Transport for London's proposals for Cycle Superhighway 11 have proved controversial for local residents and indeed among some cyclists.
Consultation recently closed on proposals to:
The proposals provoked a strong reaction among residents of St John's Wood and Hampstead, who accused TfL of a fait accompli, of presenting misleading traffic modelling results and of not undertaking a suitable environmental assessment. Their main concern is that barring the park to through motor traffic will produce traffic chaos elsewhere. Hampstead-based actor Tim Conti said: "This is the beginning of some kind of Soviet idea to ban all vehicular traffic from London." A contributor to NW8-mums wrote: "Should you need to be at the doctor or dentist in the early morning there is very little likelihood that you will be able to get there [to Marylebone] from St Johns Wood in under 90 minutes, as you will be stuck with all the traffic coming in to town at that time in the morning."
St John's Wood residents claim that, when Maccelesfield Bridge was closed to motor traffic in 2014 to allow work on a water main (see photo above), there was widespread traffic chaos and congestion.
Business owners and residents have now begun legal action against TfL by sending them a 'letter before claim'.
Meanwhile Camden LCC organized a successful demonstration in Park Square East in support of the Cycle Superhighway. (Photo: Alex Ingram) Campaigner Mustafa Arif said "A couple of thousand of residents – out of hundreds of thousands – are kicking up a big stink. They are either dinosaurs addicted to their cars, or they are in thrall to dinosaurs whose favour they want to curry. The fact is most residents do not own a car. "
Sports cyclists who ride around the Outer Circle (see photo above) also threatened not to support the Cycle Superhighway. Their main concern was the proposal to build road tables at the junctions around the Outer Circle and in particular the proposed use of granite setts. These create difficulties for cyclists on road bikes, as well as small-wheeled bikes such as Bromptons. We understand that the Royal Parks, the main proponents of the tables, have now offered to build some experimental ones using different materials in order to gauge their suitability for cycling over.
We would like to thank those of you who responded to TfL's consultation. They will now be analysing the public response to decide whether or not to proceed with the scheme.