“Scaremongering” protestors on misinformation campaign could prevent new cycle lane in north London

“Vocal nimbys” threaten safer cycling in north London

Cycle lane london

A car encroaches on an existing cycle lane in London

The development of the new CS11 cycle lane in north London is under threat after 3,000 people signed a petition calling for Transport for London to cancel the works.

Despite estimates by TfL that the new road layout would speed car journeys through the area by up to 10 minutes, local protestors have described it as a “catastrophically ill-planned scheme”.

The protestors say that TfL hasn’t factored-in the construction of the HS2 high speed rail line, and also say they believe the proposed system will encourage more vehicles to drive through residential areas.

In addition London cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan has said the protestors have incorrectly claimed traffic lanes will be removed and that they have even got the proposed route of the new lane wrong in campaigning material and during interviews with local media.

The new cycle superhighway aims to accommodate London’s rapidly growing demand for cycle infrastructure that has seen the number of cyclists triple since the year 2000. Meanwhile, car use has fallen by 50% over the same period.

There is also a growing body of evidence to show that proximity to cycle lanes increases house values.

“We can’t go on allowing cars to rule the roads,” Angela Hobsbaum, of Camden Cycling Campaign, said to the Evening Standard, adding that she would be “absolutely horrified” if the £15.5 million scheme was abandoned. 

“Vocal Nimbys”

Peter Hartley, of Westminster Living Streets, said: “There’s been a lot of misinformation and scaremongering about CS11. We don’t want people to be scared by a few vocal Nimbys.”

Cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan said: “A lot of misinformation is being circulated about this scheme.”

Speaking to cycling website Road.cc Gilligan added: “Genuinely I think people have fundamentally misunderstood what’s happening here. What we’re seeing is a lot of opposition to things we’re not actually proposing.

“We’ve seen this sort of thing before, of course. We’ve seen lots of people claiming that cycling schemes are going to cause Armageddon and it’s telling with this one the only way they can oppose it is to misrepresent it.”

Boris Johnson’s successor in City Hall will ultimately decide on whether the scheme will go ahead.

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