Hopes of a breakthrough in building the first safe cycling route in west London were raised today as the extent of the danger faced by cyclists was revealed.
Two routes are now proposed – one on the original route suggested for the £70m CS9 cycle superhighway through Hammersmith town centre, and the other alongside the A4 dual carriageway.
There had been concern that Transport for London would bow to opponents and divert the route from King Street to the polluted six-lane A4.
Hammersmith and Fulham council leader Steve Cowan said agreement had been reached with TfL for extra funds to build two segregated routes.
The route through Hammersmith town centre will be rebranded a “cycle pathway”, following consultation with disabled campaigners, and pedestrians will have priority.
He said it would be faithful to the original CS9 proposal but not badged a superhighway – in line with City Hall’s move away from such branding. He indicated that prioritising the needs of pedestrians had been key to the Labour council granting its support.
Mr Cowan, himself a cyclist, told the Standard: “We have been working with TfL to ensure we have two cycle lanes.
“The first will be down King Street, where people who want to take a more leisurely pace through the residential and retail area will be happy to go.
“There will be an extra segregated cycle lane down the A4 for people who want to ‘put the foot down’ and get from A to B at maximum speed.”
Shortly after Mr Cowan spoke with me yesterday, Hammersmith and Fulham council released its own statement.
It came as shock collision data showed the extent of injuries being suffered by cyclists in King Street and Chiswick High Road.
A total of 258 cyclists have been injured, 28 seriously, between 2005-17, according to an analysis by Dr Edward Seaton, a Chiswick resident and cyclist.
On Saturday a male cyclist suffered facial and arm injuries in a collision with a right-turning car on Chiswick High Road (see picture at top of page).
The cyclist, who asked not to be named, said: “A segregated highway would have meant that probably wouldn’t have happened.”
TV and radio presenter Jeremy Vine, who cycles from Chiswick, told the Standard: “I gather the cyclist who was knocked off his bike on the Chiswick High Road, and badly hurt, had been that way 500 times before. I just hope some change comes soon to this part of London.”
TfL is due to announce updated plans for CS9 “shortly”. Dr Seaton said he backed the idea of two routes but feared a “watered-down version” of the original CS9 proposals, which were backed by 59 per cent of residents.
Dr Seaton said: “The key thing is that we have segregated cycling in areas where people want to go, and where it’s currently unsafe. There are 10 schools within a quarter mile of CS9.”
Mayor Sadiq Khan’s cycling and walking commissioner Will Norman wants to ditch the “superhighway” brand to make new cycle infrastructure more attractive to cyclists of all abilities.
Today Mr Norman tweeted that the revised proposals would be published shortly and that work would start in the summer.
A mayoral spokesman said: “In addition to creating a new cycle way along King Street, TfL have been in discussions with Hammersmith and Fulham council about how to improve the environment for cyclists along the A4, between Hammersmith Town Hall and the Hammersmith gyratory.
“This would represent additional investment in Hammersmith that would offer wider improvements to the infrastructure for walking and cycling.”
An edited version of this story appeared in the Evening Standard.