Angry residents in Notting Hill have launched a revolt against Transport for London and their plans to build a £42m cycle lane in the area.
Local butcher Danny Lidgate, of C Lidgate butchers, is leading the fight along with a group of residents, which include celebrities Jeremy Clarkson and Felicity Kendall. Their aim is to halt TfL’s plans to install a cycle lane along Notting Hill and Holland Park Avenue, all the way to Wood Lane in Shepherds Bush.
A recently launched petition against the scheme has already attracted nearly 6,000 signatures.
It is feared that the planned cycle lane will have a negative impact on local business as well as increasing congestion and pollution in the area. There is also anger at a plan to rip out 19 established trees to facilitate the proposal.
Hundreds of residents are expected to attend a crunch meeting at Kensington town hall tomorrow evening to challenge TfL officials about the project prior to the close of consultation on Sunday.
Mr Lidgate told the Evening Standard that TfL need to come back with a better scheme than the one currently on the table.
He stated that residents were not opposed to TfL making Holland Park Avenue 20mph in an attempt to reduce potential danger on the road, but the cycle route should be switched to the quieter back-streets.
Mr Lidgate, who is chairman of the Holland Park Traders’ Association, said: "With this particular design, congestion and air pollution will get a lot worse, it only suits commuter cyclists.”
The proposal would mean that one of two westbound lanes would be removed to create the two-way cycle lane.
TV presenter and motoring expert Jeremy Clarkson took to Twitter, saying: “They’re going to take down all the trees to make life easier for cyclists. I mean, who voted for these people?”
Actress Felicity Kendal entered into the fray, saying: "The proposals would cause considerable lack of trade to the area by requiring a short-sighted reduction in parking spaces. She went on to say: “It is a dreadful plan and needs to be reconsidered.”
However, Will Norman, the Mayor’s cycling and walking commissioner, fired back by stating that there were 128 collisions over the last three years, adding that the road is dangerous.
Mr Norman then said: “A tiny number of trees can be replaced, but the lives lost as a consequence of dangerous roads and the impact of air pollution cannot.”
TfL have said that they plan to plant new trees, they are also disputing claims that the cycle route would harm businesses.
Over recent months TfL has witnessed a backlash from residents, business owners, including the taxi industry and motorists against a number of planned, and current cycle schemes across London. Many believe that the plans are ill-conceived and are bringing London to a shuddering halt, creating more pollution and congestion.
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