Tag: Cycle Superhighway

Ditch it or switch it carries the day at Ask the Candidates public meeting

More than 120 people attended our meeting with Local Elections candidates which was organised to help W4 residents and business owners decide on who to vote for at the ballot box on May 3.

Chaired by Susannah Simons, the former BBC Radio, Channel 4 & Classic FM presenter, there were 11 panellists from the four main parties.

They were Daniel Goldsmith, Green Party Chiswick Riverside; Francis Beddington, LibDems Chiswick Riverside; Guy de Boursac, LibDems Chiswick Riverside; Joanna Biddolph, Conservative Turnham Green; John Stroud-Turp, Labour Turnham Green; Leigh Edwards, LibDems Turnham Green; Nick FitzPatrick, Labour Chiswick Homefields; Ron Mushiso, Conservative Turnham Green; Ranjit Gill, Conservative Turnham Green; Sam Hearn, Conservative Chiswick Riverside; and Tom White, Labour Chiswick Riverside.

Notably absent from the meeting was Ruth Mayorcas, Labour candidate for Turnham Green, who is the biggest cheerleader for CS9. Candidate Mayorcas has even questioned the existence of this Group on the basis that none of us know what Tfl’s revised scheme will look like. So, she argues, there’s no point in any of us having any meetings until we do.

We have two issues with that position.

Voters have a right to question their candidates so that they can make informed decisions on who they want to represent them. And Tfl doesn’t have a track record of putting Mark II cycle lane schemes out for consultation.

So, back to the meeting then.

After a lively 90-minute question and answer session with the candidates, the audience was asked to vote on three different scenarios. Here’s what transpired.

Are you for or against CS9 in its current form?

The motion against CS9 in its current form was carried by a significant majority. Only three people voted for the current scheme. This reflects the Tory position.

Should Tfl improve CS9 design on the High Road to ensure cyclists, pedestrians and public transport receive demonstrable benefit and are not disadvantaged?

The Nos carried the vote against this option, although close to 40 percent of the room agreed that they would like to see a scheme that benefited all parties. The latter reflects the LibDem and Labour positions.

Would you prefer the scheme to be scrapped altogether?

The majority of the audience said Yes, they’d prefer the scheme to be scrapped altogether, with some calling for the Cycle SuperHighway to be built along the A4 instead.

CS9

Ditch It or Switch It

Hounslow Council has announced that a decision on the proposed controversial Cycle Superhighway (CS9) in Hammersmith and Chiswick will be deferred until after the local elections in May.

On January 11 we met with Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of the Council, who confirmed that a decision will not be taken until the summer at the earliest, and that the Council is still open to letters and views from members of the community regards the proposed Cycle Superhighway.

RedesignCS9 is urgently seeking to raise wider local awareness about the Tfl scheme and to air the views of hundreds of local residents and business owners in Chiswick and Hammersmith. Many have never been informed of the public consultation by Tfl, despite claims of “an extensive marketing and community engagement campaign.”

RedesignCS9 maintains that the Tfl consultation, which opened on September 21 and closed on October 31 2017, was not transparent and obvious interest groups that should have been consulted were not. Tfl is due to publish a report about its consultation next month (February). Several petitions opposing the current plans have since been launched.

We welcome Hounslow Council’s deferment of a decision on CS9 which allows for a serious rethink of the current proposals. RedesignCS9 will now be launching a public campaign to set out our concerns and better inform local residents and businesses of the impact of a cycle superhighway running through Hammersmith to Chiswick.

Cllr Curran and head of traffic and transport for Hounslow, Mark Frost, have told us that the Council is still open to emails, letters and meetings with community members and business owners as part of the decision making process, which ultimately lies with the Council. They assure us that the Council is a long way off making a decision and that the scheme is highly unlikely to progress in its present form.

We’ve been informed that a Cabinet decision will be based on the available technical evidence and professional advice. It is therefore incumbent on local tax payers to present robust evidence to show Tfl and our elected representatives why a two-way cycle track along Chiswick High Road is a dangerous and unfeasible option for all parties involved.

RedesignCS9’s position is that the current CS9 Cycle Superhighway will adversely impact the local community because:

  • The scheme discriminates against pedestrians and public transport users with little evidence of demand or key impact assessments undertaken
  • It creates a dangerous obstacle course for pedestrians especially the old, infirm, those with mobility issues, auditory and sight impairment; pushchair users and the very young
  • Bus journey times, pollution, traffic congestion and noise levels will rise as a result, by Tfl’s own admission
  • A two way cycle track on the southern pavement of Chiswick High Road represents significant risks to both cyclists and pedestrians who will be forced to cross it to reach and leave floating bus islands
  • The design is fundamentally at odds with the Healthy Streets Approach adopted by Tfl
  • The scheme severely limits access to businesses and Our Lady of Grace & St Edward Catholic Church on the southern side, affecting peak use during holidays and ceremonies in particular
  • It will also have an adverse impact on the present evening economy, the use of street pavements and street market traders

RedesignCS9 is calling for an alternative scheme to keep local and passing cyclists of all abilities safe by using alternative and existing, but neglected routes and without degradation of Chiswick High Road. Hounslow Cycling, for example, continues to ask for protected cycle routes along the A4 and A316 linked together at the Hogarth Roundabout.

If implemented, the proposed CS9 scheme will cost £70 million of public money at a time when Hounslow Council tax rates are set to rise by around four percent.

You can contact Cllr Curran or Mark Frost by email at the following addresses:

 

 

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén