Local elections are fought on local issues and we are told by prospective candidates that CS9 is the number one issue on the doorsteps of W4.
It should be a cross-party issue, but CS9 has become politicised, so we must deal with reality.
The three main parties naturally agree that roads should be safer for all users and that we must all become healthier and more active. But their position on CS9 differs substantially.
- Conservatives: strongly against it, say it disadvantages pedestrians, should be on the A4, and needs a radical re-design or should even be shelved. It’s one of their key campaign issues.
- Labour: approve the scheme with a few changes. Not campaigning on it at all because they know it is unpopular and will lose them votes in W4. They are waiting for the results of the May 3 election when Labour is expected to get an overall majority again and they will then vote a new scheme through.
- Lib Dems: for safe cycling but against this scheme, not least because it will slow down bus journeys and adds to congestion. Believe it would be better to have a one-way cycle track on either side of the CHR rather than a bi-directional lane on the south side. It’s one of their key campaign issues.
Labour candidates are not campaigning on CS9 at all because they support it and know it’s a vote loser. Indeed, one has told us: “I think a few people feel very strongly about it but most are indifferent”.
Not according to the many people we speak to
The only way to counter the “indifference” argument is to lobby the Labour candidates. Write to them during the month of April and telling them what you think of CS9:
- Ruth Mayorcas – email firstname.lastname@example.org Ruth is the prime CS9 supporter in Chiswick and appears on many cycling websites
- Peter Burgess – email email@example.com
- John Stroud-Turp: email firstname.lastname@example.org
You’ve probably already written to all the other key stakeholders. Now it’s time to write again to:
- Will Norman at Tfl – email email@example.com
- Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council – email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mark Frost, Hounslow’s Head of Transport and Traffic – email email@example.com
- Mayor of London – contact details here https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/contacting-city-hall-and-mayor
- Caroline Pidgeon, Deputy Chair of the GLA Transport Committee – email firstname.lastname@example.org
Other ways to lobby:
- Write letters for publication to the local and national newspapers when you see articles about cycling issues and cycle superhighways in particular.
- Ensure any friends living locally know about CS9 and encourage them to lobby too – if everyone contacts five people, who then contact five people each and each of those contact five other people, that’s the way we will grow support.
- If there are any meetings about CS9 during the local election campaign, please make every effort to attend.
- Please ensure you vote on May 3 – and consider voting tactically.
According to our current local councillors, lobbying works. Together we can mitigate the effects of the proposed CS9 route in Chiswick if we all make a stand and start shaking things up.