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Residents divided over controversial pop-up cycle lane – South London News

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By Hannah Neary, Local Democracy Reporter

A cycle lane in West London is so controversial 2,900 people want it ripped up.

Thousands of people are calling for the bikes-only path along King Street in Hammersmith to be taken out, saying it causes havoc.

The pop-up route was introduced by Labour-led Hammersmith and Fulham council as part of its overall plan to create a safe cycling route from east to west Hammersmith.

But a newly-launched petition to scrap the pathway has been signed by nearly 3,000 people, who claim it is unsafe for cyclists and  causes congestion and delays.

It says: “The cycle lane impedes emergency vehicles, is dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists, increases congestion and hence pollution, ended the King Street bus lane, and reduces parking space which negatively affects local businesses.”

Locals expressed their fury with petition comments.

Michele Weininger said: “These new road measures are ridiculous and  dangerous.

“They have created massive traffic jams in King Street and now the buses get stuck behind slow moving cars! Absolutely crazy!”

Julia Watkins said: “It’s causing more traffic and congestion, especially when buses are at stops. Emergency services are unable to get past.”

King Street cycle lane, Hammersmith (image: Liam Downer-Sanderson)

The King Street route is temporary and the council will need to consider the views of residents before deciding whether to keep it.

The petition was launched by two Conservative candidates – Hugo FitzGerald and Liam Downer-Sanderson – who hope to represent Ravenscourt ward.

Mr Downer-Sanderson claims the number of cycling collisions on King Street has doubled since 2020.

He said “It is nigh impossible to retro-fit cycle lanes on to busy main roads without a huge negative impact on everyone.

“Residents clearly agree and councils such as Hammersmith and Fulham council have got to put their residents’ views ahead of the vociferous extremist cycle lobby.

“Emergency vehicles are being delayed, creating a risk lives will be needlessly lost.”

But many cycling fans want it to stay.

Leo Murray, a local dad and chair of cycling campaign group W6 Safe Cycling Families, said: “The lane is fantastic. It’s packed with parents and children. It’s already well used.”

Chair of Hammersmith and Fulham Cycling Group Casey Abaraonye said the majority of people living nearby did not have cars and the route was now safer for cyclists, walkers and disabled residents to get about.

He added: “It’s a massive improvement. King Street is a high street, not a highway. If we look at any high street operating at a decent capacity, the first thing we notice about it is that it isn’t flooded by cars.”

Chiswick resident Ruth Mayorcas, 68, who cycles along the route daily, said she felts safe. “It keeps people [away from]  heavy goods lorries, delivery vans and taxis. What’s dangerous is driver behaviour,” she said.

“Unfortunately the roads in London have been so hostile for so long for women, children, and older men who want to use a bike to get around like they do in Europe.”

Hammersmith and Fulham council was contacted for comment.

Pictured top: Conservative candidates for Hammersmith and Fulham council Hugo Fitzgerald, left, and Liam Downer-Sanderson, right (image: Elizabeth Gahan)

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