"Dear London Zoo"


Eight-year-old Archie has sent us this letter he's written to ZSL London Zoo, asking them to reconsider their opposition to CS11. Here's Archie's letter in full:


Dear London Zoo,

We are writing to you to express how sad we are that you have decided to oppose the Cycle Superhighway 11 plans, and to urge you to change your position.

We would like you to change your mind about your opposition.  We live in a street with filtered access (that means one end of the street is closed off to cars and trucks), and we love it!!!

We love it because: 

1. It is quiet

2. It is not very polluted 

3. Wheelchairs can go on the road 

4. We can ride our bikes on the road next to my Mum because it is usually safe 

5. Trucks, lorries and cars can drop off deliveries and park.

We think that filtered access would just mean you have to drive around a bit further to get to the zoo, and that most people would think that is ok. Also, the animals would like the peace and quiet and fresh air. 

We have some other good ideas for how you can allow filtered access and still make sure that the animals get their food on time and that children get to the zoo.

1. You could make a really long chute going from the supermarket to the zoo for animal food.

2. You could use cargo bikes. I want to be a volunteer at the zoo. If it was safe, I would love to pedal the animals their food!

3. You could use box bikes and cargo bikes to get the kids and older people to the zoo. I bet if you asked the kids, they would say yes to do the last bit on a bike! Or even electric floats or big trailers pulled by bike! You could use the public cycle scheme and add a “Kids Coach” option. People in wheelchairs would love it too! And you could have bikes that take a passenger to give older people a lift!

4. You could drive around a bit further to get the kids and animal food in.

We are making this letter public, and we urge you to reconsider your position. 

Best wishes, 

Archie (8)

We think Archie's absolutely right. As others have pointed out, ZSL's opposition to the closure of gates near London Zoo has been somewhat bewildering - as has the opposition to them from other quarters. Access is maintained for coaches and deliveries to the zoo by other nearby gates, and the closures mean that high-speed motor traffic (some of it has been clocked at doing 90mph!) will no longer cut through the park. Not only will this low traffic volume environment be better for people cycling along the length of CS11 from Swiss Cottage to the West End, it'll mean journeys through the park for kids and parents going to school etc. will be much easier and more pleasant to do walking or cycling.

The Mayor and TfL are due to make an announcement on the future of CS11 soon and the proposed gate closures. The gate closures are vital for the integrity of the scheme - for it to work for as wide a range of people as possible. And the announcement will send a clear signal of the Mayor's seriousness about taking the tough decisions on cycling.