An interesting development in the Mayor of London’s attempts to create cycleways across London. The Mayor’s office is seeking to take major roads away from the control of local councils if they oppose cycle routes through their boroughs. The Evening Standard reported yesterday that councils which attempted ‘to block attempts to cut road deaths and injuries’ could have key roads taken out of their control.
London has seen a 14% increase in the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured in the past year. There were 12 cycle deaths and 771 serious injuries last year, compared with 10 fatalities and 675 serious injuries in 2017. The number of cycle trips has also increased, by about eight per cent in central London over the same period.
Now Heidi Alexander, the Deputy Mayor for Transport, has asked Transport for London to investigate whether control of Holland Park Avenue and Notting Hill Gate can be taken from Kensington and Chelsea borough council and added to TfL’s “Red Routes” network. Sadiq Khan had to abandon plans for cycle routes through Holland Park Avenue and Swiss Cottage when the council opposed them and is looking at ways to stop councils “holding the city to ransom”.
The network of cycleways (rebranded from the scary sounding ‘Cycle Superhighways’) makes cycling safer by segregating cyclists from the main traffic on the road by a raised kerb.