Rides for Everyone – Palaces of West London – Sunday 21st May

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Meet Richmond Little Green by theatre at 10.00am.

We Cross the Thames and pass through the grounds of Sion House before heading up the Grand Union Canal to Norwood Green. A country lane takes us into the wide spaces of Osterley Park where we enjoy coffee in the stables before passing the mansion on the way home. About 10 miles, quiet with some slopes. Should be back around 12 ish.

Route

 

Rides for Explorers – Windsor Great Park – 7th May

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Meet Twickenham Riverside , by Eel Pie Bridge , 10.30. 7th  May

We cut across to Hampton then roughly follow the Thames upstream using NCR4 from Chertsey to Staines. A steep climb to Englefield Green is rewarded by lunch at the Sun Inn then we enjoy the practically traffic free Windsor Great Park and track into Windsor. We than return more directly to Twickenham with more mixed surroundings but finishing with our local Crane Park trail.  38 miles with one big hill.

Route

It would be helpful if you would let me know if you are thinking of coming

Paul : rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

Cycling Liaison Group Meets Soon!

Quick read: come along to York House on April 18th to find out the latest on cycling in the borough – we need your input!

The Cycling Liaison Group meets next week and everyone can come! This is your chance to ask the council about cycling and cycling facilities in your area.

There’a a lot on the agenda, so we’ve put together some notes, to show why you should come, and what you can find out …

Contraflow Report

Contraflows are about allowing cylists to travel both ways on a one way street, so that we can make journeys by bike easier, and potentially move cycling from some of the less attractive routes through the borough. We’re hoping to hear about which roads will be included in this proposal, and when.
DfT image

DfT image – a Brighton contraflow

Filtered Permeability

“Filtering” means filtering out one or more types of transport. Throughout the borough there are a number of roads whee bollards or pavements prevent you from driving all the way along a road – usually to prevent it being used as a rat run. We’d like to see more of this in the borough, and we are going to hear about proposals for this.
Filtered permeability at Well Lane / Martindale junction

Filtered permeability at Well Lane / Martindale junction

Cycling to school grants update

There’s some money around for encouraging cycling to school, and we’re going to find out where it is being spent, and how. Getting more families riding to school is a sure fire way of sorting out the hideous morning congestion in the borough, but we know people need to feel teir route is safe before they stop using a car. Our hope is that there’s a real plan for how to spend this money.

Cycle events this year

Normally the council supports Bikefest in the summer, but it isn’t happening this year because of over-reliance on volunteers. So we’re interested to know what else the borough has planned.

Heart of Twickenham / Village Plans

Village plans are a great place to talk about cycling, and about things that can be done in local areas to make it better. However, they invariably offer nothing, or just platitudes. We want proper active transport options – i.e. Walking and cycling – “baked in” to all these proposals. The recent ‘Heart of Twickenham’ plans are a case in point – despite a number of contributors asking about being able to cycle in the area, and being able to park a bicycle, the consultation documents seem able only to plan for lots of car parking.

Towpaths

The council approached us about towpaths a while ago – which towpaths to do? – and asked which towpaths we wanted them to look at, given limited funds. Hopefully this will be an update on what’s happening here.

Quietways / Quietway 2

We’ve had the consultation for quietway 1, and now it looks like we’re going to hear about another one – possibly this one.

Cycling Strategy

We’re likely to hear about any final changes to the cycling strategy, and when it might be adopted. Which is good, because it will need to tie in closely with …

Healthy Streets / Corridors Update

The corridots are the latest wheeze for having proper routes around the borough. You can see a potential map of them here. And now we know the council needs to set up a clean air strategy, and needs – by law – to actually think harder avbout active travel – we’re hoping that they can get themselves organised. That’s what this item will tell us …

Crossdeep Junction

We’re waiting with anticipation. This is a terrible ijunction for cycling, and a major barrier. Does the council have a new plan?

Richmond Cycling Campaign Items

We asked about a number of items, detailed below:

  1. Brompton docks. We’d like to hear more about these – schedule, finance, etc.
    These are due to turn up in Twickenham, and wed like to understand the economics here: Especially as we think the station needs more bike parking. We like the idea, and support it, but it has come out of the blue a bit…
  2. Roadworks signage. We want the council to prevent all use of ‘cyclists dismount’ signs in the borough. No roadworks should use these, and there should always be a cycling alternative. This is something we’ve raised before: The council should be instructing contractors to use the most up to date guidance here as it isn’t acceptable to just be putting up signage with little concern for how people will get around. (See here for some council info …)
  3. Tiger/walking and cycling zebra crossings. Can we have these everywhere? They’re now national guidance, so should be under consideration. See this article for  bit of discussion.
  4. Richmond Strategic Cycle Network? We need to be planning for routes linking all Villages in the borough that can be made suitable for all 8-80 (and beyond!) The map in the Borough Cycling Strategy fails to identify sensible routes ( the A308 in Hampton is an extreme example of a route that cannot be made suitable but Cross Deep and King Street are also far from an acceptable standard.)
  5. As a related issue Fulwell Park link. Carole suggested raising this. It links Hampton (via Dean Rd) , Fulwell (via Burtons Rd) and Hanworth (via a cyclable bridge over the A316) . On the 2007 Cycling in Richmond leaflet is is marked as “Proposed” and a toucan crossing (of A305) was actually made.
  6. What happened regarding Water and Wharf lanes and surrounds in Twickenham. This was raised at a previous CLG and an email exchange followed. Cllr Loveland mentioned it at the start of the last meeting and suggested it had ‘been done’, without ever saying what had been done. Then there wasn’t any opportunity to ask further.
  7. A review of the Cyclehoop activity – we know some have gone up, and we need to understand better how to publicise these / how well they’re going.
  8. A single place where we can see and understand what is going on in the borough. We’d like one place where we can actually see all the plans for transport.
  9. Mortlake Brewery and St Mary’s. There’s no obvious indication that anyone thinks much about cycling to and from these places – for Mortlake, the only real change I can see is the entry onto Chalkers Corner being made more grim and traffic-choked than it already is.

