Direct TfL to take control of arterial roads in Kensington and Chelsea

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The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) controls key east-west routes linking west London to the city centre, including Holland Park Avenue and Kensington High Street. These roads have a high potential for cycling, but conditions are currently too dangerous for many people to consider cycling along them. 

RBKC has just announced that it intends to remove a temporary cycle lane which had been installed on Kensington High Street, on the grounds that it harms local business, yet it has produced no evidence to support this claim and the decision appears to be based on political pressure, not facts. In its 7 weeks of existence, the bike lane saw a tripling of people cycling along the High Street, along with reduced traffic congestion - a clear demonstration of demand for safe cycling routes and of their efficiency in moving people across London.

The cycle lanes are supported by key local institutions, including Imperial College, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, and the Royal Albert Hall, and their removal will take away a safe route for children attending local schools including Fox Primary School and families travelling to Hyde Park.

RBKC has previously also blocked plans for cycle lanes along Holland Park Avenue, creating a major barrier to the development of a coherent cycle network despite approval for TfL's plans in the boroughs further west. 

One borough, whose decisions seem to lack supporting evidence, should not be allowed to hold up the transformation of our streets into safe environments for those on bikes and on foot. 

We, the undersigned, demand that the Mayor of London use his existing powers under section 14B of the Highways Act 1980 (as amended by the GLA Act 1999) to direct Transport for London to take control of arterial routes in Kensington and Chelsea which are currently under control of RBKC, in order to prepare and implement plans for a comprehensive segregated cycle route network.