TfL (Transport for London) consultation on cycle lanes/traffic flow changes in Notting Hill Gate
The plans are available on the TfL website; links below:
You can also request paper copies of plans and a response form, in other formats and languages by emailing email@example.com, writing to FREEPOST TFL CONSULTATIONS (Wood Lane to Notting Hill Gate), or calling 0343 222 1155
During the presentation and discussion at our HVRA EGM on 13th May 2019 a number of points were raised:
Increase in traffic & pollution
Huge increase in congestion and idling traffic caused by the funnelling of two lanes into one at several points in the scheme.
Blockage for emergency vehicles
Our Chair, Sophie Massey-Cook noted that when asked at their exhibition about any studies of the traffic and other effects of the cycle lane changes at Lancaster Gate, TfL had no answers at all.
Damage to local businesses
The proposal threatens to damage business for local shops, because of anticipated difficulties with deliveries and the effect of the removal of parking/congestion on customer footfall. Danny Lidgate is actively campaigning against the TfL proposals, as he was when fighting off the “Red Route”; the Lidgates perspective can be followed on Twitter: @Lidgates or sign up to their newsletter at www.lidgates.com . NHG retail outlets are already suffering: Tylers is shortly to close, Apostrophe has been empty for over a year, restaurant Polpo now only opens three evenings per week and never at lunchtime…
Safety for cyclists and pedestrians, particularly children and less confident cyclists, will be compromised by opposing directions of fast-moving cycle traffic. All pedestrians would have to cross a 2 way “cycle motorway”.
Sam Dunkley, HVRA Treasurer, noted the plans would create new one way “rat runs” at Norland Square and Pembridge Gardens, and recalled the fixing of the severe rat run problems in Holland Park by the closure of Clarendon Cross over 30 years ago.
A number of bus stops would be moved. The proposals remove the stop outside the Czech Embassy and relocated it 100m to the west.
We are sceptical, however, TfL have published a modelling of changes to journey times. This can be found here
Removal of 24 Notting Hill Gate trees
Fiona Fleming Brown of the Pembridge Association explained that she had been a prime mover in the Notting Hill Gate Improvement Group (NHIG) some 20 years ago. Funds were raised by public subscription to plant trees in the central reservation and either side of the main road in the hope that Notting Hill Gate could become a more green and pleasant place to shop, work and live. The trees are now a treasured feature of Notting Hill Gate, helping to mitigate pollution and the wind tunnel effect caused by the taller than usual buildings. A petition has been launched (“SAVE THE TREES “) to protect our beautiful mature trees. TfL promise, wherever possible, they will reposition trees elsewhere in the area, but given that the Notting Hill Improvements group placed trees wherever space and planting depth permitted, it is unlikely that TfL will find many additional spots. The HVRA Committee urges all members and supporters to sign the petition asap and encourage other local contacts to do the same and spread the word. Fiona comments: “You cannot just uproot mature trees and replant them, many will not survive. Nor will they necessarily be planted in the area. Please do take a look at them next time you are in Notting Hill Gate and ask your Ward Councillors and TfL when you respond to TfL’s proposals to save the trees".
At the HVRA meeting, Cllr Wason noted that some more circuitous cycle routes had been discussed in RBKC, and Emma Dent Coad MP, also expressed strong objection to the threatened removal of trees and damage to the NHG environment. One member proposed that the 20mph speed limit which has been successful west of Shepherd’s Bush was the obvious solution to the safety problem, and would assist in the anti-pollution drive. (It would also be quicker, cheaper and simpler than the proposed £3m scheme). Fiona concluded that while TfL had correctly identified a problem, they have the wrong solution.
If you have not already attended a TfL consultation meeting you can do so at the following times:
Tuesday 28 May 2019 (13:00 - 17:00) St George's Church, Campden Hill, 28 Aubrey Walk, London W8 7JG
Wednesday 5 June (17:00 - 19:00) The Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, London W12 8LJ
Saturday 8 June (11:00 - 15:00)The Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, London W12 8LJ -
Thursday 13th June (17.30-19.30) The Great Hall, Town Hall, Hornton Street, W8 7NX; boards on display in foyer from 17.30, presentations and Q&A from 18.30 with TfL/RBK&C/Kensington Society and other local residents’ associations
Although the consultation is being run by TfL, RBKC say they will oppose, if residents oppose; their legal advice is that RBK&C are the decision-makers. They will need to gather as much public opinion as possible before taking a view.
It is important to note that there is a strong London-wide cycling lobby, which makes it all the more important that residents’ views are aired. We understand Boris Bike stations are being leafleted and the London Cycling Campaign (link here) say they have fielded 7,000 representations to the consultation. In order to make sure RESIDENTS' perspectives are given due weight by all parties, please copy all your responses to the TfL consultation to RBK&C, HVRA and our MP Emma Dent Coad.
Please write before the (extended) 16th June deadline, copying all comments and responses to:
Completing the TfL online form alone may not be enough to make your views count.
As one of the key residents' associations in the area, HVRA will be a powerful voice in the consultation, so please be sure to let us know what you think!
Check-list of issues to address:
removal of one lane for vehicles, potentially causing traffic issues, pollution and blockage of emergency vehicle routes
removal of the island down the middle of NHG; effect on safety for those crossing the road
implications of bus station locations
removal of meter parking bays; risk of further independent business closures
removal of 24 NHG trees, few, if any, of which would be replaced; loss of the wind-break. Fewer trees to absorb pollution and baffle noise.
removal of left turn into Holland Park Avenue from Royal Crescent
Single lane for cyclists travelling in both directions; speed and collision risks for bikes and pedestrians
creation of one way “rat runs” in Norland Square and Pembridge Gardens; general diversion of traffic into side streets.