Page last updated at 18:56 GMT, Wednesday, 4 June 2008 19:56 UK

Cyclists allowed 'wrong way' ride

Two-way cycling sign
The initiative will begin in Kensington & Chelsea in the autumn

A central London borough is to allow cyclists to ride the wrong way along a number of one-way streets.

Kensington and Chelsea Council is to introduce the idea on six residential roads in a trial in the autumn.

New signs will advise cyclists where they can cut through in order to avoid the route taken by vehicles. There will be no separate path for the cyclists.

The proposal has been met with criticism from drivers who said convenience is being put before safety.

'Convenience before safety'

Councillor Daniel Moylan said: "Bicyclists feel they are offered very little in terms of safety and convenience.

"I hope that our trial will encourage other boroughs and that as a result bicyclists will be much freer to travel around."

Bob Oddy, from London Taxi Drivers Association, criticised the plan saying: "Convenience shouldn't come before safety.

"Lets keep the cyclists doing what they should be doing conforming with all the regulations, not just one-way streets, the red traffic lights and everything else."

But Tony Bogdanowicz, from London Cycling Campaign, disagreed. He said: "I think that this will reduce danger to the cyclists who are currently being forced to use major roads when they be could using the small streets."

Planned routes

The trial is due to take place on Gilston Road; Holland Street, between Kensington Church Street and Hornton Street; Hollywood Road; Old Court Place, by Kensington Church Street; Thackeray Street; and Victoria Grove, between Victoria Road and Launceston Place.

Holland Street, Old Court Place and Thackeray Street will be the first streets which will allow cyclists to travel in the opposite direction to the main traffic flow.

The others, which require physical works for a contra flow, will follow later.

Council leaders devised the plan after meetings with the lobby groups Cycling England, the Cycle Touring Club and the London Cycling Campaign.

The council has agreed other measures to facilitate cycling including turning under-used pay and display car bays over to bicycle stands.

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