Ride for Everybody – Feeder Ride to London Freecycle

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Saturday 29th July.

FreecycleFeederEnjoy a day in Central London free of motor vehicles.

We meet on Richmond Little Green 10.00 and head off via Putney Riverside, Wandsworth Park and Battersea Gardens and then up through Belgravia to join the Freecycle where Central London roads are traffic free. Leave London for the ride home at 15.00.

Our routes in and out.

About 80 of us met up and enjoyed a good ride up to London and saw some  parts of town that were new to many. The Freecycle route itself was busy, but not impossibly so, and, as usual, it was great to see so many cyclists, some very young, making full use of London streets. With rain starting only about 30 chose to join us for the trip home and we got back to Richmond by 16.30 in a damp but unbowed condition.

As one participant said “there should be a straightforward way of cycling into London” but there isn’t , at least not without battling one’s way through heavy traffic. Our circuitous route meant that we were little affected by traffic until we hit Barnes and Mortlake.

Thanks to Jim, Jean, Ian , Cameron and Tim for looking after everybody.

Cycling Liaison Group – a Shopping List

CLG Notes – July 2017

We’ve got quite a few things for the Cycling LIaison Group, and for the council.

(a) The “Walkway” seems to be the route by the Old Sorting Office site development from Twickenham station – to Craneford Way playing field. The question is will it be (when finally open) officially a cycle route – and if not why was that not demanded as part of planning permission.

(something similar seems to have happened in Hampton Wick when the riverside route was initially going to be a cycle route but then acquired a gate.)

The Wellesley Rd – Fifth Cross Rd link for connecting Strawberry Hill station to Crane Park shared use path requires more than just signing. (interestingly it appears on the Borough Cycling Strategy map.)

(b) The need for a working party to be set up to look at the case for establishing and publicising a Richmond Cycling Network. (There is a map in the council’s documents, but it shows too many routes which are clearly not appropriate for everyone to cycle on.)

(c) RUTC to give proper consideration to the impact on cyclist safety of the road restrictions and closures in place during RFU events

(d) The need for RUTC to arrange for traffic Wardens to stop motorists from parking on double yellow lines, particularly at corners, where the reduced visibility of passing traffic puts cyclists and pedestrians at risk. Additionally, double yellow lines often protect stepless pavement access, which is important for wheelchairs, prams, and a variety of other pavement users.

(e) Parking at Kew station. We’ve asked about this before – the station needs more bike parking on both sides, but especially on the North Road side.

(f) The council recently consulted on changes to the Star and Garter roundabout. According to email discussions with the council, this is being considered for possible 20mph zoning. We’d like to know why we only hear about these things via email, and what the process is for this.

(g) Also on the Star and Garter consultation, we are very disappointed by the entire consultation process, as well as the proposed designs. The consultation failed to clearly show the proposed changes, didn’t show what analysis had been undertaken, and didn’t offer any options. Most importantly from our point of view, it offers no improvements at all for cycling.

(h) We looked at the minutes from January 2016 (here). It’s hard to see what progress has been made on virtually any of the items listed:

  • Kingston to Hampton Court cycle links
  • Rocks Lane cycle route
  • Mini Holland funded cycle routes
  • Sheen Road cycle route
  • Fifth Cross Road / Wellesley Road cycle route
  • Contraflow cycle routes
  • Simultaneous green junction

(i) In a consultation on the Uxbridge / Hampton Road junction, pavement and park space is being taken away to increase road space for queuing cars. Why are we sacrificing park space for traffic? Why are there no options on the table beside having more cars in the area?

(j) Cycling information is buried on the council website – it’s virtually impossible to find the cycling liaison group and it is poorly publicised.

(k) The Mortlake Brewery and St Mary’s University developments seem to have no council plan for walking and cycling. Why? These are excellent opportunities to push for more active travel and to provide attractive active travel options, but the council has done nothing.

(l) Twickenham Riverside. Why is cycling not included? Why is there no cycle parking, no cycle routes? We have spoken to the council about this for more than 3 years, and yet still designs never include walking or cycling properly.

Star and Garter – stop making sense!

