The London Cycling Campaign and Cycling UK have both commented positively on the news that the construction of Cycle Superhighway 11 will begin at Swiss Cottage, but bot have questioned why similar action hasn’t been taken at Regents Park gates.
The route, which will stretch from Swiss Cottage, through Regent's Park and onto the West End, will start construction in July, However, there is still uncertainty about what will happen once it nears the park.
Roger Geffen, Cycling UK’s policy director, said: “Cycling UK is pleased that Transport for London clearly wants to get on with building a high-quality cycle route from Swiss Cottage into the West End.
“However a Cycle Superhighway is only as ‘super’ as its weakest link. Agreement is urgently needed on cutting out rat-running traffic from Regents Park.
“Not only would that enable a lot more people to take up cycling, it would also make the Park a safer, cleaner and more tranquil place for everyone to enjoy.”
The current proposal, popular with cyclists and pedestrians alike, is to shut four of the outer gates, cutting off the Outer Circle to most motor traffic. This will massively reduce traffic volumes in the park, making the route safer for people on foot and bike.
While all the key stakeholders, Westminster Council, Crown Estate Paving Commission, Royal Parks and Camden Council have confirmed to London Cycling Campaign that they are not blocking this plan, a decision on the gates has yet to be made.
“CS11 should form a key part of fulfilling Sadiq Khan’s Sign for Cycling commitment to triple the length of protected cycle lanes in his first term,” commented the LCC. “But without a decision on the gates, CS11 stops at the edge of the park, leaving Sadiq even further behind.”
LCC infrastructure campaigner Simon Munk added: “It is great to see that work on CS11 will start at Swiss Cottage but a final decision about the Regents Park gates has stalled for long enough.
"We call on the Mayor and his cycling and walking commissioner to use their authority to clear the path for CS11 through the park, and show their determination to meet the welcome targets for extending London’s cycling network that they have set.”