Chiswick Lib Dems comment on proposed CS9 scheme

November 3, 2017 12:00 PM
By Chiswick Liberal Democrats

Chiswick Liberal Democrats ask TFL to investigate 'on-carriageway' and alternative solutions such as an A4 route to ensure CS9 works for all.

While being fully supportive of increasing the use of walking, cycling and public transport to improve health, air quality and safety, Chiswick Liberal Democrats say they can't support the proposed Chiswick section of the CS9 cycle super highway in its current form.

"In our view TFL have failed to provide evidence that the CS9 scheme will deliver on these benefits for Chiswick. It's the right principle but is being implemented incorrectly", said Helen Cross, Liberal Democrat Council Candidate for Turnham Green Ward.

"This scheme is expected to cost up to £70 million pounds and should support all the forms of transport it is supposed to. This appears to be a classic case of top down targets driving decisions with little consideration of local needs. Chiswick Liberal Democrats want TFL to investigate 'on-carriageway' and alternative or complementary solutions such as an A4 route to ensure CS9 works for all", she continued.

Our survey among local Lib Dems showed that while many want a 'greener' Chiswick, there were many concerned about the impact of the scheme on pedestrians, public transport, traffic and businesses. Following this feedback, Helen and fellow Turnham Green candidate Chris Gillie reviewed the TFL proposals. They highlighted the following concerns:

1. Wrong solution for community, consumers and business: The proposal of a fully segregated off-carriageway cycle route treats Chiswick High Road as a commuter 'through road' and is at odds with its crucial function as the community and local shopping hub for Chiswick. The proposed plans make crossing the road more difficult (all pedestrian crossing times are up significantly, some by 400%), impeding the ability of people to access businesses and amenities on both sides of the road. TFL's own planning guidance advises against putting fully segregated off-carriageway solutions on 'high street' type roads.

2. Reduced accessibility: This planning approach has led to an over emphasis of cycling at the expense of walking and public transport in Chiswick. We believe this presents significant accessibility challenges for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups (those with disabilities, children, or the elderly) as buses are one of the most affordable and accessible forms of transport. TFL have projected generally increased bus travel times, by as much as 5 - 10 minutes at peak times eastbound, and they have failed to publish any assessment of the critical E3 and 272 bus routes that connect north and south Chiswick.

3. Diminished pedestrian experience: Due to reduced pavement size, generally increased traffic journey times and having to cross a two-way CS9 lane to get to bus stops, Chiswick High Road will be more crowded, feel less safe and potentially have increased pollution. The current design of CS9 in Chiswick is also fundamentally at odds with the Healthy Streets Approach adopted by TFL that is supposed to encourage pedestrians and communities. The plans conflict directly with 6 of TFL's 10 Healthy Streets Indicators, and we are particularly concerned that an impact assessment on levels of pollution has not been carried out.

"Chiswick Liberal Democrats want to work with TFL to get the right CS9 approach for Chiswick. The current proposal diminishes the experience for pedestrians, impedes access to public transport for vulnerable groups, potentially increases pollution and is bad for local businesses. We will continue to push TFL to take concrete actions to address our concerns and develop a better solution that works for all."

See our detailed analysis and demands of TFL here. This document was submitted to the consultation on 31 October 2017. For further comment, contact Chiswick Liberal Democrats at liberalchiswick@gmail.com.

The Healthy Streets Approach document is available here: http://content.tfl.gov.uk/healthy-streets-for-london.pdf with the 10 Health Streets Indicators at page 12-13.

For the original Healthy Street Check document from Lucy Saunders and Brian Deegan for TFL, please click here.