City Hall tries to face down councils blocking cycleways

 

London's City Hall has sent a message to councils that try to block segregated cycle lanes and upgrades to pedestrian crossings, by considering ways to grab control of local roads.

Deputy mayor for transport Heidi Alexander has asked Transport for London (TfL) to investigate whether control of Holland Park Avenue and Notting Hill Gate can be taken from Kensington and Chelsea Council and added to TfL's own 'red routes'.

”Local

The news comes after Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster councils scuppered plans for cycle super highways in their area despite a large number of collisions being recorded.

Kensington and Chelsea withdrew support for a £42m cycleway between Wood Lane and Notting Hill and London mayor Sadiq Khan has lost hope of building a CS11 cycle superhighway between Swiss Cottage and Oxford Circus after Westminster won a court case.

A cycleway on the borough boundary at the bottom of Holland Park is still an option.

Adding more roads to TfL's strategic ‘red route’ network would involve approval from the transport secretary; however City Hall appears keen to send a message to recalcitrant authorities it accused of 'holding the city to random'.

The controversial Holland Park scheme that the local authorities cancelled is the kind of situation where the mayor's office wants to keep 'all options on the table'.

Sources said there have been 293 collisions over the last three years there alone, and the vast majority of serious injuries have been to cyclists and pedestrians.

TfL statistics revealed a 14% annual rise in cyclists killed or seriously injured. There were 12 cycle deaths and 771 serious injuries last year, compared with 10 fatalities and 675 serious injuries in 2017.

Ms Alexander said: 'When it comes to saving lives on the capital’s roads, tackling our toxic air and improving the environment, nothing should be taken off the table. That is why the mayor is exploring all possible options that are available to him.

'As thousands more people walk and cycle across London, it’s unacceptable that someone’s life may be put at risk simply because they’re stepping across a borough boundary.'

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