Sadiq Khan ditches initial Westway cycle superhighway plans

Rebecca Smith
A visualisation of the initial plan with the cycling path next to the Westway
A visualisation of the initial plan with the cycling path next to the Westway (Source: TfL)

Plans to create a cycle superhighway by removing a lane from the A40 Westway flyover have been ditched.

Sadiq Khan axed the idea and is recommending changes to the scheme. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.

While the idea of removing one of three lanes drew 71 per cent support from a Transport for London (TfL) consultation, City A.M. understands many cyclists had voiced concerns over the plans.

Read more: Cycle superhighways are causing traffic jams in the City

Former cycling tsar Andrew Gilligan announced the cancellation on his blog, saying: "The cancellation will probably mean that no segregated cycle route from central to west London is delivered in this mayoral term."

A spokesperson for the Mayor said: "Sadiq is absolutely committed to making London safer and easier - that's why he has asked TfL to increase spending on cycling compared to the previous administration in which Mr Gilligan was the Cycling Commissioner. The Mayor has already approved the next two cycle superhighways and is committed to delivering a new east-west route."

Read more: Here's where London's next cycle superhighway will be

The Mayor came to the decision after a discussion with his deputy mayor for transport Val Shawcross and British Cycling campaigner Chris Boardman. Alternative routes could offer facilities on existing lines for cyclists and the Mayor is looking into options where money invested could also be used to make improvements for pedestrians.

Boardman said: "It was clear from my meeting with Val Shawcross that the mayor's team is committed to cycling, but I expressed concerns about the new plans for the east-west extension.

"The new route, mainly on local borough maintained roads, presents challenges and I advised in the meeting that there needs to be a back-up plan if it is not of sufficient quality or takes too much time to deliver."

Khan previously approved Cycle superhighway 11 linking Swiss Cottage and Oxford Circus and the 1.5 mile extension of the North-South superhighway between the junction of Stonecutter Street/Farringdon Street and King's Cross.

The 4.5 mile Westway route was the brainchild of former Mayor Boris Johnson. It was meant to be an extension of his flagship Victoria Embankment superhighway and would have linked Paddington and Acton.

It was proposed because of the refusal of Kensington and Chelsea council to allow a cycle superhighway to be built on Kensington High Street.

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