60% support for West-end to central London CS11 connection, but motorist remains on Mayor’s mind

A Cycle Superhighway proposal calling for a continuous connection between Swiss Cottage and London’s West has 60% public backing and will go ahead, TfL has said today.

Held earlier this year, a consultation on the extension of Cycle Superhighway 11 drew 6,277 responses and the positive feedback has now prompted London’s Mayor to ask Transport for London to proceed with its planning for the extension – though further discussions with stakeholders may further slow progress.

Cycle Superhighway 11 would link with the Central London Grid and other cycling routes across London and was developed in close collaboration with the London Borough of Camden, Westminster City Council and The Royal Parks. The proposed changes to road layouts and junctions would make them safer for pedestrians, as well as cyclists and encourage more active travel for people living, working or passing through the area.

Part of the proposals include changing the Swiss Cottage one-way system, as part of TfL’s ongoing review and an upgrade of the Capital’s most dangerous and intimidating gyratories, as well as many other junctions along the route set to gain from new traffic signals, better pedestrian crossings and improved traffic flows.

As with last week’s North-South superhighway extension, The Mayor has asked TfL to continue progressing the plans and continue to speak with stakeholders to address any outstanding issues, particularly about the impact on motorists and local traffic. He has also asked TfL to ensure any plans for construction take on board all lessons learned from the previous routes in terms of minimising disruption.

Impact on motor traffic remained the central objection to the proposals, with 32% outlining this as their main concern. 6% said that they expected Cycle Superhighways to effect the school run. 6% also said they expected a knock on effect of building for active travel to be increased pollution. 2% highlighted that cyclists do not “pay Road Tax”, which doesn’t seem to be a relevant objection given that this tax was abolished in 1937. At present council tax largely funds road infrastructure, though from 2017 a new ‘road fund’ will come into force, meaning taxes on emissions will once again be spent on the network. Low polluting vehicles will still contribute a lowered share.

The strongest and most sustained objections largely came from the Stop CS11 campaign, made up of a pool of 15 (1%) respondents. Other objections came from a second unidentified campaign which suggested “There’s no reason why cycle routes should run in straight lines” and that motor traffic should have sole right to use of main roads. The same group in its conclusion asks for independent experts to undertake a thorough analysis for more convenient routes for cyclists.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said of the consultation: “Making cycling easier and safer benefits all of us. Cycle superhighway 11 will play an important role improving the quality of our toxic air, improving Londoners’ health, and make thousands more people feel comfortable cycling. It will link cycling routes in central London to North West London through Camden, making it safer for local people of all ages and backgrounds to make cycling a part of their everyday lives.

“I am determined to learn the lessons from previous cycle superhighway schemes and I’ve asked TfL to continue to work closely with the local councils and stakeholders to ensure we minimise any disruption to motorists and other road users, both during the construction of the scheme and after it’s completed. This includes ensuring changes around Swiss Cottage gyratory benefit car-users who use that busy junction every day. Improving junctions along the busy route will also make the area substantially safer for pedestrians, and we want to continue to work closely with residents as the scheme moves forward.”

As many as 645,000 journeys are now made in the capital by bike daily, according to TfL estimates.