Tory council is facing demands to refund £300,000 after it decided to tear up ...

Council bosses are facing growing calls to refund £300,000 of Government money following their decision to remove the 'disastrous' Covid cycle lanes on Kensington High Street. 

Kensington and Chelsea council confirmed the lanes would be removed by December 2 after Tory politicians, Tony Devenish and MP Felicity Buchan, said the the scheme 'hadn't worked'.

The initiative, which was introduced in September in an effort to encourage visitors back onto the High Street amid the pandemic, saw the council receive £313,000 in funding from Transport for London's Streetspace fund. 

Following the decision, Will Norman, the Mayor of London's walking and cycling commissioner said the council had blocked three major safety schemes and he would look to recover the Government money so it could be spent on other areas in the capital.

Kensington and Chelsea council is facing calls to refund the £300,000 in Government money following its decision to remove the cycle lanes from Kensington Hight Street

Kensington and Chelsea council is facing calls to refund the £300,000 in Government money following its decision to remove the cycle lanes from Kensington Hight Street

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He told The Evening Standard: 'They eventually agreed to do this [the Kensington scheme] but they are taking it out before it's even finished.

'People are dying on these roads. I'm so angry about it. There have been so many collisions and serious injuries that there needs to be a safe route across west London.' 

While Justin Abbott, chair of local volunteer group Better Streets for Kensington and Chelsea, said there was 'no rush' to remove the cycle lanes.

He said: 'There is manifestly no rush to rip out a safety scheme with no safe alternative on a road that is infamously dangerous.' 

Meanwhile Fox Primary School in Kensington announced it had organised a protest 'festive joyride' in an effort to show their support for the controversial lanes.

In a message on Twitter the school wrote: 'Fox Primary School is inviting everyone who wants key workers and kids to have a safe route to school or work to show up for a FESTIVE JOYRIDE up & down the length of the new Kensington High Street cycle lane at 8am Tuesday 1st DECEMBER.'

The backlash comes after the council, which initially opened up the lanes to encourage visitors back to the High Street, said they would remove the lanes following concerns over congestion, bus journey times and loading. 

Action Disability Kensington and Chelsea also raised concerns about taxis and cars being unable to drop passengers off safely at pavements. 

In a clip posted to Twitter Ms Buchan, the MP for Kensington, said: 'We're on the verge of Kensington High Street and we've come to see the traffic this morning. 

Fox Primary School announced it had organised a socially distanced protest ride in an effort to show their support for lanes

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Fox Primary School announced it had organised a socially distanced protest ride in an effort to show their support for lanes

The council confirmed the lanes, which were aimed at encouraging visitors back onto the High Street, would be removed by December 2

The council confirmed the lanes, which were aimed at encouraging visitors back onto the High Street, would be removed by December 2 

Ms Buchan, the Tory MP for Kensington

Mr Devenish, Conservative London Assembly Member for Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster

MP Felicity Buchan (left) and Tony Devenish said the the scheme had not worked and called for the lanes to be removed

'I very much wanted the cycle lane on Kensington High Street to work but unfortunately it just hasn't.

'It hasn't worked for pedestrians, it hasn't worked for the elderly, it hasn't worked for the disabled. So very reluctantly, I am asking the council to take out the cycle lane on Kensington High Street.' 

London Assembly Member Mr Devenish added: 'I'd like to thank our residents and residents' associations for working with RBKC to actually look at this scheme.

'It was a good idea but I'm afraid it hasn't worked. And now we need to take it out as soon as possible.' 

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