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Croydon cycling campaigner urges council to submit best possible bid for funding

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CYCLING campaigners are urging the council to put in "the strongest bid possible" to make Croydon one of Boris Johnson's "mini Hollands".

The Mayor of London has announced a £913 million, 10-year plan to transform cycling in the capital, including promising funding for up to three outer London boroughs.

It could involve a radical redesign of the town centre's roads to showcase how areas can be made cycling friendly.

Last April, Mr Johnson claimed Croydon was "at the top of the list" for Boris Bikes, ahead of four other London boroughs, but is yet to deliver on the plan.

Kristian Gregory, from Croydon Cycling Campaign, is worried the mayor may pledge funding to richer boroughs.

He said: "Now these fantastic plans have been announced, we need to put pressure on the council to make sure they put as much energy into a bid as possible.

"It is such a great opportunity that could transform the relationship between cyclists and drivers."

Mr Gregory, 26, from Thornton Heath, says Croydon roads are not suitable for cycling in their present form.

He added: "It is clear that currently the way the roads are set up creates a lot of hostility towards cyclists.

"But the benefits of cycling are numerous and should not be looked down on.

"As well as the health benefits, it is environmentally friendly and takes the strain off public transport."

Mr Johnson also spoke of his plans to "de-lycrafy" cycling in the capital, words that Mr Gregory believes should inspire Croydon's political elite.

"Part of my worry about any bid is that our councillors and representatives don't seem to cycle themselves," he said.

"Why would they try and push cycling when they all use motorised vehicles themselves?"

Councillor Jason Perry, Croydon Council's cabinet member for transport, dismissed this idea, saying the council is fully committed to making Boris honour his promise.

He said: "We are waiting for clarification as to what the plans actually entail, but I can assure cyclists that we will be putting a lot of our efforts into trying to secure the funding.

"Croydon is a cycling borough and if there is any way we can get £100 million for the council to spend on enhancing that, then of course we would put every possible effort in."

Last year, the Advertiser conducted a commuter challenge, which found cycling to be both the most cost-efficient and quickest way to commute into work during the rush hour.

Croydon cycling campaigner urges council to submit best possible bid for funding


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