If you haven’t already, please write in to RBKC demanding they stop plans to rip out the cycle lane on Wednesday.
You can do that here. If you are an RBKC resident, please tell them; if you use RBKC roads to get to work, to shop, so visit friends or for leisure please tell them.
They have announced plans to take the lanes out from Wednesday, but we think we can stop them.
We are now seeing an outcry from across the borough about the removal of the brand new High Street Kensington bike lanes.
Emails to the council
Emails are flooding in to the council via our website – literally hundreds and hundreds, we haven’t been able to count them all yet – all came in under a week and more are coming in every minute. Thank you to everyone who took our ‘action’! If you haven’t already, you can act now here.
Among the passionate local supporters is Fox Primary School. Head teacher Emma Madden has spoken out here , describing the lanes as ‘vital’ – without them ‘there were effectively no safe cycling routes for our school community, which was a major deterrent to families’. Since their installation, 20 new members of staff have begun cycling to school.
On Tuesday morning the school is calling for a ‘festive joy ride’ to celebrate the bike lane – anyone who wants to support safe cycling for kids and key workers are invited to ride the route between 8 and 8.30am wearing tinsel.
People on the street
The council hasn’t asked anyone who actually uses the bike lanes what *they* think about removing them. So we did! Here are some of the reactions we got.
Institutions and business support
The lane has had letters of support from local institutions.
Imperial College, the biggest employer in the area, writes: In recent weeks we have received a considerable amount of positive feedback from staff and students who are using the new cycle lane as a safe travel route between South Kensington and White City. Read more here: https://betterstreets4kc.org.uk/2020/11/25/imperial-college-support-for-the-high-street-kensington-cycle-lane/
The Royal Albert Hall’s Chief Executive writes: Although we sit just over the border in Westminster, the majority of our visitors travel through Kensington and Chelsea to reach us…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. Read more here: https://betterstreets4kc.org.uk/2020/11/30/royal-albert-hall-supports-the-high-street-kensington-cycle-lane/
Zoe Birch of Physio Motion, a local physiotherapy clinic, writes: “In my medical professional opinion, a lack of cycle infrastructure to make active travel more accessible and safe for all ages and abilities risks increasing diseases (both lifestyle and environmental) in our population. This will result in an increased demand on the NHS, which is already under huge amounts of stress.” Read more here: https://betterstreets4kc.org.uk/2020/11/30/local-business-physio-motion-supports-the-high-street-kensington-cycle-lane/
And Isabelle Clement, Director of the charity for disabled people Wheels for Wellbeing, tweeted her support: So many Disabled people like myself have started to ride more thanks to the cycle lanes along busy roads, it would be a disaster to remove them. This is a lifeline for many who don’t drive & don’t feel safe (or can’t) use public transport at the mo. #CyclingsEasierThanWalking
Local Schools that Support the High Street Kensington Cycle Lane
Time to stop and reflect, RBKC
We urge the council to stop its ill-conceived plan to pull out these vital safety measures just as they are so urgently needed. If consequences for people’s health and safety don’t carry any weight, then maybe legal, financial and reputational consequences will? Watch this space.