My Department attends regular meetings with London borough councils and representatives of cycling groups to discuss development of the 1,200 mile London cycle network.
Admirable though it certainly is to provide and extend cycling facilities in London, is it not absolute nonsense in a Labour-controlled borough such as mine for more than £300,000 to be spent on a new track which has brought chaos to residents, car drivers and bus drivers, dismay to the police and, above all, danger to cyclists? Should not Merton council have ensured proper consultation and worked towards practical pedalling rather than posture politics?
My hon. Friend forwarded to me correspondence from Councillor Margaret Brierly, who expressed on behalf of residents in Raynes Park in my hon. Friend's constituency concern about the way in which that particular part of the cycle route had been implemented. The case underlines the fact that, however desirable cycling may be—I am grateful for my hon. Friend's endorsement of the principle—it is vital that local authorities proceed on the basis of proper consultation with residents so that we get sensible value for money out of the exercise.