One set of squares I have visited many many times are those on my commute from the north-west corner of Surrey to the centre of London. The route takes me to Staines, then along the A30 as far  the Clockhouse Roundabout at Bedfont and I then follow the A315 through Hounslow, Isleworth, Brentford, Chiswick and Kensington before heading along South Carriage Drive, around Hyde Park Corner, past Buckingham Palace, around Trafalgar Square before joining the East-West Superhighway at the Hungerford Bridge. [*]

I.e. my commute is exactly along the route on which Cycling Superhighway 9, first proposed in 2010, is supposed to be built. The route was kicked into the long grass in 2013, but as of 2016 the new Sadiq Kahn administration has announced a new consultation.

This is mostly good, but they aren’t even going to try to convince the good Tory councillors that it would be make sense for CS9 to join up to the EWSH at Hyde Park. Instead the consultation will be on a route from Olympia (at the western edge of K&C) down to Hounslow. On the upside, this consultation has some hope of succeeding – the consultation on a two-way cycle track on the north side of the Hammersmith gyratory has already gone through). On the downside, it is pretty horrible that we would end up forcing cyclists through the black hole of Kensington High Street – a mile long stretch of road where there have been at least 94 accidents in the last four years – search for yourself at http://www.collisionmap.uk/ – and which is a nightmare for cyclists especially at rush hour.

In letters obtained by AlexInTheCities, RBKC councillors said

  • “ our biggest concern [about CS9 on KHS] is that it would change quite fundamentally the experience of using the street for pedestrians. Pedestrians value the ability to cross the High Street at virtually any point along its length, by taking advantage of the central reservation strip”

The idea that this road is somehow pleasant for pedestrians at the moment is totally laughable. The road is full of hard-accelerating vans, buses, lorries, taxis, Ubers, and Kensington folk in their Land Rovers and Mercs as well as cyclists. Motorists by turns gaze down at their phones, jump out of side roads and accelerate through as the lights turn green.

Such a shame that dysfunctional government between this borough and the Mayor of London/TfL is going to people in danger for years to come.


[*] It’s 24 miles and normally takes me about 85 minutes in the rush hour (I still don’t fully understand how I got my PB of 65 minutes, though the fact it was at 5am with a gale force tailwind partially explains it)


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