Transport for London (TfL) is moving forward with plans to start construction of a major new 7km cycle route later this year, subject to approvals by London Borough of Hounslow and London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, which will run between Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith and Brentford Town Centre – making walking and cycling safer and easier and making the local environment more attractive for residents and visitors.
A consultation on Cycle Superhighway 9 (CS9) in 2017 received more than 5,000 responses, with nearly 60 per cent of respondents either supporting or strongly supporting the proposals and many saying the scheme would have a positive impact on cycling and walking in the area, as well as improving provision for buses. Recent TfL research has highlighted the economic benefits of walking and cycling to town centres, with infrastructure improvements such as new cycle routes leading to increased retail spending of up to 30 per cent. TfL has now published a report with its responses to issues raised during the consultation on CS9.
In response to this feedback, TfL has developed new designs along sections of the route, which address comments raised during the consultation. TfL is inviting people to have their say on new designs in two sections – High Street Brentford to Wellesley Road, and Duke Road and Duke’s Avenue on Chiswick High Road.
At Kew Bridge and throughout Kew Bridge Road, the improved designs would provide two-way segregated cycle lanes on the south side of Kew Bridge Road and South Circular Road, rather than the partially segregated cycle tracks on both sides of the road that were proposed in the earlier consultation designs. This change will ensure that people cycling are fully segregated from traffic throughout this section and removes the requirement for two bus stop bypasses on the north side of Kew Bridge Road. The change also addresses concerns raised about cycle safety at Kew Bridge junction, Green Dragon Lane and Lionel Road South.
The new consultation will also propose a second southbound traffic lane on Kew Bridge to improve the efficiency of the Kew Bridge junction. In addition, the changes will make crossings wider and easier to use, with cyclists signalled separately from conflicting traffic at the Kew Bridge junction.
Along Chiswick High Road, the existing space for pedestrians on Duke’s Avenue outside Our Lady of Grace and St Edward Church has been retained, whilst maintaining the proposed benefits for cyclists and the fully segregated cycle track, by removing the right turn lane into Duke’s Avenue. Banning the right turn for motor vehicles from will also reduce the likelihood of collisions involving vehicles turning at this junction.
Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “I’m delighted that construction on this high-quality route will start later this year. We know 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. I’m really pleased that 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.”
Ben Plowden, TfL’s Director of Strategy and Network Development, said: “This new route between Olympia, Hammersmith and Brentford is a hugely important addition to London’s growing cycle network as part of the Mayor’s Healthy Streets programme. The route will encourage even more people in west London to cycle and walk and help us to achieve the Mayor’s Vision Zero goal of no deaths or serious injuries on the capital’s streets. We will continue to work towards starting construction later this year to build on both boroughs’ efforts to create healthy streets in this part of London.”
Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, said: “Hounslow Council is committed to improving facilities for cyclists between our town centres which will help reduce collisions, improve air quality and encourage more physical activity which assists in reducing a number of health issues related to inactivity. CS9 could help us achieve that goal. We are encouraged that TfL has worked so hard to try and address issues with the original scheme raised by our residents in the first consultation. We urge people to engage again with this new consultation, the results from which the council will consider later in the year when we take a decision on this first phase of the route.”
The consultation will run until 26 February 2019. Construction on the route is planned to start later in the year with the route expected to be complete by 2021.