Cllr Caroline ffiske writes
Residents in Avonmore & Brook Green have expressed concerns about the results of the TfL CS9 consultation – found here. With 59% of respondents supporting the scheme it appears to be a slam-dunk to go ahead.
Yet this does not resonate with local feeling about the scheme where supporters seem to be few in number. So where do we go from here? There are number of things that could and should happen quickly:
H&F Council needs to publish the results of its consultation on CS9
Anyone who follows politics in H&F will know that the Labour administration claims to do thing “with” residents, not “to” them. In November last year the Council agreed to accept residents’ comments on the cycle superhighway. This year, in late January, it held a “PAC” meeting which looked at the CS9 scheme and which the public could attend. The report tabled is here.
Despite the huge interest in this matter, the report provided no information whatsoever on the results of the H&F consultation. This is not doing things “with” residents – this is keeping information “from” them. It would have been entirely possible in late January to make public the headline results from the local consultation. It would be even more possible to do so now. This should happen quickly.
TfL needs to publish its consultation results at a more granular level
Firstly, we need to see the responses broken down by postcode. Within Hammersmith, CS9 would run through W14 and W6. Only 18% of the respondents were from those areas – about 660 respondents. (This leaves out those who did not identify their postcode.) TfL should make visible the results broken down by postcode so we can see what people who live near the proposed route think of the scheme.
Secondly, we need to see the responses broken down by those who cycle and those who don’t. 65% of the respondents to the consultation said that they cycle. This is against the fact that fewer than 5% of all road users are cyclists. This is therefore a hugely biased response, and all credit to the cyclists for responding. But TfL needs to weight the responses so that they are proportional to the road user population – and then make that analysis publicly available.
H&F need to make public some of the more detailed objections to the scheme
I have found in Avonmore & Brook Green, that most people would like to see more cyclists on the roads and fewer cars; less congestion and cleaner air. Who wouldn’t? But when I meet people who have studied CS9 closely, they usually have grave concerns. This includes many cyclists.
I quote someone (not an ABG resident) here below. I want to see H&F’s and TfL’s responses to concerns like this:
…It must be understood that a design of this nature is unprecedented in this country. There are very few examples of two-way cycle tracks with priority over turning motor traffic, and even fewer on two-way streets with frequent side road junctions. There have been schemes on one-way roads, where junctions and turning movements are simpler … but these have suffered the safety problems experienced in other countries. There are also one or two examples of substandard junctions on the recent Cycle Superhighways in London, but generally at very quiet side roads, and certainly nowhere near the 28 side roads on the CS9 two-way track proposed for Chiswick High Road and King Street.
… I strongly urge the Council to work with TfL to re-explore the possibilities of one-way tracks on either side of the road, that are more carriageway based, possibly with light segregation from motor traffic. This is likely to be the only real way of resolving side road junction safety. The alternative is to introduce five metre long waiting areas between the cycle track and road at each junction and to ensure good visibility particularly of “wrong way” cyclists by drivers emerging from side roads. Given that this entails finding at least an additional 4-5 metres road width at each side road junction, it is unlikely to be feasible and is in any case only a mitigating measure, with some risk remaining. It also does not deal with issues of pedestrians being able to safely and intuitively cross the track on these busy high roads.
If a two-way scheme is to be progressed, I strongly urge the Council to insist that TfL fully explain why the public consultation design diverges from their own safety standards and provide a full safety analysis and risk assessment prior to any further design work. … This is particularly pertinent on King Street because over 90% of cycling collisions occur at or very close to the junctions.
H&F Labour needs to clarify its position on CS9 before the elections in May
Residents deserve to know what they are voting for. The Conservatives have made clear that they will not support CS9 in its current form. Voters in LBHF need to know where Labour stands.