So the local newspaper, The Chiswick Herald, has published the results of its recent poll on Cycle SuperHighway CS9.
An overwhelming 73 percent of respondents voted against CS9 in its current form. That’s 6,535 people.
Fourteen percent (1,296) said they were in agreement with the scheme and a further 13percent (1,151) said they’d support a cycle lane if the current plans were reworked.
No sooner had a Tweet about the poll hit the Twittersphere, we were called out by a pro-cyclist who said a newspaper poll was not the same as Tfl’s consultation which received fewer – 5,388 – direct responses, but of which 59 percent were in favour.
65 percent of respondents to that consultation apparently identified as cyclists.
Hang on a minute. What percentage of the population cycles: 5 percent; 10 percent max?
You’d expect cyclists to want to comment, but it surely makes a joke of the idea that the 59 percent who “support” CS9 are representative of the general local community.
Our other problem in W4 is this:
Of the 27 local groups lucky enough to be contacted and consulted by Tfl about its plans, 24 of them opposed or strongly opposed Cs9 in its current form. That fact speaks for itself. The added hindrance being that a response from a residents’ group, which potentially represents hundreds of people, is counted as a single vote.
Tfl told one W4 resident that it wrote to 70,000 people living and working close to the proposed Cs9 route as part of its consultation. Thousands of us however, many of this group included, received no leaflet, no email, zero information in fact about the six week consultation period prior to it closing.
These are fundamental flaws. As a result, the London Forum of Amenity & Civic Societies has said that not enough residents were notified by Tfl and that the local council’s publicity was limited.
And the Mayor of London has since acknowledged that local concerns regards the impact of the current scheme on CHR will be addressed.
The good news is that, the Local Elections are on their way, which gives people with a vote within our Borough a chance to press their candidates for a locally sensitive design which works for everyone – pedestrians, bus users, cyclists, residents and traders alike.