The public meeting organised by Redesign CS9 last night in the Boston Room of George IV was well attended. The audience was clearly partisan, with only three people brave enough at the end to put their hands up and admit they’d be happy with the TfL proposals for the Cycle Superhighway to go ahead as they are. One of the candidates ventured the comment ‘the audience in this room is not representative of the people we are meeting on the doorstep’, to groans and jeers.
Eight panellists – Leigh Edwards from the Liberal Democrats, Sam Hearn, Ranjit Gill, Joanna Biddolph and Ron Mushiso for the Conservatives, John Stroud-Turp and Nick Fitzpatrick for Labour and Daniel Goldsmith for the Green party – took part and for the most part were heard out by the audience, except for the heckling of the Labour party candidates by the Conservative party chairman shouting b*****ks loudly and frequently when they were trying to talk. He was similarly dismissive of Daniel Goldsmith’s assertion that families might like to use the cycle lane as well as lycra louts.
The whole event was based on questions from the floor and there was much discussion of the lack of transparency over how TfL arrived at the conclusion that 59% respondents to the consultation were in favour of CS9 and where those respondents lived. The candidates were asked how effective Chiswick councillors would be, whether they’d be capable of influencing any decision by Hounslow Council. The Labour candidates thought they might have more influence over a Labour council than their opponents would. B*****ks shouted the Conservative chairman.
The conclusion at the end was that half the room would oppose CS9 whatever changes were proposed, but perhaps surprisingly the other half were prepared to listen to what changes are proposed when TfL publish their response to the consultation, which they are expected to do in June.