Removal of Kensington High Street cycle lane by RBKC

We are a group of local volunteers eager to make our streets safer, healthier and happier, now and for future generations. Better streets for Kensington and Chelsea

RBKC removed the protected cycle lanes from Kensington High Street in December 2020, before they were fully installed, after just seven weeks of being in place.

Last year, with the support of 349 generous contributors, we managed to raise the funds we needed to launch our campaign on CrowdJustice.

  • The £10,000 in costs that could be brought against us, if we lose the case. We understand that this £10,000 figure is capped as we have obtained protection under the Aarhus Convention, which limits the exposure to costs for those who bring environmental claims; and
  • An amount for legal costs, much of which has already been spent
  • Our legal team continues to retain the £10,000 as security in case we lose the JR and the court awards capped RBKC charges in accordance with the Aarhus Convention.

Why are we still fighting

The Kensington High Street Cycle Lanes were the only safe segregated lanes on all RBKC routes and they formed an essential part of the East-West Corridor used by thousands of people every day, providing the only safe cycle path across the West from London. For many, this made cycling an option for the first time.

Since then, TfL has completed further sections of this east-west corridor in Hammersmith and Chiswick, meaning the C9 now runs continuously from Hounslow to Stratford, with one exception. Kensington High Street is now the only section of the C9 without a protected cycle lane, putting Londoners at unnecessary risk and undermining efforts to respond to the RBKC climate emergency declared in 2019.

Why We Breed Again

As we explain in our newsletter, we now need to reinvigorate our fundraising efforts:

  • We have a hearing on the 19the July for the reinstatement of our case, and there are costs associated with that; and

Over the past 18 months, we have worked behind the scenes to move the case forward with the help of a pro bono legal team.

  • Assuming our case is reinstated, for the substantive hearing, we can no longer rely on fully pro bono legal support.

How your contribution will help

Our first target is therefore the costs associated with the reinstatement hearing. Our new legal team is being coordinated by the lawyers at Leigh Day, and the fees for this hearing (including those of our lawyers and the preparatory work they have done) are £5,000 plus VAT (i.e. £6,000 ).

We are very grateful to Cycling UK who have committed £2,500 to this new fundraising effort. However, this leaves a funding gap to cover these hearing costs.

We hope to succeed in our reintegration on Tuesday. If granted, we will seek to raise funds for an additional amount to cover the costs of the substantive hearing. As we have done a lot of work over the past 18 months with our pro bono legal team, the amount we anticipate needing to fundraise for this is much less than what would normally be the case for a judicial review, but this will be greater than the amount we seek to raise in the first instance for the reinstatement hearing.

We are truly sorry for the administrative oversight that triggered this reinstatement issue. We are very disappointed that RBKC did not agree to reinstatement, which is why we must incur the costs of a hearing. As with previous efforts, RBKC is very clearly trying to deny a community group the ability to scrutinize its decision-making by excluding us from the courts. We are also extremely grateful to the hundreds of you who have supported us so far.

If you are able to contribute more, even for a small amount, we would greatly appreciate it.