Judicial Review: Kensington High Street cycle lane removal by RBKC

by Better Streets for Kensington and Chelsea

Judicial Review: Kensington High Street cycle lane removal by RBKC

by Better Streets for Kensington and Chelsea
Better Streets for Kensington and Chelsea
Case Owner
We are a voluntary group made up of local residents in RBKC seeking a judicial review of the council's decision to rip out the only safe segregated cycle lane in the borough on Kensington High Street.
Funded
on 24th July 2021
£12,206
pledged of £12,245 stretch target from 349 pledges
Better Streets for Kensington and Chelsea
Case Owner
We are a voluntary group made up of local residents in RBKC seeking a judicial review of the council's decision to rip out the only safe segregated cycle lane in the borough on Kensington High Street.

Latest: Oct. 6, 2021

Good news!

🚨PERMISSION KLAXON🚨 after a long summer & a lot of back and forth we have a good news update.


A huge thank you to all of you for your vital support, a massive thanks to ELF Law and our pro-bono le…

Read more

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

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

In that time the lanes were hugely successful, with cycle numbers more than doubling to 3-4,000 journeys a day. Children and key workers were able to ride safely to school and work, many for the first time on what is one of London's most dangerous roads. The removal prevented the trial scheme from running its course and gathering data. We believe this decision was unlawful, but above all we want RBKC to do the right thing for people's health and wellbeing.

Who supports safe cycling on High Street Kensington?

Over 80 organisations have stated publicly their support for safe cycle lanes on this route. This includes the two major NHS Trusts covering our borough; high street retailers like Waitrose; world class university Imperial College London; and iconic venues like the Royal Albert Hall. This isn’t an obscure wish of some cult of cycling obsessives. This is a basic request from Londoners to be able to get from A to B in a safe and sustainable way that is being blocked by RBKC. You can see the list of those who want safe cycle lanes here Supporters of the HSK Cycle Lane  

Call to action - We are raising £10,000 to fund a judicial review against the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. We need your support: please contribute and share this page.

What are we trying to achieve? - The Kensington High Street cycle lanes were the only safe segregated lanes on any of RBKC's roads and they formed an essential part of the East-West corridor used by thousands of people every day, providing the only safe cycle route across west London. For many it made cycling an option for the first time.

We want:

  • A fair – and lawful decision;
  • RBKC to recognise the mistakes made in 2020, and re-build trust;
  • Immediately re-instate the cycle lanes on High Street Kensington to provide a safe mode of transport, in line with government guidance;
  • Independent monitoring and review of the cycle lanes against agreed metrics and criteria over 12 months;
  • Start plans now with stakeholders for consultation on the permanent solution for safe cycling on this key route; and
  • Embrace the vast range of support from organisations across society, and switchgear to start working with our community as a whole to put together what will be RBKC’s first real strategic plan for walking and cycling.

More info at High Street Kensington 

What is the next step in the case? - We originally filed a pre-action protocol letter in December 2020. Our claim papers were issued in the High Court and served in mid June of this year and we are now awaiting permission from the courts to proceed.

How much we are raising and why? - We are seeking to raise £10,000 to reflect potential costs.

We have been very fortunate that the Environmental Law Foundation are helping us pro-bono, together with barristers expert in this field who are also working for free. We can’t thank them enough. We are ourselves volunteering our time. The out of pocket expenses such as court filing fees are small. 

The substantial costs we face are if we lose, and the costs of RBKC are awarded against us. Under the Aarhus Convention, environmental claims such as ours should benefit from a cap on our legal costs under the Aarhus Convention, as this includes a requirement that environmental litigation should not be "prohibitively expensive", and we have applied for a cap of £10,000.

Of course, we think our case is strong and that we will win. But nothing is guaranteed, and we also need to show funding to the Court for our case to proceed. In the event that we win, the money we raise through this crowdfunding will not go to RBKC’s lawyers, but to two excellent charities: the Environmental Law Foundation, and the Westway Trust. So your donation will not be wasted.


Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far. We could not have got this far without your letters of support, your time and your energy. Thank you.

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Update 5

Better Streets for Kensington and Chelsea

Oct. 6, 2021

Good news!

🚨PERMISSION KLAXON🚨 after a long summer & a lot of back and forth we have a good news update.


A huge thank you to all of you for your vital support, a massive thanks to ELF Law and our pro-bono legal team, today we succeeded in being granted a full hearing for Judicial Review of RBKC ripping out the 🚲 lane on High St Ken

What’s next ?

For the JR we’ll wait to get a date for the hearing & swap notes with WeAreCyclingUK. We’ll keep campaigning to make our streets safer, greener and fairer. And we hope RBKC take a breath & turn a page - we’ll be more than happy to help.

Again, thank you all!


JK

Update 4

Better Streets for Kensington and Chelsea

July 27, 2021

Good news

Quick update to say we have finalised our stretch target and have now closed the fundraiser having successfully raised sufficient funds to cover potential legal costs & associated fees (estimated £12,200).

As mentioned we will now draft a Q&A along with outlining how the funds will be used and will share these very soon.

Best wishes

Better Street 4KC

Update 3

Better Streets for Kensington and Chelsea

July 26, 2021

Wow!

In a little over 24 hours from mid-day Friday we hit our target!

Thank you so much.

We are boosted by your support & humbled by your generosity.

The core target was to cover potential legal costs and importantly, to demonstrate to the courts we have sufficient funds to proceed with the judicial review.

The stretch target is to help with some of the other costs associated with the JR action such as court fees & other charges. Because we were not expecting to reach our target so quickly we are still pinning down what these will add up to precisely with our legal team, although we have a good estimate. We hope to have this by tomorrow and will close the fundraising as soon as we hit that mark.

Also we will produce a short Q&A to outline what happens next, detail how the funds will be used & outline the possible scenarios & what happens to the funding. 

Do make sure you sign up to our BetterStreets newsletter (via our webpage) to get regular updates.

This truly is a group effort & we wouldn’t be able to do this without you. 


Update 2

Better Streets for Kensington and Chelsea

July 24, 2021

What a 24 hours

We are blown away by how people are coming together to pledge support as well as the amazing messages of support. In 24 hours we have hit 84% of our target.

Please do keep sharing the tweets and links across your social media, chat groups and word of mouth.


We recognise RBKC is an important case not just for local residents but for so many people across London as well as the impact it could have on the broader national debate.

As with any campaign there are ups and downs.  We are all grateful for the expressions of solidarity and support, and will keep these for the challenging times ahead but for now we want to say you are amazing.

Next update Monday.

Update 1

Better Streets for Kensington and Chelsea

July 23, 2021

What a launch

We went live a little under 12 hours ago & we have hit the half way mark thanks to amazing support. Reading the pledge comments and social media posts really underlines why we need to do this. We shall keep you posted, in the meantime please share as widely as you can & enjoy the weekend!

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