West London Greens call for Transport for London to take control of Kensington High Street from the local council to save a trial cycle lane and prevent the council from wasting public money on its removal.
The KHS cycle lane was developed in collaboration between the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and TFL. It was meant to be in place for a six-month trial period, with some upgrades to junctions still to be implemented, but RBKC announced on the weekend that the scheme will be ended after just six weeks. The council argues that many residents and businesses oppose the scheme, but no reliable survey has been conducted to verify this. TFL data shows that there was no increased congestion on Kensington High Street during the trial, contrary to claims be the council.
“The council says the scheme has not helped local businesses, but most businesses were closed due to lockdown in recent weeks,” says Zack Polanski, the West London Green Party candidate for the London Assembly Election. Zack added: “We do know that the number of cyclists using KHS has doubled in this short period, leading to fewer cars on the roads, less air pollution and healthier active travel. Why would you stop this trial when it seems to be working?”
Local schools such as Fox Primary(1) and the Imperial College (2) have demanded for the lane to be saved as it enables staff and students to commute safely. Angry residents took to social media to demand a re-think from council transport leaders.
“The cycle lane has made a massive difference, encouraging many people to cycle on KHS for the first time”, says Kensington Green Party activist Fabian Frenzel. ”Cycle lanes are needed to prevent death and serious injury caused by motor traffic and to make people feel safe on London’s streets.”
“The council is paying lip service to promoting active travel, but sadly it appears that the pressure from a few wealthy car owners has won over common sense in RBKC once again. The council is failing us.”, Frenzel added.