Swiss Cottage cycle superhighway gets the go ahead with construction starting next year
London Mayor Sadiq Khan approves CS11 plan
16 December, 2016 — By Tom Foot
A MAJOR transformation of Swiss Cottage has got the go-ahead from the Mayor of London.
The 1960s one way system will be ripped-up with the north end Avenue Road between the library and the Odeon pedestrianised. Works are due to begin in autumn 2017.
It’s all part of the 2.5 mile CS11 cycle “superhighway”, from Swiss Cottage through Regent’s Park and into the West End, which was approved by Sadiq Khan today (Friday).
He said: “Together such improvements will make cycling safer and easier for all Londoners in the area, helping to make cycling a part of their everyday lives.”
The original plans – which take a lane of traffic out of the busy Finchley Road – have been altered slightly after residents, mainly from Hampstead, Belsize Park and Swiss Cottage, warned the scheme would send heavy traffic pouring neighbourhood streets. The anti CS11 campaign group, which organised a series of public meetings and a public demonstration, has said it is “extremely disappointed” with what it described as “meaningless tweaks”.
The London Cycling Campaign has welcomed the announcement but some cyclists have also criticised the Mayor for delaying a final decision on whether to ban vehicles from entering four “gates” around Regent’s Park. The closure of the gates – which would reduce traffic considerably around the park – was seen as a crucial element of the scheme, but the proposal caused outrage among the taxi driver lobby.
In a lengthy blog post, City Hall’s former cycling adviser Andrew Gilligan said Mr Khan was in danger of losing credibility with cyclists and bowing to a “nimby minority” over the Regent’s Park fudge, adding: “TfL have committed to removing the Swiss Cottage gyratory. But they have not committed to the key proposal which turns this from merely a junction scheme into a route – to close four of the eight gates to Regent’s Park to stop the Outer Circle being a rat-run. This shouldn’t have been a hard decision for Sadiq, so the refusal to commit is a pretty bad sign.”
He added: “If the Mayor does decide that one of the world’s great parks should remain a traffic-choked rat-run, his rhetoric about transforming London for pedestrians and cyclists will be shown to be hollow.”
In February-March 2016, Transport for London consulted on CS11 receiving 6,270 responses, 60 per cent of which supported or partially supported the scheme.
Ashok Sinha, chief executive of London Cycling Campaign, said: “LCC particularly welcomes the long overdue redevelopment of the dangerous Swiss Cottage gyratory and the Mayor and Royal Parks’ commitment to ensuring the safety for people walking and cycling through Regent’s Park.”