The bike lane on Kensington High Street delivered under your Streetspace programme provided a much-needed safe cycle link in West London but is now planned for removal by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC). You have said that the: “council must rethink the decision to scrap it.” Will you use your powers to take control of the road and provide safe space for cycling?
I am disappointed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s (RBKC’s) decision to scrap the much-needed segregated cycle route along Kensington High Street. The scheme had been in for just seven weeks when this decision was made but was already delivering a significant increase in the numbers of people choosing to cycle along this busy and intimidating road.
Transport for London’s (TfL) Temporary Strategic Cycling Analysis has shown that providing a safe cycling route along this road is important for supporting London’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. This is due to pressures on public transport in the area, where capacity is still limited by the need to comply with social distancing guidelines, and a lack of alternative east-west cycle routes within RBKC.
TfL has written to the borough setting out a formal objection to their decision. TfL is awaiting the response from RBKC. Regarding adopting Kensington High Street into the TfL Road Network, I take nothing off the table at this point. However, that option would take time to implement, while safety improvements for cyclists in RBKC are needed now. I would prefer that RBKC sees sense and reinstates the cycle lane as quickly as possible, and TfL will continue to consider how best this can be achieved.