With £200M, you could make a serious difference to cycling in London. Hundreds of miles of segregated routes, safe junctions, the whole nine yards.
Well, it might surprise you to learn that Boris Johnson claims to have spent exactly that sum on "cycling safety of one kind or another" whilst in office.
Where did it all go? Even if you count the Cycle Superhighways that comes to nowhere near £200M. And they are so inadequate in terms of safety that although the blue paint has barely had time to dry, they are already subject to a safety review. Johnson cancelled much of the remaining LCN+ work, and the CSHs to date have cost about £40M if memory serves. So what has he got to show for the other £160M? Cycling has got more dangerous over recent years, on an absolute and a per-trip basis, after a long downward trend in casualty figures (see here).
Boris has in the past accused Ken Livingstone of wasting money. In my book, Boris has wasted £200M. Not only has improved safety not been delivered in terms of casualty rates, the infrastructure doesn't feel any safer, and I'm really struggling to think of any improvements on the roads I ride that have been made in the last four years. Except the new layout of Lambeth Bridge, but that was done at the same time as the bridge was resurfaced, involved nothing more than different white lines, and therefore cost close to nothing if you don't count design costs. Well, closer to nothing than £160M, anyway.
Which leads me to one conclusion. Somewhere in London, there is a cycle lane that's paved with gold and studded with diamonds. Let me know if you see it.