A consultation on plans for Cycle Superhighway 11 (CS11) has found that the majority of respondents are in favour. The London Evening Standard reports that out of 6,200 responses, 58 per cent of people supported the project and seven per cent partially supported it, while 35 per cent were opposed.
The cycle superhighway, which would pass through Regent’s Park, has been attracting increasingly vocal opposition. While London Cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, says that it would turn “what is currently a rat run into a nice part of the park," there is a fear amongst some that it would result in gridlock.
A petition against the plans has attracted over 4,000 signatures, while London Zoo has also expressed opposition, claiming that proposed gate closures would make it “extremely difficult” for visitors.
Under the plans, four of the eight park gates would be closed for most of the day, opening only between 11am and 3pm. This aspect was backed by 61 per cent of respondents to the consultation and opposed by 39 per cent.
Gilligan has previously said that overall the scheme is also of benefit to motorists.
"This scheme will turn Regents Park from a traffic rat run back into a park. It will remove the hideous gyratory at Swiss Cottage and replace it with a public space outside the library, and it won’t even slow motorists down.
“If you go on the TfL website, it shows that southbound journeys on the Finchley Road will be ten minutes quicker, at least, because you won’t have to go around the gyratory, and then in the northbound direction it won’t be more than two minutes slower – so overall, anyone who makes a return journey on the Finchley Road, even in a car, will benefit from this scheme."
It will be up to Boris Johnson’s successor as Mayor of London to decide whether to proceed with CS11. Conservative Zac Goldsmith has said he doesn’t see it as a ‘fait accompli,’ drawing accusations that he is the anti-cycling mayoral candidate.
“I do not consider Cycle Superhighway 11 a ‘fait accompli’ and if elected I will ask TfL to clearly demonstrate that they have taken a holistic look at the combined impact of not just this scheme but also the construction work associated with HS2 and other developments on pollution, local buses and the school run.
“I will be a mayor who will invest in making cycling easier and safer. Under Boris, cycling has doubled, and under my watch it will need to double again. The question is not if we accommodate cycling and make it safer, the question is how.
“I expect the Cycle Superhighways to do a great job, but policy needs to be based on evidence, and if residents’ fears about congestion are borne out, then we will have to look again. We need a cycling programme that works for everyone.”