Lockdown is easing, and the traffic is coming back. Kensington High Street hasn’t been the flagship destination it should be for years and years. Now it’s back to being a traffic despositary that people visit only reluctantly. It’s time to fix this.
In fact according to some studies, traffic is coming back worse than before, with public transport capacity drastically reduced. Hence the Department for Transport offering to fund emergency safe space for walking and cycling in every local authority in the country.
What about RBKC?
The council has made some initial efforts to take space from motor traffic for safer walking, such as timed closures on two shopping streets and a proposed low traffic neighbourhood. But we haven’t seen the pop-up bike lanes in RBKC that the Department for Transport has called for, unlike other boroughs – new protected bike lanes in Hammersmith & Fulham stop dead at the border.
Ask for immediate pop-up bike lanes on Kensington High Street
- Kensington High Street is in obvious need of wholesale rejuvenation. It’s not the destination “High Street” that it could be but rather an unpleasant four lanes dedicated to motor vehicles where understandably people don’t want to spend time
- And it’s deeply unpleasant to cycle along, especially during busy hours which is precisely when most people need to travel by bike along it, or would if it were safe and pleasant
- It acts as a block between the safe cycling routes across town from Hammersmith and Fulham who have a pop-up route taking people to Olympia, and then the cycle lanes in Hyde Park leading to the West End and City
- Even now though it’s used by thousands of people travelling by bike every day as they have no choice. They need to be safe, and we need to encourage thousands more to use it, whether to travel beyond or to visit. Studies show bringing more people by foot and bike is better for business than focusing on people in cars
- We can fix this – across the world there are thriving boulevards with strong retail and hospitality, welcoming people on foot and bike
- It’s happening across Europe now in response also to Covid-19 – the most prestigious high streets of Paris and Brussels are examples now transforming into flourishing neighbourhoods, putting in place safe infrastructure for cycling
If you agree with us that it’s time to fix Kensington High Street, rejuvenate the high street and create safe space for people on bikes, please take a couple of minutes to tell the council your view – you can see the council contacts here or just write directly to the people below – please do cc us in your correspondence at email@example.com, and do tell them whether you’re a resident and/or have other connections to the area, whether it be work, study or just spending time.
Transport Lead, Councillor Johnny Thalassites, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Leader, Elizabeth Campbell, email : email@example.com