This is an email thread with the council about the council’s Star and Garter consultation. You’ll need to read it from the bottom. But the things that worry us:

  1. Someone actually thought about cycling, then realised they couldn’t even design in a painted on bike logo
  2. Someone else is apparently thinking about 20mph in the area. Which is news to everyone we know.
  3. The council doesn’t understand the point of consultations. This provides no options, no analysis, doesn’t accurately show what is changing, and assumes that interested parties are going to try to go to the planning portal to understand the context for these things. There’s surely no better way to make sure no-one responds.
  4. Honestly, the council has no idea what makes for acceptable cycling conditions.

________________________________

Dear RCC,

As stated in my previous email, the changes being made directly outside the Star and Garter development were agreed as part of the planning application. Members of the public would have been given an opportunity to comment on these as part of this planning application.

The main alteration here is the addition of a new footway outside Ancaster House, which is highlighted on the consultation plan. The remaining changes consist of minor elements to bring the layout in line with the current standards. These type of changes usually addressed through our maintenance programme, but will be undertaken as part of this project while we are working in the area.

The ‘build out’ you refer to on the roundabout is a form of horizontal deflection. This is a requirement on mini-roundabouts to prevents vehicles speeding through the junction or failing to give-way. This is a safety feature that benefits all road users, including cyclists.

You refer to the road widening, but the overall carriageway width here has actually be reduced to accommodate the development works. Although this has been mitigated by removing the central hatching, to maintain the required lane widths.

As previously mentioned the 20mph proposal has not fully been investigated, and as such is not ready to be consulted on.

Regards,

[Council]

 

From: Borough Coordinator [mailto:info@richmondlcc.co.uk]
Sent: 05 July 2017 21:31
To: [Council]
Subject: Re: Star and Garter Consultation.

[Council],

I apologise if I didn’t make it clear, but I think there are a number of questions to be answered here.

  1. Why does the consultation document and diagram fail to explain what changes are actually being made to the road layout?
  2. Why is there a build out on the roundabout? What is its purpose? Did anyone think how this might affect cycling?
  3. Why does this road need widening at this point?
  4. Why was there so much information offered subsequent to the consultation which wasn’t included *in* the consultation?
  5. If there’s a 20mph plan, why is this the first we’re heating about it?

You may be aware that the Cycling Liaison Group is on 25th July. I would hope the council can provide some of these answers in advance of the meeting.

Sincerely,

Borough Coordinator, Richmond Cycling

 

On 6 Jun 2017, at 23:17, Borough Coordinator <info@richmondlcc.co.uk> wrote:

Dear [Council],

Thank you for taking the time to write back. I’m afraid i still don’t understand a number of things about these plans.

Firstly, the consultation document doesn’t actually show what changes are being effected to the junction area, with most changes un-noted. I don’t think it is reasonable for people to expect a clear statement here of what is changing. As an example, the roadway is being widened by a significant amount, through the removal of central ‘hatching’ on the approach to the gate, but this isn’t shown.

Secondly, there is a small but important new build out on the roundabout opposite Star and Garter. What is this for? Why are we – at a clear pinch point – forcing cyclists further towards motor traffic?

Thirdly, can you explain to me why the road needs widening at this point anyway? If you’re not prepared to put in cycle lanes, then widening the road isn’t going to make cycling better, I would suggest.

Finally, you provided a lot of useful information in your email – and I think it’s fair to say that this should all have appeared on the consultation: you’re asking us to accept these changes in the context of potential larger plans, so why is none of this mentioned?

I should probably also add that I’m am in no way looking forward to hearing of another Richmond cycling scheme which involves painting big bike roundels on the road and fantasising that it will make the blindest difference to people on bikes, or people who might be considering getting on a bike: it’s really disappointing that in 2017, the borough’s ambition is so spectacularly limited.

Sincerely,

Borough Coordinator, Richmond Cycling

 

[Council] wrote:

Dear RCC,

Thank you for your email.

The work being undertaken on Star and Garter Hill, Richmond is a relatively minor scheme, to implement the new bay outside the Star and Garter development. This will be a very limited stay drop off / collection bay for the residents here. The bay was previously agreed as part of the planning application for the development here.

The informal crossing facility is being removed was originally used by the support staff for the Royal Star and Garter home, that resided in Ancaster House. Due to the redevelopment of these sites, this is no longer a required movement. We have monitored this facility to ensure that it was longer used prior to proposing that it was removed.

