Dear Elizabeth, Dear Johnny,
I would like to thank you for the work you and your team have done during the pandemic to improve access routes to the Royal Albert Hall and our partners in the Exhibition Road Cultural Group. Although we sit just over the border in Westminster, the majority of our visitors travel through Kensington and Chelsea to reach us. As we prepare to welcome audiences and staff back to the Royal Albert Hall again, having safe travel options is essential. Whilst we are keen to continue to promote the safety and convenience of our public transport system, cycling is surely becoming a more prominent and safe way for Londoners to get around the city.
Cycling is key as we work to encourage local audiences from London to visit the Hall. We want to encourage active travel and particularly discourage travelling here by car to promote health and well-being, reduce pollution and tackle climate change.
I commend the swift action you took to encourage cycling in K&C, particularly the new cycle lanes on Kensington High Street, opening up safer routes to the Hall and to Exhibition Road from the West. I feel strongly that the investment in this innovative approach must be allowed adequate time to be properly tested. The completion of routes in October, when the Hall was still closed, also coincided with beginning of autumn weather, darker evenings, road works and the introduction of first local then national restrictions. This makes it a difficult time to see the real impact of these changes. With the Piccadilly Line not-stopping at South Kensington for 12 months from February 2021, we will want to encourage more visitors and staff to switch to cycling to Exhibition Road and the neighbourhood. I urge you to continue to support safe cycling routes across the borough, including proceeding with the proposed route along Queen’s Gate.
Thank you both again for your ongoing support which is greatly appreciated.
With best wishes,
Chief Executive, Royal Albert Hall and Co-Chair, Exhibition Road Cultural Group