In an extraordinarily robust statement London’s Cycling Commissioner Will Norman has slammed a decision by councillors from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) to pull their support of a £42-million cycleway scheme in the borough. Norman called the decision–made at a public meeting on June 13– a “disgrace” and a “cynical political stunt” adding that “people will die” because of the decision.
The RBKC council had previously supported a public consultation on plans for a cycleway on Holland Park Avenue and Notting Hill Gate, but at a meeting organized by the Kensington Society at the borough’s Town Hall the council’s support was withdrawn. An agenda for the meeting stated the society’s opposition to the 7.
6-kilometer cycleway, including claims that constructing curb-separated infrastructure would delay motorists because of congestion and would reduce retail takings. The council’s u-turn, heavily influenced by Kensington Society’s opposition, was announced by RBKC’s lead councillor for transport Tony Devenish.
“The council’s actions are a disgrace,” stated Norman in an official statement from the Greater London Authority. His statement continued: [RBKC] originally supported consulting the public on the plans, and now midway have shamelessly decided to ditch their support, making a mockery of the idea of listening to the public.
People will die and suffer serious injuries as a direct result of this cynical political stunt.” Norman added: Many councils across London are going out of their way to make their streets safer, greener and less polluted places, but Kensington and Chelsea are simply refusing to change. They’re harming the wellbeing of their residents and are quite frankly on the wrong side of history.
” The Kensington Society’s agenda for the meeting claimed that constructing the cycleways would increase “traffic congestion as motorised traffic will be reduced to one lane each way.” The agenda said the council came to this view after looking at the protected cycleway beside the Embankment, close to the Houses of Parliament.
Londons cycling csar Will Norman Transport for London The agenda also claimed there would be “increased air pollution from stationary traffic.” Additionally, according to the society, there would be an adverse “effect on retail outlets along Ladbroke Grove and Notting Hill gate, as customers avoid the increased congestion .
.. [and] people will not be able to park by the shops.” Instead, the society wants Transport for London to create plans for a “one way cycle lane that would be reversed during rush hours [and] a cycle path though parallel side streets.” Opposition to the Notting Hill cycleway has been vocal, including from high-profile celebrities.
. Motoring journalist Jeremy Clarkson and actor Felicity Kendal are among those who have voiced opposition to the scheme. On May 21, Clarkson tweeted: “They’re going to take down all the trees to make life easier for cyclists......