Cycle superhighway CS11 plan ‘will go ahead’ in spite of Regent’s Park stumbling block
PUBLISHED: 18:37 13 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:07 14 December 2017
The mayor of London Sadiq Khan is pushing ahead with plans to build a cycle superhighway in spite of bumps in the road.
Mayor Khan said the CS11 between Swiss Cottage and Portland Place will make it “safer and easier” for cyclists and pedestrians to get around London when he announced in December 2016 construction work would start this year.
The gyratory at Swiss Cottage was scheduled for removal this autumn, while Transport for London (TfL) pledged to change the area’s one-way system as part of plans to modernise one of London’s “most dangerous and intimidating junctions”.
But construction work still has yet to start.
London Assembly member Andrew Dismore this week challenged Mayor Khan over a stumbling block at the Regent’s Park stretch of CS11, pollution and likely impact of traffic in Albany Street.
Mayor Khan explained the hold up is because TfL is not responsible for the Regent’s Park section of the route south of Swiss Cottage with work “ongoing” to agree “a way forward” with The Crown Estate Paving Commission, The Royal Parks, Westminster and Camden.
He added no start date had been confirmed but it remained his intention “to deliver all of CS11”.
A TfL spokesman said: “Ongoing discussions with stakeholders relate to the final design within Regents Park.”
Mayor Khan vowed to see the whole thing through in reply to Mr Dismore’s criticism that “piecemeal” work risks only the Swiss Cottage section of the promised 2.5-mile route to the West End being done.
Solicitor Jessica Learmond-Criqui, who led a protest against CS11 with Hampstead mums and pupils outside St Stephen’s, in Rosslyn Hill, said: “It is unfortunate the Mayor seems to be obsessed with completing CS11 irrespective of the many flaws inherent in its conception and the huge impact of HS2, which he thinks is dealt with by simply a question of planning.
“One cannot plan for 800 lorries a day, let alone all the road closures and bridge disruptions that will have a vast domino effect on the whole area stretching from Albany Street to Hampstead, Kilburn to Camden.
“He projects himself as an anti-pollution champion, yet will consign residents and 12,500 children to a pollution soup as a result of CS11,” she added.
But Justin McKie of Regents Park Cyclists said: “We are disappointed things have not progressed as quickly as they should have, but are hopeful in the end the outcome will be positive for those who want to cycle.
“Massive amounts of people want to get out of their cars and off the bus, but are fearful because Swiss Cottage is a nightmare to get past along with the sheer volume of traffic using Regent’s Park as a cut through.
“Because of the strong arm lobbying that’s been going on, we are potentially going to end up with a situation where Swiss Cottage is done, but the rush hour gate restrictions at the bottom of Avenue Road are not in place. So there will be an incentive for vehicles coming into London to cut through St John’s Wood. This traffic displacement was a key concern for those against the scheme, so it’s ironic that it looks like they will end up causing it.
“In short, there is no CS11 if they don’t restrict cars going through the park at rush hour. The dangers to cyclists will continue to put off people who would like to cycle,” he added.
No start date for construction of CS11 has been confirmed.
TfL stated: “The start of CS11 construction is subject to the formal traffic order process, our internal approvals and governance processes and those of the local highway authorities. We will write to affected properties before construction starts, and aim to minimise disruption wherever possible.”