Plans for west London cycle superhighway slammed for creating a ‘speedway for cyclists’ and ‘crippling’ trade

A proposed segregated cycling track through west London was today criticised by business owners who claim it could create a “speedway for cyclists” and “cripple” trade.

The Cycle Superhighway 9 route would link Kensington Olympia with Hammersmith, Chiswick and Brentford and could open within two years - writes

The two-way segregated track would run along Hammersmith Road, King Street and Chiswick High Road. It would be the first such superhighway in west London.

Opponents believe the route would cause “gridlock” on the busy High Road and businesses say it would hinder van deliveries, restrict pavement access and limit parking.

But supporters say the £70 million route would improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians and reduce traffic in residential roads.

David Lesniak, 55, who runs restaurant Outsider Tart, said: “Transport for London plan the route as a way to get from A to B. There’s no reason to think that cyclists will stop to shop or eat in Chiswick. It’s either a speedway or a pleasant cycle route. It cannot be both.” He added that reduced pavement space “translates to restaurants removing outdoor seating”.

Adam Gibbons, 44, owner of pet physiotherapist clinic Dogtown, said: “We have lots of disabled dogs who come for therapy and the further away their owners park the more difficult it is. In simple terms I won’t be able to get customers here and that will cripple us. It would have a massive effect.”

Local politicians are also calling for a re-think of the plans drawn up under Boris Johnson’s second term as Mayor. Julian Tanner, of the Brentford and Isleworth Conservative Association, said the High Road was the “wrong route” and that the A4 would be more appropriate as it has fewer junctions.

However, cyclist Raul Castillo, 29, said: “I come regularly here and welcome anything to make it safer.” Michael Robinson, of the Hounslow Cycling Campaign, added that the problems raised by businesses were “nothing new” and were outweighed by benefits such as improved cyclist safety and encouraging active travel.

Final CS9 draft plans are likely to be released by TfL within eight weeks. Amrit Mann, of Hounslow council, said: “The CS9 will make a real difference in encouraging residents to get on their bikes.”

Nigel Hardy, Head of Programme Sponsorship at TfL, said: “Safer cycling and walking routes provide huge benefits to London and enhance the quality of life in the areas they are introduced. We also need to make sure that, when we introduce new infrastructure, it supports local economies. That’s why we really value all the engagement we’ve received on our proposals, which we are continuing to discuss with local representatives.

"We are still analysing the results of the recent consultation and will be announcing proposed next steps early next year. The consultation feedback and our continuing engagement with the local community will make sure our plans work for as many people as possible.”

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