Transport for London has confirmed that one of London’s most high-profile new cycle lanes is still officially a temporary measure at this stage, following claims by local politicians that it is adding to congestion and air pollution.
In a letter to the Mayor about traffic issues last month, Aiken singled out the Park Lane re-design, saying “the introduction of new traffic measures has seen congestion and air pollution now at levels worse than pre-lockdown”. She said the cycle paths have been “creating a bottleneck” affecting both Park Lane and, to the north of Marble Arch, Edgware Road.
She also questioned how “temporary” this and other layout changes introduced by TfL in her constituency really are, referring to “your guidance” suggesting the changes could be in place “for up to 18 months with an expectation to be made permanent”. A strip of pavement had been built on the Park Lane carriageway separating cyclists from other road-users by mid-June, obliging bus passengers to cross the cycling section to get to their stop (see photograph, taken on the morning of 14 June)).
Asked by On London if the Park Lane and Edgware Road schemes are still classified as temporary, TfL said that they are, and underlined that they form part of the fast-tracked Streetspace programme, which also includes road closures and the widening of pavements to enable social distancing in the pandemic. TfL added that community feedback will be actively sought when decisions about the future of Streetspace initiatives need to be made.
At his monthly Mayor’s Question Time session last week, Khan agreed to Devenish’s request to facilitate a site visit to Park Lane and Edgware Road by his deputy for transport Heidi Alexander. Devenish had asked the Mayor how he will ensure that “temporary changes” to London road layouts can be “swiftly adapted or removed” where they “prove to be mistakes”. He told the Mayor he did not object to “the principle of the schemes but “the way they’ve been designed”.
It is has already been stated by TfL that space taken for a segregated cycle lane recently introduced on Euston Road, another key London thoroughfare, “is already proposed to be used for the construction of HS2 from later 2021” and that “when the temporary facility is removed” it will “work with local boroughs to develop alternative routes along side streets”.
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