Sir Keir Starmer has said he is “supportive” of segregated cycle lanes, arguing that while there is always, “a degree of pushback,” the public generally accepts such measures eventually.
Camden Council is currently planning segregated cycle lanes on both sides of Haverstock Hill between Prince of Wales Road and the Royal Free Hospital.
This has brought predictable opposition from some local business-owners and several councillors, while cycling groups and the Royal Free Hospital have backed the plans.
The route lies within Starmer’s Holborn and St Pancras constituency.
Commenting on the scheme to Ham&High, the Labour leader acknowledged that not everyone was in favour, but expressed optimism that it would ultimately be accepted.
“Look, there’s mixed views. This has been filling up our email inbox,” he said. “I’m supportive of the schemes. I think that whenever they are introduced, they always cause a degree of pushback and then they settle down.
“We have to look at this – the council have to keep a careful eye on it – but since I’ve been an MP, for five years now, there’ve been a number of different schemes introduced. There is always a pushback and then it settles down. So let’s watch this one.”
Earlier this month, a government survey found that 65% of people in England support reallocating road space to cycling and walking in their local area, while separate research also found majority support for the capital’s low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) with only 19% of Londoners opposing them.
Experts have said that it is often a vocal minority who are fighting new cycling infrastructure.
Last month Starmer knocked a cyclist over in Kentish Town while performing a U-turn in his SUV.
The 58-year-old politician exchanged details with the cyclist, who needed hospital treatment for his injuries.
Starmer subsequently visited Kentish Town police station to give a statement to the Metropolitan Police, who are investigating the incident.