Ham&High reader’s comment: Court’s decision on CS11

An artist's impression of CS11 at Swiss Cottage. Picture: TfL

An artist's impression of CS11 at Swiss Cottage. Picture: TfL - Credit: Archant

I refer to Simon Munk’s article, “Those who blocked CS11 should ‘reflect hard’ as more risk future injuries or death”, writes Jessica Learmond-Criqui, local campaigner, full address supplied:

Mr Munk refers to CS11 being blocked by the Court of Appeal upholding the High Court’s decision. Actually, what the High Court did (with the CofA refusing to intervene) was to recognise that Westminster’s requests over three years for information on the true impact of rat running in their neighbourhoods (which TfL refused to provide) was a legitimate basis to revoke TfL’s decision to proceed with Swiss Cottage alone. The judgement was a humiliating and searing indictment of TfL’s processes and any attempt to push blame on to Westminster, who stood up for their residents, is cowardly and fails to grasp the essential nature of the judgement.

Mr Munk suggests that TfL’s modelling is a worst case scenario. This is wrong. TfL confirmed in stakeholder meetings that the impact on some residential roads would be worse than shown in the data they provided. They did not model all residential roads and areas running adjacent to CS11 which were certain to be recipients of up to an extra ‘500 vehicles plus’ an hour, despite even Westminster’s local Labour MP demanding that TfL produce such information. Mr Munk suggests the outcome is a “do nothing” alternative, but nothing could be further from the truth. CS11 was due to cost tens of millions of pounds. We all want safer cycling, but there are far more pragmatic and cost-effective ways to deal with safety, reducing Mayor Khan’s £1bn deficit including:

• imposing a blanket 20 mph speed limit enforced by speed cameras

• extending the pedestrian/cycle phases of some of the pedestrian crossing lights

• adding one extra controlled pedestrian crossing on Adelaide Rd

• better publicising the availability of “Cycle Quietways”, particularly Quietway 3 as an alternative route for cyclists heading for Central London from the NW of Camden and Brent.

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A scheme introducing safer cycling at the gyratory was presented to TfL and to Camden by one resident but was dismissed, despite maintaining all the TfL Swiss Cottage proposed cycle lanes. Residents remain committed to working with TfL on a scheme which works for everyone, which does not have the rat running and poor air quality consequences of CS11. TfL need to listen to residents and local councils, be open and transparent with data, weigh interests fairly and follow due process.