Thursday 2 August 2018 4:52 pm

Westminster council derails second Sadiq Khan project with legal challenge against CS11 Cycle Superhighway

Reporter at City A.M. covering City politics, transport and law. Get in touch:

Reporter at City A.M. covering City politics, transport and law. Get in touch:

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  Construction works on a proposed cycle superhighway at a dangerous gyratory in north-west London have come to a grinding halt after Westminster council mounted a successful legal challenge against Transport for London (TfL) – derailing its second project this year.

Work on the first section of Cycle Superhighway 11, which is intended to span Swiss Cottage to the West End, was due to get underway this month. The superhighway is meant to separate cyclists from other vehicles to create a safer way to travel on the route where cyclists currently have to deal with up to five lanes of one-way traffic.

The council said it lodged the review because TfL had failed to provide it with detailed assessments for traffic modelling, displacement and air pollution, with some residents expressing concern that motorists would seek to avoid potential traffic jams by diverting along residential streets.

The action comes only weeks after the Tory-led council blocked the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street last month, sending tensions between the two sides to an all-time high.

London's deputy mayor for transport, Heidi Alexander, branded the move “disgraceful”.

“A week ago today, it was announced that Westminster Council had successfully sought an injunction to stop us starting work to remove the gyratory at Swiss Cottage,” she said.

“Anyone who has ever set foot outside of that tube station will know that you are immediately confronted with five lanes of busy traffic – a hostile, unpleasant environment for anyone walking or on a bike.

"In a week when a woman was in hospital fighting for her life, Westminster council stopped Transport for London from starting work on a scheme a few miles away to reduce road danger. It's a disgrace. There is no other way to describe it.”

Westminster council cabinet member Tim Mitchell denied the council was "anti-CS11 or cycling".

"We are worried that CS11 in its current form will cause traffic displacement, increase congestion and lead to poorer air quality," he said.

“Westminster city council fully supports safe cycling and we are making major investments for cyclists within Westminster."

A full judicial review hearing is scheduled for 6 September.