Win! Cycle Superhighway CS9 leaps forward

To some of you it might have seemed like a long, quiet patch without anything happening on Cycle Superhighway 9. But that isn’t the case.

The route is due to stretch 7km from Brentford to Olympia, the first physically protected cycle track of its kind across west London. Behind the scenes, campaigners at LCC and in our local groups have been persistently chipping away, as have officers at City Hall and in TfL, to unblock some of the issues holding up CS9. On Wednesday 30th Jan, after months of hard work, the scheme leapt forward dramatically.

TfL has announced construction on CS9 will start later this year, but before then two specific sections are out for consultation on further improvements, following concerns raised by residents and stakeholders.

The two mini-consultations are here. We’d urge everyone in the area to have a look and give their thoughts on the proposed changes to the scheme. Our initial assessment is they’re both worthwhile improvements to an already good scheme. But there’s a Cyclescape thread up now for folks to give their opinions on in more detail here.

Blitzkrieg turnaround

Outside the Church of Our Lady of Grace & St Edward, whose Father Michael Dunne had said CS9 would “do more damage than the Luftwaffe”, the cycle track has been rerouted outside trees, taking a lane of motor traffic and preserving pavement. As a result, Father Dunne said: “TfL has listened to the church community and… made very significant changes conscientiously and adequately addressing concerns.”

At the Kew Bridge junction, concerns around the cycle track running onto the road at a bus stop, and concerns around the junction with Lionel Road South, have resulted in a more major change – the “with flow” tracks either side of Kew Bridge Road are to be replaced by “bidirectional” tracks on the south side. This avoids Lionel Road South, enables a better link to Capital Interchange Way and fixes other issues with the scheme at the Kew Bridge junction.

Other changes not being consulted on including reducing the amount of pavement taken on Chiswick High Road and answering business concerns there, and beginning to develop a parallel route on the A4 approaching Hammersmith Broadway to mollify some of the issues raised by Hammersmith & Fulham council.

King Street vs A4

Hammersmith & Fulham’s leader, Councillor Stephen Cowan, had been opposed to the route along King Street and wanted it to go on the polluted A4 instead. This led our local group, H&F Cyclists, to rally together with parents, kids, schools and local businesses to express their support for the original alignment, which will enable local people to travel to the schools, shops and other amenities around King Street.

Casey Abaraonye, Coordinator of Hammersmith and Fulham Cyclists said “We have been working with local parents and families, residents, workers and the Council to ensure that a safe and protected cycle route is provided through the heart of Hammersmith along King Street. The improvement will see the start of our network of protected cycling routes”

Action from TfL on helping develop two parallel routes seems to have shifted the council. Councillor Stephen Cowan, Leader, Hammersmith and Fulham Council, said: “We… have… worked very closely with TfL… to agree a safer cycle route along King Street for riders of all abilities. [And] improved cycle facilities alongside the A4.”

Will Norman, Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “There is a high demand for cycling in the area and these plans will make it safer and easier, opening it up to even more budding riders… The improved plans will deliver further improvements for walking and cycling, helping to reduce car use which is crucial to cleaning up London’s toxic air.”

Michael Robinson, Coordinator, Hounslow Cycling Campaign, was also quoted in the press release: “We welcome the new plans for this vital cycle route and are pleased that TfL has listened to local responses. The changes will help link the town centres of Chiswick and Brentford and rebalance their high streets away from motor vehicle traffic in favour of people walking and cycling… We look forward to local people of all ages being able to benefit from healthier streets once this long overdue project is completed.”

Nick Moffitt, Coordinator, Ealing Cycling Campaign said "By making the Kew Bridge junction safer, CS9 makes new journeys possible for Ealing families who previously considered the A315 too intimidating. We congratulate Hounslow and Hammersmith on this excellent progress, and will hold it up as an example for what's possible in Ealing."