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Mayor Khan asks 'how many more of your residents need to be maimed or killed' as borough council rejects cycling infrastructure plans

Joe Robinson
20 Jun 2019

London mayor writes open letter to Kensington and Chelsea Council over rejection of segregated cycleway plans

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has slammed a local borough council for its opposition to new cycling infrastructure asking 'how many more of your residents need to be maimed or killed' before they take cycling safety serious.

Kensington and Chelsea Council announced it would not support plans to build a £42 million segregated cycle lane between Wood Lane and Notting Hill Gate despite the plans still being in the public consultation phase.

This forced Khan into penning an open letter to the council criticising its actions where he claimed 'doing nothing about the safety on your roads is not an option'. 

Addressing the letter to council leader Elizabeth Campbell, Khan wrote: 'I am writing to express my profound unhappiness at the actions of you and your councillors at the public meeting on June 13 to discuss the proposals for Holland Park Avenue and Notting Hill Gate.

'I do not believe you can say that you have listened to the public and to your residents' views about the advantages and disadvantages of the scheme when the consultation period has not even finished.'

The Labour mayor then cited the 128 collisions that had taken place on 6km proposed route in the past three years before then claiming that if the proposed safety measures had been in place in 2009, the death of Eilidh Cairns would have been 'extremely unlikely'.

Khan then pleaded with the council to work with Transport for London on new plans as he also accused the council of ignoring problems experienced by pedestrians which he claims the infrastructure would solve, as well as encouraging cleaner and greener transport.

The council stated it had opposed plans to introduce the cycling infrastructure due to unfounded concerns over air quality and congestion. 

Opposition to the plans gained notoriety after television presenter Jeremy Clarkson tweeted: 'They’re going to take down all the trees to make life easier for cyclists. I mean who voted for these people? Why.'

The council responded to Khan's letter today with council member Johnny Thalassites sticking by the decision.

'We supported the consultation and waited this long to take a position to allow Transport for London (TfL) to make the case to our residents and businesses,' said Thalassites.

'In our view, they failed to do so. I don’t believe TfL’s plans are the right approach for keeping people safe on our roads.' But offered no alternatives.

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