CS11 superhighway watered down, claims Gilligan
New plans will seal off two entrance gates to Regent's Park Outer Circle
26 January, 2018 — By Tom Foot
Gilligan promoting CS11 in Hampstead last year
A CYCLING safety plan to seal off Regent’s Park to traffic has been watered down due to a “nimby minority”, according to Boris Johnson’s former aide.
Andrew Gilligan wrote in a blog this week the CS11 “Cycle Superhigh- way” from Swiss Cottage to the West End had been scuppered and “is effec- tively dead today”.
The latest plan, due to be put in place in the sum- mer, is to close two instead of all four of the entrance gates to the park – and for just a few hours a day.
Mr Gilligan – who had when he was office clashed with residents groups at fiery public meetings in Hampstead and St John’s Wood – said the “closure of the gates” was the “only thing which makes CS11 a meaningful route”.
The plans also includes the massive change for Swiss Cottage where the entire one-way system would be ripped up and Avenue Road between Swiss Cottage library and Odeon cinema pedestrianised.
Works to do this were supposed to start last autumn, but the entire project is believed to have been delayed because of the dispute about the Regent’s Park gates.
Westminster Council is said to oppose the gate closures around the park and campaigners have criticised the council for siding with the “pro-car lobby” and the Crown Estate Paving Commission has yet to agree the latest plans.
Campaigner Peter Hartley from Westminster Living Streets, said: “We are extremely upset and dismayed at the thought of any weakening of the decision to safeguard pedestrians and cyclists. It’s been quite clear all along that everybody favours four gate closures. The only people who don’t are the local motorists.
“We are dismayed to think the mayor will be weakening these plans. Westminster Council are behind it. They have never been interested in cyclist and pedestrian issues.” Cyclists like to exercise by lap- ping the Outer Circle of Regent’s Park and wanted to have a safe route from Swiss Cottage to the West End. Despite Mr Gilligan’s comments, Regent’s Park Cyclists chairman Justin McKie said he was still “quite excited about where we have ended up” and the project as it stood would still have a “dramatic benefit to the enjoyment and safety for those who exercise in the morning”, adding: “Three years ago we were staring down the barrel of 14 cobbled speed humps which would go right across the road. Now it looks like we will get four raised platforms, which I don’t think will cause too much fuss.”
The current plan is to shut the Avenue Road and Park Square West entrances between midnight and 9.30am and again between 4pm until 7pm, Monday to Friday.
Hanover Gate entrance by the Regent’s Park Mosque will be left-turn only. There will also be a 20mph speed limit around the park.
A statement from May- or of London Sadiq Khan said: “CS11 was left for dead by Andrew Gilligan and Boris Johnson, with the community bitterly divided by their unnecessarily confrontational approach and all the stake- holders in disagreement about the plans. This work is ongoing and involves rebuilding the relation- ships that were severely damaged by Andrew Gilligan.”