‘Advisory’ cycle lanes could be painted onto road surface in High Street Kensington

The short-lived High Street Kensington pop-up cycle lanes (Elliot Wagland)
The short-lived High Street Kensington pop-up cycle lanes (Elliot Wagland)

A proposal to introduce “advisory” cycle lanes on part of High Street Kensington has been published by Kensington and Chelsea council.

However the lanes would not be “segregated” or protected from motor vehicles – and drivers could to park in the lanes without penalty.

The lack of cycle lanes along High Street Kensington has been controversial for years. Two months ago, the Tory-led council won a court case in which campaigners had sought to have its removal of “pop up” cycle lanes during the pandemic declared illegal.

The latest proposal is for 1.5m-wide cycle lanes to be marked out - using white painted broken lines – on either side of two short sections of the road.

One is near Holland Park - between Addison Road and Earl’s Court Road – and the other is near Kensington Gardens, between Kensington Palace Gardens and Queen’s Gate, when High Street Kensington becomes Kensington Road.

The council has also proposed similar designs for parts of Fulham Road. The six-week consultation runs until June 26.

The proposals are unlikely to win the backing of cycle campaigners as they appear to offer no physical protection for cyclists from being hit by turning vehicles or from behind.

Clare Rogers, healthy streets co-ordinator at London Cycling Campaign, said: "Two years after removing protected cycle lanes from Kensington High Street, and in a climate emergency, it’s disappointing to see RBKC proposing dotted lines in paint.

“The Centre for London report recommends protected tracks, surveys show a majority of residents support them, and we have known for decades that dotted lives don’t save lives or get more people cycling - so we are asking residents and everyone now to tell the council it needs to do a lot better.”

According to the council, the Highway Code advises that drivers should not drive or park in an advisory cycle lane marked by a broken white line unless it is unavoidable.

Cem Kemahli, the council’s lead member for planning, place and environment, said: “These proposals are to help cyclists get around as part of our commitment to a greener Kensington and Chelsea.

“We know there are many competing calls for limited road space and lots of opinions when it comes to how we use our historic roads. This is why we are giving people a chance to have their say on these proposals, which have been designed to minimise impact on traffic flow but also provide space for cyclists.”

On Fulham Road, the proposals do not include the junction of Beaufort Street, Drayton Gardens and Fulham Road as the area is subject to a separate junction upgrade scheme later this summer.

The council said the proposals exclude sections of Fulham Road and Kensington High Street that are maintained by Transport for London.

It said cycle symbols would be used “to guide cyclists into the main carriageway” when buses are waiting at bus stops or where carriageway widths “do not permit a cycle lane”.

The proposals include a dropped kerb to the west of the entrance to Holland Park, to allow east-bound cyclists onto a proposed short section of shared-use footway to enable access to the Holland Walk pedestrian and cycle path, and Phillimore Walk.

On Fulham Road, no changes are being proposed at the junction of Beaufort Street/Drayton Gardens/Fulham Road as this area is subject to a separate junction upgrade scheme, to be completed this summer.

The council consultation can be found here.