BORIS Johnson might be late the next time he cycles to work after a bike lane outside his house was narrowed to save a tree.
A cycling organisation said the junction on Goswell Road, which is on the second busiest bike route in London, will become a “bottleneck”. Charlie Lloyd, of London Cycling Campaign, expressed concern over the junction after Transport for London (TfL) revised its plans.
Mr Lloyd said: “By creating what will be a bottleneck, it means cyclists are going to be severely held up. “These plane trees are not of great age, so it would be worth removing them and replanting ten others in a different location.”
The junction, which crosses Goswell Road and City Road between Colebrooke Row and Owen Street, has more than 1,000 cyclists per hour passing through it at peak times. As part of improvement works to the junction, TFL proposed all trees were removed from the surrounding area and replanted elsewhere. However, the Tree Officers at Islington Council rejected the proposal.
Instead of a wide cycle track and two pedestrian routes, a narrower cycle track and single pedestrian route will now be built. Philip Wood, Principal Tree Preservation Officer for Islington Council, said: “The plans would have involved the felling of all the trees in the area. “The way it is now, there is a compromise between what could ultimately be desired and what’s actually achievable on the ground.”
Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, who lives on Colebrooke Row where the the cycle path comes out, has launched several campaigns to improve conditions for cyclists in London. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme in November last year: “What we are doing in London is to try and make sure that the huge increase in cycling is matched with an increase in cycling safety measures.”