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Route to replace scrapped Westway cycle superhighway revealed

New cycling data has identified a new West London cycle route - but campaigners say boroughs may still stand in the way

The proposed route for the long-delayed extension to London’s East-West Cycle Superhighway has been revealed, after the Westway section of the route, proposed by former London mayor, Boris Johnson, was scrapped by the current mayor, Sadiq Khan.

Results of a consultation carried out last Spring have revealed 69 per cent public support for a protected cycle route from Wood Street to West Acton, in West London, as an extension of the East-West cycle superhighway, although concerns have been raised over the proposed use of shared use footways on one side of the A40, and the width of cycle lanes, where provided.

Following publication of its Strategic Cycling Analysis in June, Transport for London (TfL) has also now proposed an alternative cycle route to the Westway flyover, that instead runs along Bayswater Road, Notting Hill Gate, Holland Park Avenue and Wood Lane, on the North side of Hyde Park. The flyover plans were criticised for the absence of entry and exit points along the structure, and campaigners have welcomed the new route, so long as TfL can work with boroughs and build the route to a sufficiently high quality.

However, in March a funding document revealed the extension to the popular route would not be completed until 2021.

E-W cycle superhighway extension won't be built until 2021

A TfL report on the consultation notes the importance of a cycle route in the area.  It says: “The area surrounding the A40 Westway/Western Avenue is undergoing significant development and regeneration, at sites such as Old Oak and Park Royal, and Imperial College London’s White City Campus. These schemes will greatly increase future demand for pedestrian and cycle facilities in the immediate area. We will consider this expected increase when revising our plans.”

The extension to the major cycle route which, in Central London, carries more cyclists than the adjacent road in rush hour, using a quarter of the road space, was thought scrapped, after Khan announced it would not run on the TfL-owned Westway. The East-West Cycle Superhighway was the flagship cycling scheme of former mayor, Boris Johnson, and was originally intended to run 18 miles, from Barking in East London to Acton in the West.

The London Cycling Campaign’s infrastructure campaigner, Simon Munk, says a West London cycle route is “massively overdue”. He told “We have said all along we believe essentially that West London is under supplied with Cycle Superhighways; there aren’t enough all over London, but there is a real gap in the network here.”

The Westway route was proposed because it is controlled by Transport for London, and surrounding boroughs have historically been resistant to protected cycle infrastructure on their roads.

Munk says: "If TfL are now saying those boroughs are now playing ball, and we have a realistic shot at getting appropriate provision on those roads for all ages, all abilities, we will absolutely support that."

However, he warned, "there is a risk we lose the Westway and don’t gain something nearby."

Many respondents to the consultation on the Wood Lane to Acton route raised concerns over a reduced quality of provision in comparison to the wide, kerb-protected routes built under the previous London mayor, and former cycling commissioner, Andrew Gilligan. Issues raised included concerns cycle tracks were too narrow, where proposed, and that shared space with pedestrians will result in conflict.

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