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TfL consultation report on proposed route highlights objections to planned cycleway

A group representing residents of the affluent London district of Holland Park insists that no safe cycling infrastructure should be built there until bike riders are licensed, saying that such routes would encourage “poor cycling behaviour.”

The assertion, from the Holland Park Residents’ Association, was contained in a consultation report published today by Transport for London (TfL) on a proposed cycleway that runs in part through the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC).

TFL summarised the residents’ association’s objections to the scheme in an Appendix to the consultation report as follows:

Called for traffic reducing and calming measures to be provided in Holland Park, with suggestions for specific measures they would like to be introduced.

Called for greater and more rigorous enforcement of speed limits and commented that they felt cyclists do not adhere to the rules of the road.

Suggested that no cycling infrastructure which might encourage poor cycling behaviour should be introduced until cyclists are licensed.

Suggested that London’s road system should be designed to ensure the safety of a majority of road users, and added that cyclists were not (and would not ever be) a majority of road users.

Suggested that cyclists should therefore be routed on ‘back roads’ and that doing so would make the Holland Park area safer.

Suggested that in fact many cyclists would choose not to use the proposed cycling facilities in Holland Park.

Commented that the creation of new cycling infrastructure would not reduced traffic, and suggested that new infrastructure in Holland Park would inhibit traffic flow and reduce air quality.

Criticised the proposal removal of bus stops and suggested that the scheme budget could be better spent on alternative infrastructure elsewhere.

Critical also that there had been limited engagement with stakeholders prior to consultation and that the proposals should be paused until stakeholders could ‘fully scrutinise and test’ them.

At a public meeting in June, RKBC said it could not support the scheme in its original form, just days before the consultation closed, with local residents who opposed the plans including the motoring journalist, Jeremy Clarkson

In a subsequent video posted to YouTube on Drivetribe and filmed on Holland Park Avenue, Clarkson – who is known to ride a bike to and from his home in the leafy London village – opined that “Bikes can f*ck off.”

> Bikes can f*@% off” says Jeremy Clarkson in YouTube rant

The originally proposed route runs from Wood Lane, in the borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, via Shepherds Bush roundabout to Notting Hill Gate , but RKBC has proposed that it avoids Holland Park Avenue – an intimidating section of road for cyclists, particularly eastbound – and instead runs along quieter streets.

Today, publishing its report, TfL said: “We have discussed the outcomes of the consultation with the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. 

“The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham has made clear to us that they support our proposals, and we are now working to finalise our plans. We are not yet in a position to confirm the final designs but will update this page with a summary of the changes once they are agreed.

“We have developed a series of improvements that could be made to our proposals in Kensington & Chelsea, and which we believe would satisfy and resolve the concerns that some people had with our proposals.

“We have had initial discussions with the Royal Borough about these improvements, and intend to discuss them with key local stakeholder groups.

“No decisions have yet been made on whether our proposals with these improvements incorporated could be introduced within the Royal Borough, and discussions will continue with the Royal Borough and local stakeholders.”

TfL's proposals include:

New and upgraded pedestrian crossings

Public space improvements along the route to create more welcoming streets for people and communities to enjoy

Two-way segregated cycle track throughout

Changes to bus stop locations, with removal of some, and layout changes throughout, including new bus stop bypasses for cyclists

Making some side roads entry or exit only to help the safe and timely movement of traffic

Removal of some trees in Notting Hill Gate and Holland Park Avenue to accommodate the facilities with appropriate new trees planted nearby

Changes to parking and loading bays and hours of operation. 

Concluding the consultation report, TfL outlined the next stepsent users.” for the scheme on the section through Holland Park Avenue to Notting Hill Gate.

It said: “We have developed a series of improvements that could be made to our proposals in Kensington & Chelsea, and which we believe would satisfy and resolve the concerns that some people had with our proposals.

“We have had initial discussions with the Royal Borough about these improvements, and intend to discuss them with key local stakeholder groups.

“No decisions have yet been made on whether our proposals with these improvements incorporated could be introduced within the Royal Borough, and discussions will continue with the Royal Borough and local stakeholders.”

In answer to the question, “But has the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea not already decided that they oppose the scheme?,” TfL said: “ The Royal Borough responded to the consultation with a position statement which explained that they could not support the proposals in their original form, and which highlighted several areas of concern they had.

“The Borough also made clear that there were several aspects of the proposals that they potentially would be supportive of; and that they would like to continue to discuss the scheme with us.

“The Royal Borough subsequently confirmed that they had not made a formal decision about the scheme, and that they would do so after they had considered the outcomes of the consultation.”

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.