Simon MacMichael February 27 2018
A consultation into a proposed Cycle Superhighway in west London has generated more than 5,000 responses, with people in favour outnumbering opponents by three to two. The proposals received support from major local employers including Sky UK and Glaxo-SmithKline, while some bizarre grounds were raised in objection.
The route, CS9, is scheduled to run from Kensington Olympia to Brentford, with a later extension planned westwards to Hounslow, with Transport for London (TfL) publishing a report today into a consultation held late last year.
Part of the route passes along Chiswick High Road, where there has been vociferous opposition to the project from some local businesses and residents, as well as Conservative councillors.
Unsurprisingly, that section of the route generated a higher level of responses than any other section under consultation.
But even there 59 per cent of respondents supported the plans, with 43 per cent showing strong support, against 38 per cent who opposed them, 33 per cent strongly.
Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said: “It’s great news that our plans to improve walking and cycling in west London have been backed by Londoners.
“Cycle Superhighway 9 will improve safety for cyclists and make the area more attractive for pedestrians, providing real benefits to the whole community.
“I look forward to working closely with the borough councils to consider all of the responses and develop our plans further,” he added.
Among businesses supporting the route were Brentford-based GlaxoSmithKline, which called for it to be extended westwards to Heathrow Airport – an appeal also made by the airport itself – and at the eastern end to Hyde Park, where it would link with the existing East-West Cycle Superhighway.
That would require a change in attitude from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, however, which has so far resisted calls to allow segregated infrastructure for cyclists to run along Kensington High Street.
The broadcaster Sky UK, which is based in Osterley, also called for the route to run from Hyde Park to Heathrow and said it would encourage visitors and more of its staff to cycle, since it would give them somewhere safe to ride.
Among businesses opposed to the proposals were two that operate buses on behalf of TfL.
One, RATP Dev London – owned by the Parisian equivalent of TfL – said that “as cyclists love using bus lanes, a bus lane should be built from Olympia to Hounslow instead, and suggested this would keep the majority of people happy,” according to the consultation report.
The other, Red Routemaster, “claimed that Cycle Superhighways were the sole cause of slower motor traffic journeys in London, and have increased costs for fuel and driver hours,” the report said.
“They objected to schemes that benefit minority road users and claimed encouraging cycling would increase collisions.”