Cash-strapped Sustrans could be about to get poorer still, if the massive hint in a Greater London Authority document released this morning is anything to go by. Human Streets is a legacy document from the GLA and the Mayor Of London’s office detailing the progress made with the London’s £914m Cycling Vision programme. However, the delivery of the Quietways schemes – routes on borough streets, away from TfL’s roads – is criticised in an otherwise glowing document.
Sustrans is singled out in a section headed "Delivering the Quietways programme more directly".
The GLA and the Mayor of London’s office states: "The Superhighways and junctions programmes have worked so well because TfL has its own dedicated teams for each project whose job is to deliver the schemes, to monitor contractors, to keep to timelines, to manage stakeholders and to anticipate problems … The role of Sustrans as delivery agent for the Quietways has added a further layer of complication to the process."
GLA and Boris’ office further complain that "without dedicated teams, many routine interactions simply take too long, problems which could have been nipped in the bud are not resolved quickly enough and ‘Chinese whispers’ build up between the various groups involved. A few unacceptable or wasteful schemes have also slipped through."
It is urged that the "next mayor should bring the delivery of the Quietways programme under the same team in TfL which is successfully delivering the Superhighways and junctions, and TfL should take overall responsibility for delivering the schemes."
Responding to the GLA’s comments, Matt Winfield, Sustrans’ Acting Director for London told BikeBiz: "However it is delivered the outcomes of [the Quietways] programme will always depend on local community and political support."
He added: "Sustrans has provided vital skills and expertise where boroughs don’t have the resources and knowledge. We will continue to focus on this vital work, and not get distracted."