The carriageway width in this location is too narrow to implement an on road cycle facility, however we are considering a 20mph speed limit/zone in this area. As this does not require any civil works we are not, restricted to the July construction window. Once this has been fully investigated and developed, this will be consulted on as a separate scheme. As part of this works we will be looking into the implementation of cycle symbols on the ground. Unfortunately we are unable to progress with element until the development of the 20mph works, as there will likely be some conflict around the locations of the 20mph roundels and the cycle symbols.

I hope this information useful

Regards

[Council]

www.richmond.gov.uk / www.wandsworth.gov.uk

From: Borough Coordinator [mailto:info@richmondlcc.co.uk]
Sent: 15 May 2017 23:06
Subject: Star and Garter Consultation.

Hello,

I’m writing on behalf of Richmond Cycling Campaign to complain about the poor proposals on Star and Garter Hill: http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/2017/05/15/star-and-garter-yet-another-missed-opportunity/

I find it very hard to believe that the best engineers could come up with was wider traffic lanes, a new pinch point, and a consultation document which didn’t even show clearly half of the proposed changes.

This is a large sweep of tarmac which already tacitly encourages high speeds from vehicles not using the park entrances – and the proposals only make this worse, but providing an even wider lane heading into and out of Richmond. You could have included a proper pedestrian crossing on every arm of this roundabout, or used traffic lights to better allocate the space, or really marked any kind of cycling provision whatsoever. But instead, there’s a nice new loading bay outside Star and Garter – which seems not to look much different from the old one – and you’ve actually **removed** a potential pedestrian crossing point (here).

Before anything goes ahead, the very least the council can do is to clearly indicate **all** the changes at this junction, explain why walking and cycling hasn’t been included, and explain the schedule for any safety plans which are supposedly being looked at.

Sincerely

Borough Coordinator, Richmond Cycling
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RCC is a branch of London Cycling Campaign

Twitter: https://twitter.com/richmondcycling

Web: http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/richmondcycling/

 

 

 

Cycling Backwards on Twickenham Riverside

In November 2015 we warned that Twickenham’s Riverside development really needs to think seriously about walking and cycling.

But the latest consultation is indeed going backwards for active travel, and indeed for amking the riverside a nice place to be, choosing it for a car park, rather than for people.

One of our members has written this response.

Dear Richmond Council,

The June 2016 New Heart For Twickenham consultation material stated: ‘It became clear during the summer that cycling needs could be more fully integrated into the design. We will ensure that any future development supports and encourages cycling. We would like to hear more about how you think the current circulation for cycling could be improved. We will ensure there is provision for cycle parking and promote the opportunities for leisure cycle hire.’

We have been providing information and proposals on this topic since the Barefoot consultation in 2010. We note that, despite the above request, the actual 2016 consultation included no questions on cycling. We note too that, despite the input to this consultation from our members and other cyclists, the March 2017 Twickenham Rediscovered consultation survey made no mention of cycling.

In the material provided with the current, summer 2017, consultation, reference to including cycling in the scheme is limited to an undertaking to ‘consider cycling requirements including enhancing pedestrian and cycling access to the site, cycle parking and through routes using the riverside.’

Even at this advanced stage there are no concrete proposals regarding cycling and, again, there are no questions regarding cycling in the consultation itself. Since you appear keen to include cycling in the scheme, could you please explain the lack of questions regarding cycling in these consultations and why input from our members and other cyclists has been, and continues to be, ignored.

Kind regards

Richmond Cycling Campiagn

Road signs – getting the council to at least fix the basics

Prompted by this tweet, we’ve complained to the council about the poor approach they seem to be maintaining on dealing with roadworks and cycling …

Here’s the letter we wrote – let us know if you’ve been the victim of more rubbish signage in the borough!

