A row has erupted between Boris Johnson and Labour councillors in Hammersmith and Fulham over the extension of the London Mayor’s cycle hire scheme in the borough.
Bikes and docking stations are due to be rolled out in the borough next year as part of a capital-wide expansion.
But the borough’s Opposition members, led by Labour leader Stephen Cowan, are furious at the £2million cost to the council and will demand the scheme is blocked at a full council meeting on Wednesday.
Mr Cowan accused the ruling Tory group of doing ‘their friend’, Mr Johnson, a ‘grubby favour’.
The London-wide scheme is sponsored by Barclays Bank and Mr Cowan stormed: “Why they are giving public money to anything to do with the recently discredited Barclays Bank is hard to fathom.
“This looks like a grubby favour done to help their close friend Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London.
“You have to ask yourself what type of incompetent, spendthrift, public-money-squandering bozo negotiated such a deal that it can only go-ahead if a small borough like Hammersmith and Fulham hands over £2million of extremely scarce resources?”
Mr Johnson dismissed the criticism as ‘political’, while a spokesman for the Conservative group said the cost would be covered by money that was coming from developers.
He added: “This is a disgraceful attack on London’s wildly popular bike hire scheme. In an Olympic year, when everyone else is out cycling, Labour alone wants to stop people using Boris Bikes. Cycling has fantastic advantages for the environment and is easing traffic overcrowding on buses and Tubes.”
Mr Cowan said developers’ money, given to the council when Westfield was built, could be better spent ‘improving local infrastructure, investing in critical services or sorting out the borough’s finances.
About 70 sites throughout the borough are being considered for docking stations, which are due to be open by next summer.