CS11: Court of Appeal uphold judicial review decision blocking controversial cycle route

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

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

The Court of Appeal have upheld High Court judge Sir Ross Cranston’s ruling that the controversial CS11 cycle route is unlawful in its current form and denied TfL permission to appeal further.

Anti-CS11 campaigners Jessica Learmond-Criqui and Daniel Howard outside the Royal Courts of Justice.

Anti-CS11 campaigners Jessica Learmond-Criqui and Daniel Howard outside the Royal Courts of Justice. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Transport for London (TfL) will be forced to go back to the drawing board as they have now exhausted all legal options available to them.

Last September Sir Ross ruled in favour of Westminster Council who had challenged the route in a judicial review at the High Court.

His ruling focused on a lack of modelling of the traffic impacts of constructing just the Swiss Cottage portion of the route.

In his 16-page judgement, he said TfL’s plan to start work at Swiss Cottage before they had consent for the entirety of the scheme was unlawful – as CS11 was planned as one continuous route.

He said: “The cost benefit/analysis is premised on the whole scheme being implemented.

“Thus one benefit of a cycle superhighway is said to be continuity for cyclists, but if neither the Avenue Road section nor the Portland Place section can be delivered, that will affect the whole benefit and potential use of these parts.”

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Cllr Tim Mitchell, Westminster’s environment and city management chief said it was “time for TfL to get around a table with us”.

He added: “We’re pleased with another decision supporting the council and residents’ right to be heard on CS11.

“We’re worried that CS11 in its current form will cause traffic congestion and lead to poorer air quality. We fully support safe cycling and are making major investments for cyclists within Westminster.

“We’re not anti-CS11 or cycling, but we want TfL to take the time to deliver something that works for both cyclists and residents.”

Proposed to run from Swiss Cottage to Regent’s Park, construction on the route had been set to begin in July 2018, but Westminster Council – supported by local campaigners – obtained an injunction blocking the work and saw their petition for a judicial review granted.

Campaigner Jessica Learmond-Criqui, who was an interested party at the judicial review and has led neighbours’ opposition to CS11, told this newspaper: “It’s fantastic news. It confirms that the decision of Sir Ross Cranston was the right one.

“It has stopped the potential increased congestion and pollution in the largest educational ‘park’ in the world, where there are 12,500 pupils.”

The ruling means TfL will now have to produce traffic modelling for the Swiss Cottage part of CS11 if they are to move forward. This could then lead to further public consultation.

Ben Plowden, the TfL director who signed off the project, said: “We are disappointed that the Court of Appeal has not given TfL permission to appeal against the High Court judgment.

“It is frustrating that our plans for reducing road danger at this junction have been blocked by Westminster Council’s decision to litigate rather than working collaboratively with us.

“We remain committed to improvements towards safer walking and cycling in the area and we will now consider next steps.”