Haverstock Hill cycle lanes: Council reviews impact of new transport guidance
PUBLISHED: 11:42 19 November 2020
Plans for cycle lanes in Haverstock Hill should be rethought in light of guidance released by the Department for Transport (DfT) last week, according to the opposition on Camden Council.
Camden Council green lit plans for the controversial cycle lanes which will run on both sides of the road between Prince of Wales Road and Pond Street, despite opposition from local business-owners and councillors.
Businesses in Haverstock Hill said they feel they were not adequately consulted.
Lisa Hauck, who runs a hair salon, said customers have told her they would stay away if the new lanes are implemented.
“I’m quite shocked,” she said. “I didn’t know that local politicians could do things without talking to local people.”
READ MORE: Camden approves Haverstock Hill cycle lanes
On November 13, the DfT released updated guidance emphasising that councils must “publish plans to show how they will consult their communities” and “show evidence of appropriate consultation prior to schemes being implemented”. The Haverstock Hill scheme has yet to be implemented.
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A council spokesperson said it was too early to say how the new government guidance would affect the scheme.
Cllr Oliver Cooper (Con, Hampstead Town) said: “Labour said Conservative councillors were ‘obsessed with process’ for wanting big decisions to be made in public and with the public’s input.”
He criticised Camden’s “dictatorial approach” and added: “This revised guidance shows that Labour’s obsession with secrecy doesn’t just ignore residents, but ignores the law too.”
Cycling groups and the Royal Free Hospital are among those to have backed the plans.
Camden’s environment chief Cllr Adam Harrison has said the move is vital to help more people to safely cycle, and said last week: “Making covid-related transport changes on an experimental basis allows us to listen to residents’ feedback and tweak things as we go.”
Sir Keir Starmer, Labour leader and Holborn and St Pancras MP, told this newspaper he is supportive of the new traffic schemes being rolled out.
“Whenever they are introduced, they always cause a degree of pushback and then they settle down,” he said. “We have to look at this – the council have to keep a careful eye on it.”
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