The trees are saved. What about the people?
Transport for London has listened to residents’ feedback on the proposed walking and cycling improvements for Holland Park Avenue and Notting Hill Gate. In their revised plans, only three trees will be removed (with more replanted nearby) on Notting Hill Gate. No trees will be lost on Holland Park Avenue. Other changes include keeping loading bays for businesses that were due to be removed.
The trees are saved, but the threat to people remains. These two busy roads saw 128 collisions in three years, with people on foot or on bikes getting injured the most. It’s only a matter of time before a collision leads to another tragedy like the death of Eilidh Cairns, aged 30, in 2009.
Do you want Holland Park Avenue and Notting Hill Gate to remain dangerous and dominated by motor traffic?
Or do you want safer, healthier streets that work for people, not just for traffic?
Now is the time to speak up!
Tell the council it must approve these vital safety plans.
RBKC councillors know about the hundreds of injuries on these roads and have seen the revised plans – but are still wavering.
Please act now and tell them you want a safer RBKC!
Why do we need this scheme?
- Local authorities have a duty to keep people safe. To ignore these roads’ appalling safety record would be immoral. As well as RBKC residents, thousands of Londoners use these roads daily as their most direct route to work.
- It will allow all ages and abilities to travel actively. Fifteen new pedestrian crossings, safer side roads and protected bike lanes will mean that elderly people will more easily reach bus stops and shops and children will be able to pedal safely to school. More physical activity will mean healthier residents.
- Our roads are dominated by motor traffic. We need to move away from ‘car as king’. Any main direct road should cater for people walking, cycling and spending time, not just for motor traffic. This is the definition of a ‘healthy street’.
- It will improve air quality. Transport for London’s modelling shows the scheme will have very little negative impact on congestion – and that’s the ‘worst case scenario’, if no journeys shift from cars to active travel. Other cycle infrastructure in London, such as CS3 on Upper Thames Street, has delivered an improvement in air quality.
- The council has declared a climate emergency. We can’t begin to decarbonise our roads without providing safe, direct walking and cycling routes as an alternative to motorised transport. Electric vehicles on their own are not the answer.
What are the objections?
These are the objections raised by various residents associations.
- Bikes should use a ‘parallel’ route on quiet streets. Except there isn’t one. The council’s proposed quietway north of Holland Park Avenue is so wiggly and indirect, it won’t encourage anyone to take up cycling – and certainly won’t tempt current cyclists off their direct east-west route.
- It will cause more congestion and pollution. Transport for London’s modelling shows very little difference to journey times except a slight rise in the westbound morning peak – and in fact most walking, cycling and bus journeys should be faster. Bike lanes are much more efficient than motor traffic lanes at moving lots of people, and don’t pollute, so they will ease congestion and pollution in the long run even as London’s population grows.
- There will be more rat running on side streets. There doesn’t have to be. Side streets could be closed to through traffic to prevent this, or even area-wide low traffic neighbourhoods created, with huge benefits for residents.
- Fast cyclists will endanger pedestrians. Cycle lanes elsewhere in London, including those going past ‘bus stop islands’, are not seeing more pedestrians injured by cyclists. Safe bike lanes also encourage a more diverse mix of people on bikes – women, children and elderly – diluting the faster riders.
- Residents ‘don’t want’ the scheme. Which residents? Certain residents associations have been very vocal with their negative views, but they only represent a small minority. What about those who may not have the time or resources for association meetings, like those working long hours, or families with young children? Their safety and well being matter too.
Is the council listening to you?
We believe there are many people who live, work, study or have children at school in the borough who would welcome a safer RBKC.
Does that describe you?
As Better Streets for K&C, we are trying to give you a voice – please join us and take action now!