Cycle superhighway ‘killed off by Nimbys’
Mayor's statement: 'CS11 was left for dead by Andrew Gilligan and Boris Johnson'
25 January, 2018 — By Tom Foot
A CYCLING safety plan to seal off Regent’s Park to traffic has been watered down due to a “Nimby minority”, according to Boris Johnson’s former aide.
Andrew Gilligan wrote in a blog this week that the CS11 cycle “superhighway” from Swiss Cottage to the West End “is effectively dead today”. The latest plan, due to be put in place in the summer, is to close two instead of all four of the entrance gates to the park – and for just a few hours a day.
Mr Gilligan – who clashed with residents’ groups at fiery public meetings in Hampstead and St John’s Wood when he was in office – said the “closure of the gates” was the “only thing which makes CS11 a meaningful route”.
The plans include massive changes at Swiss Cottage, where the one-way system will be ripped up and Avenue Road, between the library and Odeon cinema, pedestrianised.
Work on this was supposed to start last autumn, but the entire project is believed to have been delayed because of the dispute about the Regent’s Park gates.
Westminster Council is said to oppose the gate closures around the park. Campaigners have criticised the council for siding with the “pro-car lobby”.
The Crown Estate Paving Commission has yet to agree the latest plans.
Cyclists, who like to exercise by lapping the Outer Circle of Regent’s Park, wanted to have a safe route from Swiss Cottage to the West End.
Despite Mr Gilligan’s comments, Regent’s Park Cyclists chairman Justin McKie said he was still “quite excited about where we have ended up”. The project as it stood would still have a “dramatic benefit to the enjoyment and safety of those who exercise in the morning”.
“Three years ago we were staring down the barrel of 14 cobbled speed humps, which would go right across the road,” he added. “Now it looks like we will get four raised platforms, which I don’t think will cause too much fuss.”
The current plan is to shut the Avenue Road and Park Square West entrances between midnight and 9.30am and again between 4pm and 7pm, Monday to Friday.
Hanover Gate entrance, by the Regent’s Park Mosque, will be left-turn only. There will also be a 20mph speed limit around the park.
A statement from Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “CS11 was left for dead by Andrew Gilligan and Boris Johnson, with the community bitterly divided by their unnecessarily confrontational approach and all the stakeholders in disagreement about the plans. This work is ongoing and involves rebuilding relationships that were severely damaged by Andrew Gilligan.”