This report sets out the Council’s response to the TfL consultation on CS9. This item gives the Committee and residents the opportunity to discuss the proposed scheme and put forward any areas of concern or suggestions for how the scheme could be improved.
Richard Duffill gave a presentation outlining the process of the proposed scheme, where the Council was with the consultation, the Councils objectives and noted TfL’s proposals. He emphasised that the decision to proceed or not with the TfL proposal, lies with the Council. The Chair welcomed members of the public to share their ideas on the proposed scheme and put forward the areas of concern or suggestions for how the proposed scheme could be improved.
A resident explained that moving bus stops was a concern and asked where the existing bus stops in Olympia would be placed. Richard Duffill noted that there was provision for bus stops and that the plan was to look at implementing floating bus stops that worked in conjunction with cycle lanes along the route, this information would be made available with the detailed design. Additionally, TfL were also working with the TfL bus team to identify appropriate and safe locations for bus stops. The Chair said that further clarification was required on how the location of bus stops would impact traffic in Olympia.
A resident said that according to TfL figures cycling accounted for 5% of the population and majority were males aged between 30-49, and 95% of residents didn’t cycle in the borough and primarily walked. He added that Hammersmith and Fulham was the 6th most densely populated borough in London and population was increasing, therefore felt that taking away foot space from residents to accommodate cycling was very concerning. He felt that the TfL consultation was flawed and the direction of travel was against the pedestrian, and the scheme would have a negative impact on the quality of the lives of residents. Furthermore, the Council’s police response teams were based in Chiswick as both Hammersmith and Fulham police stations were closed and were not due to open until 2020. Therefore, TFL should not put in any sort of infrastructure that would be detrimental to police response times.
A resident said that he was broadly in favour of TfL’s proposal to encourage people to cycle and make the streets healthier and safer. He suggested building the Cycle Super Highway 9 (CS9) down the A4. It would allow safer, quicker, and direct journeys from outer London into Central London.
The Chair thanked those in attendance for the useful points that had been raised, especially around the cycling demographics including more women and children cyclists. Councillor Wesley Harcourt noted that initially TfL were not keen on the A4 route, however the Council would like to revisit this including the Hammersmith flyunder proposal and take this plan forward with the Greater London Authority (GLA).
Richard Duffill said that TfL had carried out a pedestrian survey, along the route to establish where the crossing points would be situated. The findings were taken forward in the bigger model. A resident asked if this included dog walkers. The Chair suggested to clarify with TfL if dog walkers, partially sighted and less able people were accounted for.
A resident noted that whilst she agreed that the pedestrian should be a priority, the Council should take into consideration that according to new research 9,000 deaths in London were caused by air pollution produced largely by traffic. She felt that the heavy traffic and more lanes on the A4 road meant that there was significantly more air pollution on the A4 in comparison to King Street. Therefore, taking the CS9 down the A4 road would be harmful to the health of residents due to high levels of air pollution. She added that this was a flawed proposal as it didn’t encourage more women and teenagers to cycle. She was keen to see more part time road closures like King Street for cyclists and more cycle routes in the borough.
Councillor Joe Carlebach expressed his concerns around significant traffic problems in Olympia and noted that the consultation was extremely limited and didn’t include the current plans for the proposed expansion of Olympia. He felt that the proposal should address the issue of traffic jams particularly when exhibitions were held at the Olympia. He suggested to get all stakeholders involved, particularly residents to develop a better scheme which addressed these concerns. Additionally, he asked that the recommendations be strengthened to reflect the concerns raised.
Councillor Caroline Ffiske, noted that there had been some huge developments in the Avonmore and Brook Green ward yet nothing had the same impact as the CS9 proposal. She felt that the report lacked details around issues raised by residents such as traffic jams, bus stops, concerns of air pollution, bus travel times, ambulance and police response times and increased congestion. She asked that the consultation process be extended. Councillor David Morton noted that nobody would reject proposals to make cycling safer but with 1.7 million workers and 8 million visitors in the area per annum the issues raised by residents need to be addressed. TfL had agreed to work with a resident working party after the results of the consultation had been made available to address some of these concerns.
A resident highlighted that there was no mention of air pollution and the impact on pedestrians in the proposal and asked if any impact assessments were carried out around the environment and pedestrians. He was pleased to hear that the Council would consider the CS9 to run down the A4 road which might ease some of the concerns raised by residents.
A resident said that she was a cyclist and felt that most people didn’t cycle because they were too frightened. She felt that taking the CS9 down the A4 road colluded with the cycling demographic that most cyclists were male and would add to these concerns. Safety areas outside schools and cycling for younger residents needed to be considered. Additionally, air pollution was not caused by cyclists and if safe cycle lanes were added, some of the pollution would evaporate as more people would chose to cycle. A large number of disabled people used cycling as their only option and asked Councillors to look at a website called http://wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk/ for further information.
Councillor Iain Cassidy noted that data gathered from the Cycle Superhighway (East-West), which had been running for a year showed that there had been a reduction in pollution and other Cycle Super Highways across London had shown a decrease in pollution or no change at all. Furthermore, he felt that cycling in London was dangerous and studies showed that people didn’t feel safe to cycle, therefore introducing segregated cycle routes would encourage residents to cycle.
John Griffiths supported the CS9 scheme. He noted that the time to get across from Fulham Palace road to Shepherd’s Bush road would increase from 2 to 4 minutes and queues would be longer. Similar increases would be experienced on the Hammersmith Bridge road and Great Western Road. He felt that the possible environmental impacts should not be overlooked. To get a better idea of the impact on the gyratory, TfL must undertake a traffic modelling analysis and present it to residents.
Councillor Charlie Dewhirst explained that Hammersmith Bridge would be closed for a period and this would have implications to traffic flow in the borough which would also need to be considered. Richard Duffill said that the Council was liaising with TfL to establish the timeframe of the closure of Hammersmith Bridge.
Richard Farthing noted that 97.5% of their members were against the scheme and that an alternative scheme was required. There was significant mileage in support of an A4 proposal. He noted that there was a huge campaign against floating bus stops. London needed a superhighway with integrated links. He also felt in 10 – 15 years, electric cars and hybrids would change the air pollution levels.
Bryan Smith stated that cycling in London was a horrible and unsafe experience. Segregation of cyclists from cars was required.
The Chair thanked everyone for their contributions and recapped the discussion, noting the following key points be brought forward to TFL for consideration:
• Potential traffic implications as a result of CS9 and potential developments in the Olympia area
• The impact on air pollution
• Impact on foot space and pedestrians, including less able bodied and partially sighted
• Re-visit taking the CS9 down the A4 road
• Impact on journey times and bus stops
• Access to schools
• Impact on response times for police and ambulance services
• Provision to be made for younger residents
1) That the Committee acknowledged the Council’s response to the TfL consultation on CS9, which considered the concerns of residents and business along the route.
2) That the committee note the proposed scheme, the technical comments raised so far That the committee requested that TfL and officers continued to analyse and consider all the issues raised by residents, business, and stakeholders at our meeting tonight and other forums.