Hampstead actress Janet Suzman lambasts cycle superhighway CS-11
- Credit: Polly Hancock
Hampstead actress Janet Suzman has blasted Transport for London (TfL) for its determination to press ahead with Cycle-Superhighway 11 (CS-11) without factoring the likely construction of High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) into their modelling.
The actress, who lives in Keats Grove, is best known for her theatre work, and has now directed her dramatic turn of phrase onto TfL.
She said: “Their model is faulty.The government is forcing this stupid railway through against all sensible opposition and what with CS-11 and HS2, we will all be dead with dust emphysema if we’re not already dead from exhaust fumes as the whole are grinds to an angry halt.”
Ms Suzman suggests a less drastic scheme to improve cycling than CS-11, which proposes to remove the Swiss Cottage gyratory, narrow the roads for motorists and partially close Regents Park to vehicles.
She said: “This northern gateway into London is so very busy that common sense demands a simpler and this less vindictive solution.
“Those who pass through it on their merry way should have cycle lanes commensurate with the width of their machines – narrow enough not to squash a highway to a standstill. Regents Park should not become a velodrome. The gyratory should not be undone.”
She urged TfL to work with what is already there in order to achieve the same ends as CS-11 and provide a continuous cycling link between Swiss Cottage and the West End.
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Ms Suzman suggests: “Take a little more space from a too-wide pavement and marry it with a little space from an existing road. Find parallel roads to main arteries for the bikers where possible.
“Don’t make a three-lane road a two lane road – it leads to congestion, cardiac infarctions and death-dealing pollution, and then how would the great Royal Free cope?”
Ms Suzman said it was disingenuous of TfL to count more than 3,700 signatures against CS-11 as a single objection in its consultation results.
She said: “Those partially supportive, and I hazard a guess here, would prefer everyone to be fitter and the pollution levels to drop, but not to the total detriment of residents who don’t – or can’t – bike.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has not yet said the scheme will definitely go ahead – and has indicated he may yet be prepared to modify the proposal.
Ms Suzman said: “Mayor Khan is an honourable and sensible man. He should properly review the worst excesses of this scheme and quell them – he’s the boss. We don’t just pass through – we live here.”
Ms Suzman’s comments were made as it was revealed the O2 Centre car park is one of seven sites under consideration by HS2 Ltd for a lorry holding area – which could bring hundreds of lorry movements a day into the area for years to come.