Campaigners urge Camden Council to intervene over CS11 plans

What CS11 could look like once it is built. Picture: TfL

What CS11 could look like once it is built. Picture: TfL - Credit: Archant

Community campaigners are demanding Camden councillors intervene to reduce the impact of the Cycle Superhighway 11 (CS11) as the High Speed 2 rail route (HS2) is going full speed ahead.

Jessica Learmond-Criqui

Jessica Learmond-Criqui - Credit: Archant

Objectors to Transport for London’s CS11 project held an urgent meeting in Belsize Park on Tuesday night as the HS2 route got Royal Assent this week.

They warned of the years of “immeasurable” knock on effects of gridlock and chaos coming to residential roads in Hampstead, Regent’s Park, Haverstock, Gospel Oak, Primrose Hill, Belsize Park and Swiss Cottage if plans go ahead at the same time.

The 2.5-mile CS11 cycling route between Swiss Cottage and Portland Place would see the gyratory at Swiss Cottage removed from autumn 2017, with Avenue Road and parts of Regents Park closed to traffic.

However the scheme still needs approval from Camden Council before it can go ahead.

Map of alternative CS11 scheme with the Swiss Cottage gyratory intact

Map of alternative CS11 scheme with the Swiss Cottage gyratory intact - Credit: Archant

Businessman Clive Beecham, who outlined an alternative plan at the meeting, said: “Camden Council has done an incredible job in fighting a rear guard action on HS2, seeking concessions, building homes to replace those that will be demolished, but they have turned a blind eye to the impact of HS2 when comes to CS11.

“More than 40,000 cars a day go through Finchley Road through six different entry points, HGVs, all kinds of traffic, which will only get worse with HS2.

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“The Swiss Cottage gyratory is a nightmare, I fully accept it’s difficult, but the proposal we’ve been working on for a year keeps every yard of CS11 but it doesn’t have the impact TfL are forcing on the side streets.”

He called on people to put pressure on their local councillors to intervene. “Let them know we will hold them to account at the next election if they don’t do their job of defending you.”

Jessica Learmond-Criqui, a solicitor from Hampstead and a vocal campaigner against the Mayor of London’s cycle scheme added: “TfL should have done their consultation including the full impact of HS2. It’ll be only when people can no longer cross the road they will ask ‘how did this happen?’ There remain deep concerns about CS11, the congestion and pollution these plans cause.

“Cars will funnel out of Finchley Road into residential roads.”

But Eugene Regis, a cyclist from West Hampstead, said: “This wasn’t a very busy meeting so there seems to be subsiding interest. No councillors turned up from any party, neither Tory or Labour so there was no political involvement.”

Beatrice Wober, cyclist from Lancaster Grove, said: “It’s going to make for terrible traffic jams unless TfL look at other methods to reduce the traffic.”

Councillor Phil Jones, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and planning at Camden Council, said: “Camden is committed to fighting for the best deal for all our communities.

“We are supportive of CS11 in principle, as it is crucial that we provide new high quality cycle routes to give more people the option to cycle safely. As a result of Camden working with TfL changes have been made to reduce the impact of the scheme on our residents.

“We will continue to work with TfL to fully understand the impact of the scheme and to reduce any negative impacts for our residents as far as possible.”

Nigel Hardy, head of sponsorship, road space management at TfL, said: “Last year when we consulted on the proposals for CS11 there was only a high-level outline of HS2 works. Now that HS2 has received Royal Assent it will soon develop more detailed designs, which will allow proper planning between various agencies.

“We will make sure we under-stand the combined impacts of CS11 and HS2 and will manage work in the least disruptive way possible. We have already made several changes to the CS11 proposals to reduce the amount of traffic being relocated onto roads in Hampstead, including around the Royal Free.”