Broadcaster and journalist Jeremy Vine has shared a video of cyclists trying to navigate a busy Kensington street after the council removed a cycle lane.
Kensington and Chelsea council has pulled down a £700,000 segregated cycle route on Kensington High Street just seven weeks after it was opened.
The local authority received a relatively small number of complaints from residents about the lane, which resulted in the cycle route being taken away to create more space for motor traffic.
Jeremy Vine has cycled the route himself with a helmet camera following a number of riders as they are forced to navigate their way through traffic.
The council said the scheme was opposed by Kensington Business Forum, the Kensington and Chelsea Chamber of Trade and Commerce and disability group Action Disability K&C, which it says was concerned about the impact on its members.
Work to remove the lane started on December 2, but the decision came under fire from campaigners and even pro rider Tao Geoghegan Hart.
The council were initially forced to delay the removal due to protests, but the segregated lane has now gone.
The leader of Kensington and Chelsea council, Councillor Johnny Thalassites, previously said: “We decided to end the cycle lane trial because it wasn’t working. Residents have told us so, businesses have told us so.
“On top of that, this period is vital for businesses and they have made it clear to us that this is not the time to be experimenting, when, frankly, our high streets are facing their toughest test in decades.
“This isn’t just about shops, deliveries, and access. It is about jobs and livelihoods.
“This isn’t the end, we are still listening, and we are still looking at ways to improve cycling provision, long term – but our focus is likely to shift to alternative schemes that have a positive impact for our residents.”
A spokesperson for the authority said that it has received 322 email complaints from residents about the cycle lane – the population of the borough is around 160,000.
The number of cyclists using the stretch of road, which leads into central London, had doubled to around 4,000 people each day according to some reports, raising questions about why the council made the decision.
Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.
Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.
Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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