CS9 'Could Be Rerouted' Admits Mayor
Sadiq Khan's hints that major rethink of scheme is being discussed
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has hinted that a significant rethink of Cycle Superhighway 9 (CS9) is possible when he admitted that discussions are taking place about rerouting the scheme.
During a question and answer session following Mayor's Question Time on 20 December, he told local Assembly Member Tony Arbour that "there is potential rerouting of CS9, which is what the discussions with the Council are about."
Mr Arbour, who is in favour of the cycle superhighway being routed away from Chiswick High Road and along the A4, told ChiswickW4.com, "I hope this apparent Christmas flexibility will give comfort and joy to Chiswick in the New Year."
Transport for London (TfL) did not respond to our request for further details about what rerouting is being considered but the transport company has been engaged in detailed discussions with both Hounslow and Hammersmith & Fulham Councils about the scheme which will run a segregated cycle lane from Olympia to Brentford. Neither council has given their official response to the plan, although it is known that Hounslow has reservations about traffic management around junctions.
Hammersmith and Fulham's (H&F) Labour councillors had previously said that they would lobby the Mayor to run the cycle route down the A4, not King Street or Hammersmith Road. The council was opposed to the loss of pavement to cyclists and was advocating more pedestrianisation of King Street. The Labour election manifesto in H&F said, "We will oppose the reduction of pedestrian space for cycle lanes."
This had led to speculation in both boroughs that the rerouting of the project along the A4 is now actively being considered. Opponents of this option point out that it would expose cyclists to much higher levels of pollution and say that there are a number of problematic junctions that make the route less desirable than the King Street/Chiswick High Road option along the A315. The Hounslow Cycling Campaign have published a detailed study of why they are opposed to this option.
A spokesman for H&F told us, "Discussions within the Council and TfL are still ongoing. No decisions have been made on the final route yet. "
TfL recently confirmed that funds that would have been used to pedestrianise Oxford Street are to be diverted to other 'Healthy Streets' projects including CS9. The transport company released a business plan recently which shows how they are dealing with the consequences of a falling revenue base, which is expected to result in a reduction of income of over £2bn over the next five years. There had been speculation that, with TfL suffering from falling income due to decreased usage of public transport and the delay in Crossrail, projects such as CS9, which is budgeted to cost £70 million, would have been scrapped.
However this is unlikely because of the Mayor's commitment to improving the network of cycle highways. These are likely to be rebranded next year with TfL saying that the Cycle Superhighway and Quietway brands are misleading and confusing to many people and that they need to move towards 'a more inclusive' identity. A new branding for the network will be announced next year.
TfL's recently published Cycling Acton Plan states, "We are also committed to completing delivery of the high-quality routes currently under development by TfL and the boroughs, including routes conceived as part of the former Cycle Superhighway and Quietway programmes."
CS9 is one of six projects specified for the life of the plan with construction slated to start in Summer 2019 although this is subject to consultation. A significant rerouting of the project is likely to delay the project well beyond this time due to the need for much more extensive reconsultation than if the changes are relatively minor.
December 23, 2018