Publication from Caroline Russell: Proposed improvements between Wood Lane and Notting Hill Gate
Proposed improvements between Wood Lane and Notting Hill Gate
I welcome the opportunity to respond to the consultation on your proposed improvements between Wood Lane and Notting Hill Gate.
Your Healthy Streets and wider walking and cycling programmes are civilising London. Simple changes, like making it easier to cross the road with new crossings and providing safe space to cycle, allow more people to travel actively and improve their own health. The best solution to congested and polluted roads is to enable more people to walk and cycle.
The current layouts of Notting Hill Gate, Holland Park Avenue, Holland Park Roundabout, Shepherd’s Bush Green and Wood Lane pose a danger to people walking and cycling. In the last three years there have been 35 people killed or seriously injured on these streets, three quarters of whom were walking or cycling. I fully support your commitment to Vision Zero and am glad to see you tackling road danger with this scheme.
The proposed scheme reduces the risks of serious and fatal collisions throughout the area. Twelve upgraded junctions, 15 new pedestrian crossings, 19 upgraded crossings and a fully protected cycleway will keep people safe and make a real difference to Londoners everyday journeys in west London.
The death of Eilidh Cairns in 2009 at Notting Hill Gate, was one of the avoidable tragedies that has stayed with me as I’ve campaigned to reduce danger on London’s streets. It was Kate Cairns, Eilidh’s sister, who along with Roadpeace, led the campaigning to bring about the Direct Vision Standard in HGVs, a measure you have rightly prioritised.
It is important as the road layout is reworked that you do find an appropriate new location for the white bike memorial to Eilidh Cairns, in discussions with her family. I am happy to help facilitate any contact to assist in that.
The evidence on the gains to business from enabling more walking and cycling are striking. Living Streets’ pioneering work with the Pedestrian Pound report and TfL’s work since have highlighted the untapped and underestimated potential of healthy streets schemes for local business. I can see from the plans that you have helpfully retained loading and parking for local businesses. It would be great to see as much cycle parking, for cycles of all sizes, including cargo bikes for families and businesses to get the greatest gains from these proposals.
I have heard the concerns of residents on the loss of trees and have discussed the changes with your walking and cycling commissioner, Will Norman. I understand that when making space for safe walking and cycling there can be a need to remove, replace and sometimes re-site trees. There are trees in the central reservation that will be removed, these are not given much space and don’t provide much useful shelter given their position. It is important for the new trees added with the scheme to be in greater number, and to be of a diverse range of appropriate species that can grow to the same size as the valued London Planes nearby.
I appreciate the concerns about losing two mature plane trees where Ladbroke Grove meets Holland Park Avenue. This is a section where the road is wider for a junction, so perhaps a banned turn could save these trees. Any reallocation of road space to prioritise people walking and cycling involves trade-offs. I expect residents will be clear whether they would prefer to retain the two mature trees or retain the right turn.
It is disappointing that at the eastern end there will not be continuity into central London with a protected cycle route on main roads. I hope that the success of this scheme will encourage support from others for a fuller network.
I am pleased to support these proposals and encourage you to go further and faster in providing healthy streets across London, tackling the hostile streets and dangerous junctions that Londoners face in their daily journeys. This work is particularly urgent as London responds to the climate emergency and decarbonises the transport system.
Green Party Member of the London Assembly