Newsletter July 2nd 2019
Brief Updates including TfL, Royal Parks (action requested), Newcombe House and the Carnival
Your committee is keeping busy, and we need to update you, starting with traffic related issues:
TfL cycle superhighway
We attended the June 26th Council meeting where RBKC reconfirmed its opposition to TFL’s “cycle superhighway”. The debate centred on the “Save the Trees” petitionwhich now has over 8500 signatures (the report on the council meeting can be found here).
On 27th June a “liaison group” met, combining local Residents' Associations (RAs) including the Kensington Society (KS) and representatives from Hammersmith and Chiswick. We believe joining forces with other RAs on this area-wide matter is essential, and the group will work with RBKC to help identify “quiet way” alternatives.
Instead of a “super highway” causing more vehicular rat running due to severely increased congestion on the Avenue, cyclists would be encouraged to use those quieter streets. We agree with RBKC that this is the preferable solution for the vast majority of residents.
TFL’s proposal featured in a 12 minute slot on 30thJune BBC1 “Sunday Politics” (starting 5 minutes in). Watch it by clicking here.
The report featured, amongst others, RBKC Cllr Johnny Thalassites, Ben Lidgate and Dr Will Norman, the Mayor’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner. The lively discussion exposed a number of flaws in TfL’s reasoning.
Will Norman said RBKC “stopped listening” to the views of local residents; in fact listening is exactly what they did, as Cllr Johnny explained in the report. There was some disagreement over the numbers of respondents to the consultation; objectors were dismissed by proponents of the scheme as “a vociferous few” and opposition to the removal of trees as the result of “misinformation”.
Dr Norman also invited RBKC to renew discussions with him. Meanwhile, RBKC continue to develop the “Quiet Way” programme of cycling alternatives.
For further information and updates on the TfL cycle route situation see our dedicated page: www.hillgatevillage.com/tfl-cycle-route-plans
Royal Parks consultation closing July 14th (action requested!)
On a related matter, Royal Parks have a “Movement Strategy” consultation closing on July 14, on traffic in parks. We would strongly encourage you to look at this short document (click here), and respond by the deadline.
The Friends of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens sent an information newsletter on the topic, which can be viewed here.
In our view, if all through traffic in Hyde Park were banned - which seems to be the “direction of travel” - the major upsurge in “rat running” west of Kensington Gardens caused by TfL’s misguided Lancaster Gate scheme would become even worse. There are already segregated cycle lanes in Hyde Park, and we believe a fair balance has been achieved between cyclists, pedestrians and a modest number of vehicles.
We propose to respond along these lines, but as always would welcome any comments you care to send to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We would remind you, if possible, to diarise the planning inquiry, which will start on November 5th and is expected to run for 8 days. We urge you to attend to support our representations.
Again on a related matter, we learned at the Council meeting that the GLA overruled RBKC once more, on Rockwell Property’s twin towered Holiday Inn proposal (see this article). This would create the tallest tower in the Borough. RBKC is considering its options and Cllr Thalassites, Planning Lead said “The Mayor of London’s decision aims to bully our borough into accepting a development that’s completely unsuited to our area. We’re exploring whether to launch a judicial review.”
Other matters of interest:
Notting Hill Carnival
Residents are invited to attend the official Notting Hill Carnival resident meeting on 15 July 2019, hosted by the event organisers, Notting Hill Carnival. The invitation can be downloaded here.
Heathrow Third Runway
Finally, the Heathrow third runway consultation recently opened (find it here), but here the deadline is mid September; so while we would also encourage you to respond in due course, clearly the previous issues are much more urgent.