5 Oct 2017
“There is much to pray about for the world,” says a parish newsletter from the Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Chiswick, West London, “and the 10.30am daily public recitation of the Rosary in church will also be praying for success in turning the plans for CS9 away from the High Road and the church.”
The church is opposed to plans for Cycle Superhighway 9 that Transport for London is planning for this part of West London. Chiswick High Road is a four-lane road with wide pavements. Transport for London proposes to take some space from pedestrians t to create a two-way Cycle Superhighway, and this pass in front of the church.
A poster on the church’s website says: “The pavement outside the church will be reduced to about one third of its current size and the Cycle Superhighway would have right of way. Consider the impact on Sunday mass congregations gather join the pavement, the elderly and families with children vs spending cyclists.”
The poster also complains that the cycleway would obstruct funerals and weddings for there would be “no right of way for carrying the coffin … no right of way for Brides in their wedding dresses.”
“We do not oppose safer access for cyclists, but rather the location where TfL propose to place the superhighway. [We] are also very much in favour of better air quality, which is best achieved by removing cars from the road, rather than restricting pedestrian access. By situating the cycle superhighway on what is the pavement, rather than the road, there is no indication that this would be achieved. Rather, pedestrians are put at risk as the pavement is reduced from 6m to 2.2m, especially if there is no physical separation from between the CS and the pedestrian area. We are in favour of both good air quality and safety, but safety first.”
— Darren Moore (@darrenmoore)
The Facebook posting added that the CS9 route would “threaten our community’s ability to practice the faith, let alone affect children crossing Chiswick High Road to/from school and residents walking to/from local businesses.
The Hounslow Cycling campaign has pointed out to Chiswick’s Our Lady of Grace that encouraging a healthy and pollution-free form of transport is something that should be welcomed:
The campaign group also suggested support for a cycleway would be in keeping with the current Pope’s teachings.
“Pope Francis in an important recent encyclical, Laudato Si’, has asked ‘every person living on this planet’ to engage in an inclusive dialogue to fight against environmental degradation and global warming. He highlights the role of fossil fuels in causing climate change and says that technology based on this ‘needs to be progressively replaced without delay.’ He especially picks out the role of cars ‘raising the level of pollution and consuming enormous quantities of non-renewable energy.'”
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Christian community …
— Great St Mary’s (@GreatStMarys)