Kingston Council officers, due to be discussed by councillors next week, said a joint review with TfL “may require that in some areas the scope of projects will be revised”.

It added: “The mini-Holland programme has been refined over time to form a coherent package, including gaining a better understanding of the costs and delivery challenges.”

However, the report adds such a funding gap could be managed during the delivery of the programme.

The review of the project’s business case is expected to take four months.

Councillor Richard Hudson, cabinet member for capital projects, said: “This is quite a normal process, but we need to be sure that Kingston Council isn’t going to be lumbered with a £7m bill.

“There is always a risk with any infrastructure project that there may be incremental costs.

“TfL are committed to this and I can’t see them not fully funding it, but it’s a risk.”

Opposition leader Councillor Liz Green, who was leader of the council at the time Kingston won the mini-Holland bid, said: “We were told to bid up to £40m.

“We’re not going to lose the £34m as long as it’s progressed properly, and I don’t think that the borough will pick up any extra cost for it.

“They are working up a project plan and it will change over time as different issues come forward.”

But Andrew Judge, a Labour councillor from neighbouring Merton, which lost out on the TfL cash, said: “It’s important in local government that you keep to your spending limits.

“£34m is an awful lot of money. I’m sure they could do an enormous amount.”

Ben Plowden, from TfL, said: “The allocation from TfL was based on the costs submitted by the borough.

“However, following further work, Kingston has now identified some additional costs, which takes the scheme over this agreed budget.

“We are working alongside them to help reduce these costs so we can ensure the programme remains on target to deliver these transformational schemes.”

Tim Lennon, from Richmond Cycling Campaign, said: “You would hope, certainly, that Kingston got the numbers right in the first place. I could imagine that it can be more expensive to do than they originally thought.”

The report will be discussed at the infrastructure, projects and contracts committee on Thursday, September 11, at 7.30 pm.

Comments (10)

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9:17am Fri 5 Sep 14

Bigdai100 says...

Its been over 6 months since the money was awarded and still there is no sign of any work starting. We are hearing that RBK is revising some of the schemes to add non-cycling urban improvements.
The cyclists of Kingston (indeed the UK) desperately need safer roads. Please get on with
Its been over 6 months since the money was awarded and still there is no sign of any work starting. We are hearing that RBK is revising some of the schemes to add non-cycling urban improvements. The cyclists of Kingston (indeed the UK) desperately need safer roads. Please get on with Bigdai100
  • Score: 17

11:01am Fri 5 Sep 14

321200 says...

The roads of the UK desperately need sensible cyclists.
Every encounter I have had this week with cyclists has been a nightmare!

They are a danger to themselves and other road users
The roads of the UK desperately need sensible cyclists. Every encounter I have had this week with cyclists has been a nightmare! They are a danger to themselves and other road users 321200
  • Score: 1

1:01pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Bigdai100 says...

The whole purpose of mini-hollands is separate both sensible and idiot cyclists from the same road space as idiot and sensible motorists
The whole purpose of mini-hollands is separate both sensible and idiot cyclists from the same road space as idiot and sensible motorists Bigdai100
  • Score: 18

2:02pm Fri 5 Sep 14

kingstonpaul says...

Uh, oh....didn't take long for the tiresome and tribal bigotry of motorists vs cyclists to surface. FYI, this week I've cycled, I've driven, and I've seen idiots in both camps. Hopefully, whichever mode I've used, I've been courteous.
Also, I've walked around town, and if you may allow me a rant, these days I find myself fulminating more at the cretins that walk with their heads buried in a screen and expecting every other pavement user to move out of the way to avoid a collision.
Uh, oh....didn't take long for the tiresome and tribal bigotry of motorists vs cyclists to surface. FYI, this week I've cycled, I've driven, and I've seen idiots in both camps. Hopefully, whichever mode I've used, I've been courteous. Also, I've walked around town, and if you may allow me a rant, these days I find myself fulminating more at the cretins that walk with their heads buried in a screen and expecting every other pavement user to move out of the way to avoid a collision. kingstonpaul
  • Score: 2

4:39am Sat 6 Sep 14

Beverly RA says...

The only part of this is our river frontage will be ruined , We have the best river frontage of any Town on the Thames . Now thats under threat. Give residents a say on this element of the program for many of us will fight it tooth and nail at the Planning stage.
The only part of this is our river frontage will be ruined , We have the best river frontage of any Town on the Thames . Now thats under threat. Give residents a say on this element of the program for many of us will fight it tooth and nail at the Planning stage. Beverly RA
  • Score: -4

9:41am Sat 6 Sep 14

Bigdai100 says...

