With the permission of the Leader, five speakers addressed the Cabinet for 5 minutes each, having submitted valid deputation requests.
The first deputation speaker, David Tarsh, stated that, according to the Cabinet report, the design of the Safer Cycle Pathway route would be delegated to the Chief Officer for Public Realm. He strongly disagreed with approving this scheme without having a final design. It was premature as he believed that residents would have no saying on the final scheme, and it was even possible that residents would prefer the scheme not to be built at all.
Edmond Sixsmith, the second speaker, expressed his concerns in relation to the two-way cycle path, as it could potentially cause serious accidents between bikes coming from opposite directions. He recommended that the design of the final scheme should create separate cycle lanes on both sides of the road for cyclists to ride on he left. He was also concerned that the cycle path might be passing in front of Latymer court bus stop, forcing passengers to cross it to get to the stop, which would become difficult and hazardous to access. In addition, the bi-directional cycle route would increase congestion on the busy junction between Wolverton Gardens and Hammersmith Road junction.
The third deputation speaker, John Griffiths, stated that the cycle pathway would pass the busy North End Road junction. There was already limited space and time for pedestrian and cyclist to cross at this junction and it also appeared that there was no time for a further phase in the signals. Therefore, he could not envisage how a high-speed cycle route through there would work. There was also the potential increase in collisions between pedestrian and cyclist at the main crossing at Hammersmith Gyratory. He also believed that with the Olympia Development going ahead the cycle pathway would impose severe traffic congestion on the area, which would also affect emergency and bus services.
Leo Murray, the fourth speaker representing W6 Safe Cycling Families, stated that currently their children were not safe cycling on the borough streets. If the Safer Cycle Pathway went ahead, his family and the other thirty plus families in the W6 safe cycling family group would use this route every day to travel between home, school, clubs and work. This would support the borough’s
Climate Emergency programme. He also noted that pedestrians should always be given priority over cyclists. He stressed that for this new protected cycleway to serve the mobility needs of local families it was vital that the route should incorporate the gates of every school in the borough.
George Abaraunye, the 14-year-old speaker representing H&F Cyclists, stated that in June 2019 on his way cycling home from football training he was struck and almost killed by a person driving a car, while cycling in a bus, taxi and cycle lane. He requested that the Council committed to deliver this safer segregated cycling infrastructure in 2020, as part of a network of safety improvements and segregated lanes for the benefit of people like him, who were not yet of voting or driving age; those who may be afraid to cycle on the roads as they were now; and others who might be encouraged to cycle or just enjoy the freedom to do so without it being a life and death question. He added that there was a place for cyclists, cars and pedestrians on the roads, but one should not be allowed to endanger the other.
The Leader stated that he was pleased to hear a young person’s voice and thanked George for his representation.
The Leader allowed a further request from a resident to address the Cabinet. He said that at the Community Safety and Environment PAC in September it was agreed that disabled people would be consulted to incorporate their accessibility needs on the design of the scheme. So far no one had been consulted. He was particularly concerned on the impact on visually impaired people having to cross the cycle path to get to the bus stops.
The Leader assured that an extensive consultation with disabled people would be carried out early in the new year, prior to finalising the design for the scheme. This was a priority to the Council and would also meet the Equality Act.
The Strategic Director for Environment, Sharon Lea, and the Chief Officer for Public Realm, Bram Kainth, stated that this Council had an excellent track record of consulting disabled people. They assured that all issues raised at this Cabinet meeting would be taken into consideration into the design of the cycle path, which would be done with the input of residents.
The Leader stated that the CS9 would not be going ahead as it was very fast and large. However, the current situation was unsustainable with an enormous increase in population and congestion on the roads. Safer Cycle Pathway was a great way forward to encourage cycling safely.
The Leader stated that the Council would soon announce the creation of a Residents Working Party to take the lead on designing this scheme, to ensure that every concern was taken into account and to gain the approval of the vast majority of residents.
1 Approve the principle of a proposed Safer Cycle Pathway route along Hammersmith Road & King Street from Olympia to Goldhawk Road and the proposed Cycle Highway route along the A4 from British Grove to Warwick Road.
2 Delegate authority to the Chief Officer for Public Realm to progress to detailed design and carry out any remaining statutory consultation on the scheme proposals.
3 Delegate authority to the Chief Officer for Public Realm to incorporate into the final design, where possible, feedback from the Residents Commission made up of local residents, business and disabled groups.
4 Delegate authority to the Chief Officer to commit the capital expenditure for the highway improvements works. The main construction works are to be carried out by the Council’s Principal Highways Contractor, F.M Conway Limited, under the existing Term Contract and the scheme will be fully funded by Transport for London (TfL).
5 Authorise the Chief Officer for Public Realm to enter into a Section 278 agreement under the Highways Act 1980, with Transport for London for the highway works.
6 Authorise the Chief Officer for Public Realm to enter into a section 8 agreement under the Highways Act 1980, with neighbouring highway authorities for the highway works as required, with the Council as the highway authority, carrying out the works.
7 Note that the Cabinet Member for the Environment will be kept updated via regular briefing notes during the scheme development.