More than two years after removing the only protected cycle lanes in the borough, Kensington & Chelsea council are consulting on more cycle lanes – not just on Kensington High Street but also on Fulham Road!
But sadly, these weak proposals would have been out of date in the 1980s. They consist of advisory cycle lanes – dashed lines in paint that drivers can enter if they like – and on Kensington High Street they only cover two short stretches, not the whole road.
Dotted lines won’t save lives. Please act now and tell Kensington & Chelsea council that they need to do better to keep people safe and allow more of us to travel by bike.
Our suggestion is to choose YES to supporting the proposals – IN PART. Then there is a free text box where you can explain more. Saying ‘No’ will give the council an excuse to do nothing.
We need to send a clear message to the council about what is actually needed on these roads to keep people safe: protected, continuous cycle tracks and junctions made safe for cycling.
In the free text box for both Fulham Road and Kensington High Street, use your own words about what would make cycling safe for you and/or your loved ones. You could include some of the following:
Cycle infrastructure is very welcome on these important east-west routes through the borough, but on busy A-roads like this, advisory cycle lanes are completely inadequate.
London and government standards say that protected lanes are needed where traffic volumes are high. Kensington High Street has 21,000 vehicles per day and Fulham Road has over 17,000. While cycle tracks protected with kerbs or wands greatly reduce risk, studies show that advisory lanes can actually increase the risk of collisions compared to no cycle infrastructure at all. But with thousands of people cycling on each of these roads every day – over 3,000 on Kensington High Street and over 1,000 on Fulham Road – the safest possible solution is needed urgently.
Collision maps show both roads covered in multiple flashpoints where people cycling have been injured in collisions. Proper cycle infrastructure will prevent many further injuries and deaths.
Cycling collisions on Fulham Road
Cycling collisions on Kensington High Street
At junctions, the council proposals show only advanced stop lines (ASLs or bike boxes) at traffic lights. This is better than nothing, but ASLs only help you if you reach them on a red light (and are not filled up with a vehicle). The risk remains of drivers turning into you while you try to ride straight ahead. On these busy roads, junctions need to be much safer for cycling. There are lots of solutions, like cycle traffic signals that let bikes have their own cycle, or give bikes a few seconds before general traffic (advance signals), or keep cycles on red while motor traffic turns left. But the plans on the table offer none of those.
You can read more about the case for protected cycle lanes on Kensington High Street, and its many supporters, on the Better Streets for Kensington & Chelsea website. But Fulham Road is just as deserving of safe active travel. It has two major hospitals, Chelsea and Westminster and the Royal Brompton, as well as a school. NHS key workers, teachers and students would benefit, as would anyone visiting the hospitals, shops and restaurants.
Advisory cycle lanes
Kensington's former protected cycle lanes
The council have declared a climate emergency. They say they want greener streets where more people choose to walk and cycle. Tell them that these proposals will *not* achieve that. They will not get more people out of cars and taxis and they will not keep safe those who are already cycling. They must do better, now.
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