Beverly RA wrote:
The only part of this is our river frontage will be ruined , We have the best river frontage of any Town on the Thames . Now thats under threat. Give residents a say on this element of the program for many of us will fight it tooth and nail at the Planning stage.
Most cycling groups agree that the board-walk is an impractical gimmick and there are bigger priorities than that
[quote][p][bold]Beverly RA[/bold] wrote: The only part of this is our river frontage will be ruined , We have the best river frontage of any Town on the Thames . Now thats under threat. Give residents a say on this element of the program for many of us will fight it tooth and nail at the Planning stage.[/p][/quote]Most cycling groups agree that the board-walk is an impractical gimmick and there are bigger priorities than that Bigdai100
  • Score: 0

5:52am Thu 11 Sep 14

Foo Bear says...

This is an extravagant amount of money to spend on a pet/fantasy project while at the same time Kingston Council can not provide adequate care within the community, nor a single bus station, nor resolve the problem of congestion in Eden Street, nor keep the pavements in a good condition, etc, etc.

This scheme amounts to a license for aggressive thugs on wheels. We have already reached the point where pedestrians have to defend themselves against the yobbish behaviour of a good proportion of these cyclists attracted by the road races; they seem to think and act as if the races are still on-going.

If this scheme goes ahead, it will only be a matter of time until a pedestrian, probably elderly, is killed by a cyclist, with Boris Johnson's, Richard Hudson's, and Liz Green's legacies smeared with innocent blood.
This is an extravagant amount of money to spend on a pet/fantasy project while at the same time Kingston Council can not provide adequate care within the community, nor a single bus station, nor resolve the problem of congestion in Eden Street, nor keep the pavements in a good condition, etc, etc. This scheme amounts to a license for aggressive thugs on wheels. We have already reached the point where pedestrians have to defend themselves against the yobbish behaviour of a good proportion of these cyclists attracted by the road races; they seem to think and act as if the races are still on-going. If this scheme goes ahead, it will only be a matter of time until a pedestrian, probably elderly, is killed by a cyclist, with Boris Johnson's, Richard Hudson's, and Liz Green's legacies smeared with innocent blood. Foo Bear
  • Score: -2

5:58am Thu 11 Sep 14

Foo Bear says...

Bigdai100 wrote:
Its been over 6 months since the money was awarded and still there is no sign of any work starting. We are hearing that RBK is revising some of the schemes to add non-cycling urban improvements.
The cyclists of Kingston (indeed the UK) desperately need safer roads. Please get on with
I agree that efforts need to be made to improve road safety for cyclists, but only where this is both feasible and affordable. What we do not need is a "Le Mans for cyclists" in the heart of Kingston town centre.

The scheme may have been well thought through with respect to design, and physical environment, but it takes no account of the aggressive behaviour of the modern day cyclists.
[quote][p][bold]Bigdai100[/bold] wrote: Its been over 6 months since the money was awarded and still there is no sign of any work starting. We are hearing that RBK is revising some of the schemes to add non-cycling urban improvements. The cyclists of Kingston (indeed the UK) desperately need safer roads. Please get on with[/p][/quote]I agree that efforts need to be made to improve road safety for cyclists, but only where this is both feasible and affordable. What we do not need is a "Le Mans for cyclists" in the heart of Kingston town centre. The scheme may have been well thought through with respect to design, and physical environment, but it takes no account of the aggressive behaviour of the modern day cyclists. Foo Bear
  • Score: 0

6:00am Thu 11 Sep 14

Foo Bear says...

Bigdai100 wrote:
The whole purpose of mini-hollands is separate both sensible and idiot cyclists from the same road space as idiot and sensible motorists
I support separation of cyclists from road traffic, but who will protect the pedestrian from cyclists that do not observe the road code and switch to pedestrian pavements without a care for others?
[quote][p][bold]Bigdai100[/bold] wrote: The whole purpose of mini-hollands is separate both sensible and idiot cyclists from the same road space as idiot and sensible motorists[/p][/quote]I support separation of cyclists from road traffic, but who will protect the pedestrian from cyclists that do not observe the road code and switch to pedestrian pavements without a care for others? Foo Bear
  • Score: -1

6:08am Thu 11 Sep 14

Foo Bear says...

Beverly RA wrote:
The only part of this is our river frontage will be ruined , We have the best river frontage of any Town on the Thames . Now thats under threat. Give residents a say on this element of the program for many of us will fight it tooth and nail at the Planning stage.
Good for you.

The proposals for the river are an environmental obscenity; nothing more than a monument to the legacy of "Biker Boris"'s office as Mayor, and an item on his CV for MP.

This scheme will destroy Kingston's river frontage for the whim of an idiot, and because of the weak-will sycophants in the local Conservative Party.
[quote][p][bold]Beverly RA[/bold] wrote: The only part of this is our river frontage will be ruined , We have the best river frontage of any Town on the Thames . Now thats under threat. Give residents a say on this element of the program for many of us will fight it tooth and nail at the Planning stage.[/p][/quote]Good for you. The proposals for the river are an environmental obscenity; nothing more than a monument to the legacy of "Biker Boris"'s office as Mayor, and an item on his CV for MP. This scheme will destroy Kingston's river frontage for the whim of an idiot, and because of the weak-will sycophants in the local Conservative Party. Foo Bear
  • Score: -1

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