The Independent London Newspaper
26th April 2019

NEW JOURNAL COMMENT: Cycling into a fog of confusion on the superhighway


    CS11 supporters and opponents came face to face on Saturday morning

    Published: 13 October, 2016

    DO the planners who designed the CS11 Cycle Superhighway have a strategic vision for London? If they had, and this scheme had been properly thought through, would such large numbers of residents have come out on the streets in opposition and also in support of it

    In both cases, the locals feel like they are not been heard and are concerned about a rushed approach to reducing the number of cars and lorries on inner London roads. 

    There is a fog of confusion hanging over this superhighway. Things have gone radically wrong, it could be argued, when two sets of protesters are blaming each other for worsening pollution. 

    The council’s trial cycle lane scheme in Tavistock Place has been a kind of microcosm for the dispute raging on a larger scale in Swiss Cottage and Regent’s Park.

    It has caused similar uproar among many Bloomsbury residents who say quieter back roads are now jammed throughout the day, the air noticeably dirtier. 

    In the council’s trial scheme in Bloomsbury, air monitors were placed in the road itself and showed a significant decrease in pollutants. But in the neighbouring streets, where traffic has undoubtedly built up, no monitors were installed. There have been questions about emergency services’ ability to negotiate certain areas, but again no comprehensive monitoring has been done. 

    Then there is the cycle superhighway at the Embankment that has unquestionably been a disaster for drivers. It has turned a major central London artery into a no-go zone for car drivers during peak hours. The lanes are no doubt proving popular during rush hour, but rarely at night. 

    It has left many asking whether the cycling lobby has grown too powerful. 

    But a few days later, in Camden Town, another protest brought some perspective. The “die in” was a timely reminder of why these changes are being heaped upon us. 

    The new London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, due to make a final decision in the coming weeks on CS11, is stuck between a rock and a hard place with these superhigh­ways, a legacy of Boris Johnson. And the slanging matches will surely only continue unless a more strategic approach is taken to developing them. 


    WHAT a sparkling perfor­mance by Keir Starmer in the House of Commons yesterday (Wednesday). It is abundantly clear that it was the right decision by Jeremy Corbyn to reinstate him into his shadow cabinet, as the Brexit minister. 

    He appears to be a natural for the role. At one point the Conservative MPs appeared to be swooning around him. 

    Will this light up aspirations Starmer has for the leadership? And if it does, will he make his move before the general election?


    "Then there is the cycle

    "Then there is the cycle superhighway at the Embankment that has unquestionably been a disaster for drivers. It has turned a major central London artery into a no-go zone for car drivers during peak hours. The lanes are no doubt proving popular during rush hour, but rarely at night. "
    WHO says?????

    This whole article is nonsense, and I'd like to know which motoring lobby group was behind it.
    Lets have some facts:
    We have a huge problem
    First, locally with air pollution. 10.000 people a year die from this. London breaches quality standards 60% of days in a year on account of diesel particulates and NO2 - these penetrate the lungs and circulation and cause heart attacks, strokes, asthma and lung cancer. They come from buses, taxis, HGVs and private cars.
    Secondly we must halt the growth in fossil fuel use if we are not to leave a legacy of climate disaster to our children.

    Safe cycling is part of the solution not the problem. The rest of the solution lies in reducing emissions by
    - banning polluting vehicles
    - shifting black cabs to hybrid and electric vehicles
    - harmonising bus routes to reduce empty and idling buses
    - banning diesel cars
    - controlling the 92,000 and growing fleet of Uber hire cars

    Cycling is ideal for the sort of short trips people make in London even if they are not fast or fit. Give people protected space and they will use it. Children will cycle to school again (or be taken in cargo bikes like the Dutch) and people pop down to the shops by bike. Getting people out of cars and off our crowded public transport...

    So lets pick apart the nonsense I quoted above. If the bike lanes are busy in rush hour (which they undoubtedly are) is it not then appropriate that road space is given over to cyclists? They have as much if not more (see above) right to be using our major arteries. At night - yes its quieter, but so is the road and the pavement, or are you suggesting that because pavements are quite at night drivers should be able to use them too????

    TfL needs to continue its push to rebalance road usage to reflect actual peak time use (many more cyclists and pedestrians) and encourage people onto bikes. As for 'rat runs' on parallel residential streets, the solution is simple. Have proper traffic management - one ways, filtering bollards, banned turns, to prevent this. Same in Bloomsbury as CS11. I am a local resident, and a medical academic. I don't own a car. I cycle. I am not your enemy. The enemy is the fossil fuel and transport lobby that wish to pollute our streets and destroy our climate in their own vested interest.

    Shameful article Camden New Journal!

    Brendan Delaney

    Would such large numbers of residents?

    30 residents coming out onto the street is not "large numbers" - it was nothing like the 4-500 that they were expecting! They were well outnumbered by local cyclists and local residents who want to be able to ride their bikes safely.

    A low turnout despite the fact that the Stop CS11 crowd are funded by the Association of British Motorists had used "daily mail" language to generate all sorts of false concerns / issues about CS11.