A demonstration in support of CS11 is to be held in London’s Regent’s Park at 6pm on Friday. Organised by the Outer Circle Action Group, it serves as cyclists’ response to an online petition against the plans which at the time of writing had attracted over 2,300 signatures.
A consultation is currently underway for Cycle Superhighway 11 (CS11), a route from Swiss Cottage to the West End, which includes a stretch around Regent’s Park’s Outer Circle.
London Cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, recently told road.cc that the park was an "infinitely more pleasant route" than the alternative, Finchley Road. "What it does is make what is currently a rat run into a nice part of the park."
Writing on change.org, Daniel Howard says the plans will result in gridlock and asks people to sign his petition, ‘to stop Transport for London from destroying some of the nicest, greenest areas of London and turning a major section of London into a congested car park.’
“This scheme, if allowed to go ahead, will adversely affect local residents, all road users and public transport users in: Finchley Road, Swiss Cottage, Avenue Road, Regents Park, St John's Wood, Baker Street and all surrounding areas by causing TOTAL GRIDLOCK on the roads and increased air pollution to all the affected areas as a result.
“It is strongly suspected that this scheme has been DELIBERATELY designed to cause maximum road congestion and make life as miserable as possible for motorists that we simply abandon our cars and vans and lorries and instead join Boris Johnson and Andrew Gilligan's utopian ‘cycling-vision’.”
The Outer Circle Action Group, which comprises Camden Cycling Campaign, Camden Friends of the Earth, Canal and River Trust, Westminster Cycling Campaign and Westminster Living Streets, takes an opposing view. The group’s ultimate aim is to remove through motor traffic from the Outer Circle of Regent’s Park so as to restore what it says is an environment more appropriate for a park.
Describing CS11 plans as a huge step towards this goal, they are urging people to attend a 45-minute demonstration at Park Square East on Friday. “We need to demonstrate our support in massive numbers to defeat opposition from the NIMBYs and those who simply don’t want to see more cycling, walking and clean air.”
For more information on the demo, click here.
Earlier this week, Boris Johnson was asked by The Guardian which debate had been the more fractious – that surrounding the cycling superhighways or that regarding the EU.
“Oh God, cycling. Unquestionably. The public hostility about the cycle superhighways has been much worse.”
Nevertheless, he clearly has no regrets beyond an early compromise approach with painted lanes. “If I had my time again, and if I knew then what I know now, I would have gone straight in with a massive programme of segregated cycle superhighways. I probably wouldn’t have been re-elected, unfortunately. That’s one thing to consider. But that would have been the right thing to do.”