Mixed Response to Cycleway Plans at Public Exhibition

Visitors to event at the Bush Theatre divided on merits of £42mn scheme

CGI of the scheme on Holland Park Avenue

West Londoners have expressed a mixture of anger and approval for TfL’s major proposal for a two-lane cycle way from White City to Notting Hill.

The 2.3-mile route, that would pass the former BBC TV studios in Wood Lane and the Westfield Shopping Centre, was unveiled last month.

This week at the Bush Theatre in Shepherd’s Bush, Transport for London (TfL) hosted the third of its public exhibitions. Locals quizzed planners about details of the £42.2 million scheme, such as asking how many mature trees would be felled and quizzing officers about changes to pedestrian crossings, and bus stop relocations.

There was talk of residents groups in Holland Park joining forces to oppose the plans. A resident who asked to be named only as Mark said he was part of an “action group” that thought the cycle ways would ruin “iconic” neighbourhoods along Holland Park Avenue.

“We’re completely against the scheme,” said the 43-year-old. “A similar scheme was defeated in Swiss Cottage. People were shown data that said huge volumes of traffic would be diverted to residential side roads. So the traffic and the air pollution will just be pushed away.

“They’re going to cut down trees around Holland Park, and the aesthetic there is iconic.”

Another Holland Park resident, Gabrielle, 70, said pollution “would get worse” if traffic was “back-to-back” once the roads were made narrower. TfL has said 23 trees will also be cut down along the route in Notting Hill Gate.

Ruth Mayorcas

Ruth Mayorcas, 66, said she lives in Chiswick but “cycles everywhere”.

“I would definitely use this route. And I think people will use them more and more in future. The only people who object are people who rely on cars themselves, but don’t think about everyone else.”

Ms Mayorcas also thought some mature trees along the route were “not fit for purpose”. “They’re too big and haven’t been pruned properly and have big roots. I’m all for greening areas but not always partial to retaining trees,” she said.

CGI of proposed cycle route at Shepherd's Bush Green

Bike shop owner and London Cycling Campaign coordinator, Casey Abaraonye, said, “I’ve looked at a couple of little details that might need revising, but overall they’re great.”

The Fulham resident added: “Pretty much everyone you speak to will say this is a very dangerous route, and I’ve witnessed two collisions on it. There’s also two schools on the route in Holland Park that will benefit.”

Casey Abaraonye

Stephen Scuplak, 56, who lives near the Shepherd’s Bush roundabout, said he “can’t believe anyone would oppose it”.

He added, “These changes are inevitable, it’s bleeding obvious, so we should just get on and do it.”

Another Holland Park resident, Andrea, a branding consultant, said: “I think it will be complex and confusing for people. You’ll have two sets of traffic going in both directions, the bikes and the cars. You’ll have to keep looking both ways.”

CGI of proposed cycle route in Wood Lane

Nigel Hardy from TfL said: “Our proposals for Holland Park Avenue and Notting Hill Gate would create much safer and more welcoming high streets for people to walk, cycle and spend time in.

“We know 75% of congestion is caused by too much demand for limited street space, and without action this will get worse. The best way to combat congestion in London is by enabling more people to use more efficient ways of moving, such as walking, cycling and public transport.”

He added: “The removal of trees has been carefully considered and has only been proposed where absolutely necessary. At least as many trees would be planted in the area as removed.”

The new cycle way would also connect to an Acton-to-Wood Lane route that is due for completion later this year, creating a 4.6-mile continuous track.

Visit TfL’s website to find out more about the specific proposals for Wood Lane, Shepherd’s Bush, Holland Park and Notting Hill:

Owen Shepherd - Local Democracy Reporter


June 7, 2019