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CS11 bike route in doubt after High Court rejects Transport for London appeal

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says will focus funding away from Westminster Council after disputes

07 February, 2019 — By Tom Foot

Westminster Council insists it is not anti-cycling after High Court ruling 

A CYCLE “superhighway” between Swiss Cottage and the West End appears to have bitten the dust after Transport for London lost a final appeal.

TfL had challenged a High Court judgment which stopped work on the CS11 superhighway that had been due to start last summer.

CS11 would have made created safer cycle routes to central London while also ripping up the 1950 one-way system at Swiss  Cottage and pedestrianising  Avenue Road between Swiss Cottage Library and the Odeon. It would also have closed entrance gates to the Outer Circle of Regent’s Park – a move that had angered motorists and cabbies.

Westminster Council, backed by several residents groups, had argued the traffic and pollution impact of the new road layouts had not been properly thought through.

Now the whole project lies in in tatters with TfL non-committal about whether it will try to revive the scheme.

After the hearing, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Blame should be pointed at Westminster Council who continue to block plans for a safer cycling route from Swiss Cottage to the West End. We’ll consider next steps, but time and investment must be focused on boroughs who want to help make cycling safer.”

Conservative-controlled  Westminster Council insists it is pro-cycling and said it had repeatedly reached out to TfL in an attempt to make the project work. The two public bodies have been  squabbling with each other in public spats since the plan to pedestrianise Oxford Street collapsed last April. Labour-run Camden Council had  supported the CS11 superhighway plans.

Cllr Tim Mitchell, Westminster City Council cabinet member for environment and city management said: “We’re pleased with another High Court decision supporting the council and residents’ right to be heard on CS11. We’re worried that CS11 in its current form will cause traffic congestion and lead to poorer air quality.

“We fully support safe cycling and are making major investments for cyclists within Westminster.We’re not anti-CS11 or cycling, but we want TfL to take the time to deliver something that works for both cyclists and residents.

“The courts have sent a clear message, it’s time for TfL to get around a table with us and discuss the next steps.”

But Ben Plowden, Director for Director Strategy & Network Development at TfL, said: “We are disappointed that the Court of Appeal has not given TfL permission to appeal against the High Court judgment. It is frustrating that our plans for reducing road danger at this junction have been blocked by Westminster Council’s decision to litigate rather than working collaboratively with us. We remain committed to improvements towards safer walking and cycling in the area and we will now consider next steps.”

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