BY YANN TEAR
West London residents are being invited to have their say on proposed plans to make streets between Wood Lane and Notting Hill Gate more pedestrian and cycle-friendly.
The idea is to create areas around Shepherd’s Bush and Holland Park which will be safer, healthier and more pleasant for all walkers and cyclists.
Transport for London (TfL), which is conducting the survey, is currently upgrading streets for walking and cycling between Acton and Wood Lane, with construction set to be completed on this section by December this year.
The proposed scheme, which would extend the corridor eastwards from Wood Lane to Notting Hill Gate, creating a 7km route in total, would encourage even more people to go on foot or travel by bike, helping to tackle poor air quality and congestion in the area.
The proposed changes in the area include:
- Improved public spaces, creating more welcoming streets for people to spend time in and enjoy
- New and upgraded pedestrian crossings
- A new two-way segregated cycle track throughout, which will keep people cycling separated from motor traffic
- Making some side roads entry or exit only to help the safe and timely movement of traffic
- Changes to some bus stop locations and new bus stop bypasses for cyclists.
The consultation for the improvements will be open until June 12 and is available on the TfL website at tfl.gov.uk/wood-notting
Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “These improvements would enable many more people to walk and cycle, which is vital to reduce car use and clean up London’s toxic air.
“By creating new pedestrian crossings, moving bus stops to better locations and making it safer to cycle, we will make streets much more accessible and welcoming for everyone who lives in, works in or visits the area.”
TfL’s planning director, David Hughes, said: “Investment in our streets is vital if we are to tackle some of the greatest challenges facing the capital, including air pollution, congestion and poor health.
“These improvements would be a significant boost for people living in, working in and visiting the area, making neighbourhoods more attractive places to spend time and enable more people to walk and cycle.
I’d encourage people to send us their views on our plans in the area and ensure their voices are heard.” These walking and cycling improvements will complement other new cycleways, which are being developed in Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea.
This includes a new route between Brentford and Olympia, which will start construction later this year, and upgraded walking and cycling connections through Holland Park and Norland Square, which Kensington and Chelsea council is developing.
Cllr Wesley Harcourt, Hammersmith and Fulham council’s environment cabinet member, said: “Any scheme like this needs to strike the right balance between the needs of all road users, including pedestrians. We support cycling and walking as a means of cutting pollution”
Cllr Will Pascall, who works on planning and transport for Kensington and Chelsea council, said: “We know improving air quality is a huge priority for our residents.
“We would urge everyone to share their views about the advantages and disadvantages of these proposals.” Construction work on a new 3.5km cycleway between Acton and Wood Lane started in March.
Work on the route, which includes a new two-way cycle track separated from traffic and pedestrians, is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
More than three-quarters of people who took part in a consultation about the scheme in 2016 supported the proposals. Stephen Edwards, of pedestrian-promoting charity Living Streets, said: “Research published today shows that almost 40 per cent of older people worry about pedestrian crossing provision in London, highlighting the importance of these proposals.”
Casey Abaraonye, of Hammersmith and Fulham Cyclists, a group promoting cycling in the capital, said: “These improvements are a brilliant opportunity to create a healthier and happier west London.”