Withdraws backing due to congestion and pollution concerns
CGI of proposed cycle route in Wood Lane
A meeting organised by the Kensington Society at Kensington & Chelsea Town Hall this Thursday (13 June) was told that the Council had decided not to back Transport for London’s (TfL) plans for a new cycleway. It is believed that the decision means that the plan will not now proceed.
Over 400 people were at the meeting in which the £42mn scheme which would have created a segregated path between Wood Lane and Notting Hill was being discussed. A show of hands suggested that the overwhelming majority of those in attendance were against the project progressing.
Presentations were made from TfL and walking and cycling commissioner Will Norman but the Council concluded that they could not support the plan due to a possibility of increased congestion and worsening pollution.
There had been widespread opposition to the scheme in the local area with particular concern about the loss of trees that would be necessary. Over 20 mature trees were set to be lost, many along Holland Park Avenue. Local businesses had said they thought the cycle lane would damage trade.
GLA Assembly Member Tony Devenish was loudly applauded when he described the plan as a ‘bad scheme’. He said that TfL were not really interested in the views of residents and advised people to respond to consultation and be careful when doing so because he claimed support for any part of a scheme will result in TfL reporting that you support it in its entirety. TfL has been criticised for the way they promoted the consultation with no publicity in local media. They have been accuse of relying on organised support from cycling lobby groups to deliver consultation results which suggest backing for a scheme even though there is a high level of local opposition.
CGI of route on Holland Park Avenue
Supporters of the scheme argued that something needed to be done on this section of road which had seen 275 collisions over the last three years mainly involving cyclists and pedestrians.
Mr Norman said that the Council’s announcement of their stance before the end of the public consultation was a ‘disgrace’ and said that ‘people will die’ as a result of what he called a ‘cynical political stunt’.
He added,“The Council’s stubborn opposition to making the borough safer for cyclists and pedestrians is putting residents at risk.”
Johnny Thalassites, K&C councillor for Transport and Planning, said he was surprised by the aggressive tone of the cycling commissioner and added, "It is not a political stunt to listen to local residents and businesses, reflect their views, and ask for a rethink on their behalf."
The council is consulting on a cycleway plan for Holland Park and is also developing a scheme for a different cycleway on and around Holland Park Avenue and Notting Hill Gate.
It is thought likely that the funding for the scheme will now be withdrawn as it will be difficult for the plan to proceed without the cooperation of the local authority.
CGI of proposed cycle route at Shepherd's Bush Green
Details of the proposals for Wood Lane, Shepherd' Bush, Holland Park and Notting Hill are on TfL' web site.
June 15, 2019