Dear Councillors,
I am writing to officially complain about the ongoing issues with roadworks signage in the borough.
Richmond Cycling Campaign is unhappy not only about the fact that this is still a problem, but the fact that there appears to be no prompt, effective escalation route for it to be dealt with.
There is quite literally no scenario in which someone on a bicycle should ever be instructed to walk, or to wheel their bicycle. The most obvious recent example of this was outside the RFU (see this tweet). The council was told about this on May 31st, but on 6th June, one of our members observed the obstructions still to be in place.
We spoke about this at the last Cycling Liaison Group, and we were given to believe (a) that council rules are clear on this, and (b) that there is a process in place to deal with these problems.
We are therefore asking for a clear response from the council explaining:
1.    What rules and guidelines are issued to people doing roadworks in the borough? By whom?
2.    What is the escalation process for dealing with problems?
3.    Are there any Service Level Agreements (or deadlines)  in the escalation process?
4.    Who has responsibility for roadworks in the borough, and policing and approval thereof?
Sincerely,
Richmond Cycling Campaign

 

Rides for Everyone: Saturday 24th June : Coffee at the Windmill.

Wimbledon Common June 2017At the windmill June 2017Meet Teddington Station East Side 10:10.

We follow the route of the proposed Quietway across Teddington Lock and through Richmond Park to Roehampton from which we cut under the A3 to Wimbledon Common and a coffee stop at the windmill cafe. We return by a slightly rougher path down to Robin Hood Gate and back through Richmond Park.

A bit longer than our usual Rides for Everyone at 14 miles. Anyone having had enough after the break just  has to  freewheel down to Wimbledon Station to catch the train.

Route

Just 3 of us met up at Teddington. In terms of testing the route for 8-80 we certainly exceeded the upper end. Teddington High Street was unthreatening and our only issues in Ham was about signs hidden behind foliage. Marking on the road surface is most reliable.

We tried the shared use path on Ham Avenue and found the surface bumpy and the rejoining of the road inside the park difficult. (The off-road path up the hill is only suitable for mountain bikers). The rumble strips on the path through Richmond Park are no problem and Danebury Avenue shows what can be achieved by simply closing a road at one end.

This bit of the Quietway should be a useful and attractive route for all ages (e-bike may be helpful for some as it is hilly)

We diverged on a rougher path through Putney Heath / Wimbledon Common including an underpass of the A3. This was closed to all cycling until ?20 years ago. Progress does happen if slowly.

 

Rides for Explorers – Off-road in Surrey : Sunday 11th June

NorburyMeet Twickenham riverside 10.15

We head South via Kingston and Tolworth before heading away from the traffic along the Hogsmill and then through Horton Country Park and Ashstead Common. Emerging in Leatherhead we pass through the Mole gap before climbing to Norbury Park – Southern England’s best approximation to an alpine meadow. A Track takes us to Brockets Farm for lunch and our return journey features a foot/cycle bridge across the Mole , Oxstead Common and Claygate woods. 37 miles with a serious hill. This has been done on a fixer but not-over-narrow tyres would be comfortable.

Route

5 of us met up on the riverside despite nearly coinciding with a charity run. Apart from a headwind on the way south we enjoyed ideal weather and the paths were dry underwheel. Perhaps a bit early for maximum flowers in Norbury Park. Back in Kingston Market place where we split up at about 3.

Star and Garter – yet another missed opportunity

NB: You can see the discussion on Cyclescape, here.

The junction outside Star and Garter is about to change, but only in the most marginal way possible. This is another disappointment from the council. Faced with an opportunity to make a large junction more pleasant and attractive for cycling, the basic proposal is “Make the lanes wider, and make sure we have parking right beside a roundabout just like … virtually nowhere in London.

Star and Garter proposals

Worse, the plans submitted in the consultation don’t even include key changed. The black arrows in the diagram above show changes thst the diagram proposes, and which aren’t discussed in the consultation (here).

Putting aside the question of why there are three full lanes exiting Richmond Park, this junction is a wide sweep of tarmac from every direction. Although a number of people use it by bicycle, this is yet another place which isn’t going to encourage others to get on their bike. Instead of maintaining the existing configuration of a roundabout people can just drive over, there’s enough space here for clearly marked space for cycling, perhaps in combination with traffic lights or different traffic routing.

Further along (the left hand roundabout on the diafgram above) the design proposes that the pavement bends out into the road, effectively creating a pinch point for cyclists, where they must move further into the lane, and risk contact with cars which can drive straight across.

We’re told that there are safety issues at this junction, but they’re clerarly not that important, because otherwise it’s hard to understand why money is being spent on it in such an appalling fashion. Tell us what you think, but we’re very disappointed.