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Extinction Rebellion protest removal of cycle lane in west London

Extinction Rebellion protest removal of cycle lane in west London
03.12.2020
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Extinction Rebellion activists have tried to block a cycle lane from being removed on a busy road in west London following a backlash over the plans.

Climate protesters took the High Street Kensington in a last-ditch attempt to stop the road’s cycle path from been torn up on Wednesday night.

They could be seen climbing onto a work van that had arrived to remove the bollards that lined the busy street.

“This cycle lane has to stay here for the local kids,” one XR activist said at the scene. “This is our red line – no more.”
Schoolchildren and their parents earlier joined protests aiming to prevent the cycle lanes being ripped out, only weeks after a £313,000 Government-funded trial began.

Protesters urged Kensington and Chelsea council to “please avoid regressive road infrastructure action” and said London roads “are for all users to share & enjoy safely”.

The lanes were only introduced from September 30 by the council after it received Government cash to encourage cycling and discourage car use.

But it said they would be removed from Wednesday after complaints from 322 residents and two local business groups.

 

£313,000 refund wanted

Will Norman, the Mayor of London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said he would seek to recover the Government cash so it could be reallocated by Transport for London to other boroughs.

He said he was furious that cyclists were being injured and killed but the council had now blocked three major safety schemes.

The council has received £313,000 in funding via TfL’s Streetspace fund for the lanes, and the total amount could have reached £700,000, and possibly as much as £1m, if the second stage – which includes changes to junctions – were completed.

Mr Norman said the council last year blocked a cycle superhighway in Holland Park Avenue and the extension of the CS8 superhighway along the Chelsea Embankment.

Mr Norman said: “They eventually agreed to do this [the Kensington scheme] but they are taking it out before it’s even finished.

“People are dying on these roads. I’m so angry about it. There have been so many collisions and serious injuries that there needs to be a safe route across west London.”

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