West London Greens: TfL must take control of Kensington High Street to save cycle lane

West London Greens call for Transport for London to take control of Kensington High Street from the local council to save a trial cycle lane and prevent the council from wasting public money on its removal.

The KHS cycle lane was developed in collaboration between the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and TFL. It was meant to be in place for a six-month trial period, with some upgrades to junctions still to be implemented, but RBKC announced on the weekend that the scheme will be ended after just six weeks.

The council argues that many residents and businesses oppose the scheme, but no reliable survey has been conducted to verify this. Local schools and colleges such as Fox Primary (1) and Imperial College (2) have demanded for the lane to be saved as it enables staff and students to commute safely. Claims that the lane led to increased congestion on Kensington High Street were not confirmed by TFL data.

West London Green Party candidate for the London Assembly Election Zack Polanski said:

“The council says the scheme has not helped local businesses, but most businesses were closed due to lockdown in recent weeks. We do know that the number of cyclists using KHS has doubled in this short period, leading to fewer cars on the roads, less air pollution and healthier active travel. Why would you stop this trial when it seems to be working?”

Kensington Green Party activist Fabian Frenzel said

“The cycle lane has made a massive difference, encouraging many people to cycle on KHS for the first time. It seems that sadly the pressure from few wealthy car owners has won over common sense in RBKC once again.

“No one would consider re-introducing smoking in pubs just because some people ask for it. Traffic fumes are choking our children and we have a climate emergency. The council is failing us”.

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