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Cyclists using Boris Johnson’s new “Crossrail for bikes” superhighway would be placed in danger if a new McDonald’s drive-thru restaurant were built alongside it, a planning inquiry was due to hear today [Weds from 10am].
Ealing council and the Mayor’s cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan fear that drivers heading to the proposed fast-food takeaway on the A40 at Gypsy Corner in Acton would cut across the cycle route at high speed.

The council initially granted permission for the two-storey restaurant in February but revered its decision a month later when the Mayor confirmed the east-west superhighway, which links Acton and Barking, would be built.

McDonald’s appealed to a planning inspector against the council’s refusal, though there were hopes today that a compromise could be struck by creating a different entrance route off Western Avenue.

It is believed the restaurant franchisee, Atul Pathak, supports the cycle superhighway but McDonald’s corporate headquarters wants to win approval for the original scheme.

In a joint statement in advance of the hearing, Mr Gilligan and Ealing leader Julian Bell said: “The franchisee who will actually be operating the new restaurant is perfectly happy to accept an entrance that does not compromise the new cycle superhighway.

“McDonalds corporate headquarters, however, has insisted on aggressively fighting for an entrance which both of us believe to be unsafe.”

A McDonald’s spokesman said: “We are excited about our plans to invest and create jobs in North Acton. Over the last year we have worked alongside all of the parties involved to ensure that a new restaurant supports the plans for a new cycle superhighway. We are confident that this is the case and look forward to the inquiry’s decision.”