SUPER CYCLE HIGHWAY 11
Apolgies for the long newsletter, but this goes to show just how LITTLE thought has gone into the bit of the SUPER CYCLE HIGHWAY which will go through St John's Wood. It will also affect those of you in Marylebone and nearby too, and especially those of you who have children in schools in North and North West London.
If we make some noise, we can hopefully have an end result which will be good for everyone. The TfL consultation link is at the bottom of this.
Regardless of whether you are in favour of the thought of this, please please please read the below which we received from elderly friends.
'We have just returned home from attending the first Consultation this afternoon which was held at RIBA. We are both steaming with anger; there were 4 or 5 representatives from TfL there and not one of them knew the first thing about this area. All we were told was that we needn’t worry about anything as the idea is to get more bicycles on the roads and therefore the extra pollution from larger traffic jams, that we (and everyone else who attended) are concerned about, will not be a major factor! They have no idea about the inconvenience that the road closures are going to cause to anyone who lives in North West or North London and frankly, they really gave the impression that it wasn’t their problem! Brian asked how many cars use Regents Park on a daily basis. Their answer was that they did not know, but traffic would have to find other ways to get into London. Their estimate was that only 3 cars a minute would be added to the traffic on Park Road which is a total nonsense. They presume that the other cars will disappear.
When I asked one of them to tell me how I will be able to get from my house to Marylebone High Street, they looked at me blankly and said they had no idea as they did not know the area. It certainly won’t be by the route that I take at the moment as all the gates into Regents Park will be closed, except for Hanover Gate, and the only exit South will be the next gate along which takes you into Baker Street. So should you need to be at the doctor or dentist in the early morning there is very little likelihood that you will be able to get there from St Johns Wood in under 90 minutes, as you will be stuck with all the traffic coming in to town at that time in the morning. There will be restricted access through certain gates between 11am and 3pm.
It was at this stage of my rather heated discussion, that one of the girls said to me that the whole point of this is to get people onto bicycles and out of their cars – she had no answer to my question as to how they expected people of our age to ride a cycle, along with the disabled and people with children?
They told us that decisions have not yet been taken (which none of us believe) and that the whole reason for the consultation is to listen to what people views are on the matter. After the consultation all the objections will be looked at and TfL will be the judge as to whether it will go ahead, there will be no independent adjudicator. Therefore, it is REALLY important that everyone goes onto the TfL website and fills out the questionnaire and writes an email to make their feeling very clear as to why they object.
There was someone there today who pointed out that if this goes ahead, none of us will be able to get around London and that the theatres, art galleries and restaurants, not to mention commerce, that make this the amazing city that it is, will all die out, as no-one will be able to get from one side of London to the other. There will be no route from this area to Theatre-land, unless we are prepared to sit in hours of traffic along Prince Albert Road, which will cause the most dreadful pollution and endanger the health of us all.
We all feel that this dreadful proposal, and should it be implemented it will encroach on our human rights. We are prepared to accept a Cycle Highway in the parts of London where it is not residential (as in Lower Thames Street or in the City), but NOT in this area which is almost entirely residential and where the lives of us all will be affected.
There were about 40 people in the room whilst we were there and each and every one of them was up in arms; yet we all felt that although they said that they will listen to our views, very few of us believed that this is the case.
Today, we ended up chatting to someone who has suddenly realised that she will find herself in great difficulties in getting her children to school. One goes to UCS junior school and the other goes to Highgate and they live in St Johns Wood. She says that the school run is bad enough at the moment, but is going to be well-nigh impossible if this ridiculous plan goes through. It will affect hundreds of people as there are so many schools around Fitzjohns Avenue.
Yet another reason for us all to log on to TfL and really make some noise.
We cannot understand how this scheme was ever even thought of, let alone that it might be allowed to go through. We must all work hard and together to make them see sense and drop it, before all our lives are ruined.'
I urge all of you who haven’t yet filled in the survey on the TfL website to do so and to make your feeling felt in very strong terms. We only have until March 20th to lodge our submissions.
Please feel free to share this with anyone who you might think want to know.
As soon as I know of public local meetings with regards to this, I will let you know.