News February 2021:
Haverstock Hill Cycle Lanes plan dropped by Camden Council

Amit ShahAmit Shah on Haverstock Hill. Photo: Amit Shah.

Amit Shah told Michael Boniface of the Ham&High that it was now time for a "proper” consultation.

Amit Shah, a local resident who took Camden Council to court over proposed cycle lanes in Haverstock Hill, has hailed the town hall’s withdrawal of the scheme as a “big victory”. Amit Shah, who lives in Haverstock Hill himself, said he was “absolutely delighted” at the council’s decision to remove the project's experimental traffic order. He called for a “proper” consultation on future plans.

The town hall pulled out of the divisive scheme due to what it called a “minor technical error” and said it would look again at the proposals.

The U-turn followed a legal challenge against the council by Amit who opposed the scheme after he claimed the initiative – designed to improve cycling infrastructure – could impede his and others’ access to the Royal Free, and that it would damage local businesses.

Amit Shah told told the Ham&High: “It’s now time for Camden to consult with the community on Haverstock Hill properly about this scheme and look at what the alternatives are, and not just to try to impose something on the community. Whatever proposal that comes forward should be mindful that it takes into account the needs of the vulnerable and the elderly. That’s a big concern for a lot of people who live around here.” Read the full story here.

Residents from the Campaign Against Camden Road Closures backed the High Court ruling and claimed that low-traffic neighbourhoods have been imposed without “proper” consultation.

Transport groups in Camden say they are “disappointed” with the halting of the Haverstock Hill cycle lane scheme – but campaigners opposed to low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) welcomed the move.

John Saynor, chair of West Hampstead Amenity and Transport has called for greater consultation from TfL with local residents. He said the Streetspace scheme in Finchley Road – which closed general traffic to a single lane to widen the pavement - has caused “massive” traffic jams and increased congestion.

“As a group, we are campaigners for better public transport and better pedestrian safety, but we concluded that this particular scheme was a step too far, and we continue to call on TfL to rethink,” he said.

Adam Joy, founder of the Campaign Against Camden Road Closures, said that LTN schemes are “hugely unpopular” and called on the council to suspend them “immediately”.

“We’ve long argued that the imposition of LTNs by Camden Council without proper consultation is discriminatory against the disabled and elderly and only serves to increase congestion and pollution on surrounding roads,” he said.

“LTNs also impede access for emergency vehicles and we have seen numerous cases of ambulances, fire engines and police cars getting stuck in the LTN maze.”

Camden Council said it is considering the High Court ruling but that it is “too soon” to comment further amid TfL’s appeal.

Read the full news story in the Ham&High here

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