London’s deputy mayor for transport, Heidi Alexander, has attacked Westminster council after it sought and won permission for a judicial review of CS11, delaying improvement work. Campaigners now fear that the project could be “kicked into the long grass” and say there could be further collisions involving cyclists in the meantime.
Tim Mitchell, a Westminster councillor, told the London Evening Standard: “We are worried that CS11 in its current form will cause traffic displacement, increase congestion and lead to poorer air quality. We are not anti-CS11 or cycling, but we want TfL to take the time to deliver something that works for both cyclists and residents.”
Work that would otherwise have started at Swiss Cottage has now been delayed, pending the outcome of a judicial review on September 6.
Speaking at the hearing at which the review was granted, Mr Justice Holgate said that one authority taking the other to court was “like nothing I’ve seen before.”
He urged the two parties to have informal talks and said they should be working together to agree the scheme. “Why is the court being troubled by this?” he asked.
Alexander said the decision to seek a judicial review was “a disgrace,” adding, "it will not be possible to make our roads safer if we are taken to court by other public authorities."
Referring to the decision to grant a review, she said: “I can’t undo what happened last week but I will do everything in my power to ensure that we bring down the rate at which pedestrians and cyclists are killed and seriously injured on London’s streets.”
Simon Munk from the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) told Ham&High: “There’s a risk of this being kicked into the long grass. We have seen the Swiss Cottage gyratory have an awful safety record. It needs to be sorted.”
He does however believe that the cycle superhighway will ultimately get the go-ahead.
“Research shows that they are beneficial,” he said. “There’s no reason other cycle superhighways would be approved, only for the courts to say ‘well, you can’t do this one’ for CS11.”