Rides for Everyone – 15th April – Crane Park

crane ride april 2017

With trains in the Twickenham area suspended we are starting this ride from Teddington Station (west side). Meet 10.30.

We pass by Bushy House and NPL to enter Bushy Park then through Hampton Hill back streets to cut across past a golf course to a bridge across the Chertsey Road . We enjoy a rare cycle track separate both from the road and the footway to reach a newish track up the Hounslow side of the Crane before crossing to “our” side to ride down to Kneller Gardens for coffee after which we cut across back to Teddington Station.

Route

Five of us met up on a bright but chilly morning. A pleasant and uneventful ride with flowering trees and bluebells. Getting into the cut-across behind the leisure centre proved   a challenge for bikes with wide handlebars. This has been marked a potential route since 2007 with a toucan crossing of the A305 which only makes sense as part of it. The on-road alternative is a big gyratory – not a ride for everyone !

 

Village Plans – take a moment to ask for some proper cycling!

Twickenham and Strawberry Hill are having “Your Vision Your Village” consultations, on the council website. (Twickenham here, Strawberry Hill here.)

In a hurry? You can respond using the council’s forms, or just writing to them at allinone@richmond.gov.uk – please tell them to think about active travel, safe cycling, and cleaner air! 

One of our members has been through them, and made the following observations:

Section C 10 of each consultation invites readers to refer to ‘Consultation Material’ and provides a link. It might be good to read these pdf files before tackling the consultation itself however.  Notably absent from both is any nod to the Healthy Streets Initiative.

There is no need to respond to every question but the following in each consultation are particularly relevant to cyclists and cycling:

2: “What you would like to see if you came back in ten years time.” I suggest everyone inserts their description of cycling utopia here.

16: “The character area where you live can be affected by any number of threats or issues, some of the more common threats and issues in terms of development are listed below. Which of the following do you agree or disagree are threats or issues in your area?”

The list includes ‘Street Parking’ and ‘Maintenance of Roads and Pavements’. If you strongly agree that the first is an issue, be sure to stress in the comments box below that this is because there is too much of it; don’t let it be thought that you feel there is too little(!).

Parking (presumably by drivers) also appears in 22, in relation to shopping areas and parades, another place to let feelings be known. Note that the council seemed keen to replace any lost car parking space during discussions on the proposed riverside development by adding (even) more at Heath Road.

26: “Concerns have been expressed about the difficulty in travelling around Twickenham village. How often do you use the following ways of getting around?”

Options include walking and cycling. (You know what to do!) 

27: “To what extent do you agree or disagree that the following would make it easier to travel around and through the area?”

The list includes ‘Improved Cycling Routes’ and ‘Improved Cycle Parking’

To complete the Twickenham form go here: https://consultation.richmond.gov.uk/village-planning/twickenham/

And to complete the Strawberry Hill form go here: https://consultation.richmond.gov.uk/village-planning/strawberry-hill/

Links

A quick list of important links we want to be on top of!

Monthly Meetings: http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/monthly-meetings/

Suggesting a new location for bike parking: http://www.cyclehoop.rentals/suggest-location/

Council consultations portal: https://consultation.richmond.gov.uk/

TfL consultations portal: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/

Rides for Explorers – 2nd April – Up the Wandle

Wandle Ride 17Meet Richmond Little Green (by Richmond Theatre) 10.30. We head to Putney Bridge and then go along the Thames via Wandsworth Park to the mouth of the Wandle where we head upstream along the Wandle Trail. After a bit of busy road we get into King Georges Park and then is is mostly a mixture of parkland and quiet roads to Morden Hall Park for lunch.

We return, after a quick look at a gate from Merton Abbey transplanted to a quiet church in Merton Park,  via Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park .

A fairly short ride at 20 miles but lots to see.

Route

Six of us met up on a bright morning. There was a bit of congestion where the boat race was being prepared in Putney but we soon reached the Wandle. The first part was along quite busy roads and the contra-flow cycle lane full of parked cars wasn’t encouraging but we were soon cycling through parkland. There was a general request for a coffee stop at Merton Abbey Mills so we didn’t linger in the crowded Morden Hall Park and had lunch at the Windmill on Wimbledon Common. Hence down into Richmond Park and up again (one of us electrically powered) to Richmond Gate where we split.

Richmond Park – the new South Circular

The draft report on how we use the park makes chilling reading.

The 2015 traffic survey shows a number of worrying aspects – though primarily the one raised by the majority of the attendees at the meeting held a few years ago by Zac Goldsmith: there is too much traffic in the park, and most of it is using the park just like it might use the South Circular or the A316.

Credit is due to the Royal Parks for the thoroughness and detail which the traffic survey provides us – not only do we find out where people enter the park, but where they leave, the times, the speeds, the original sources and destinations, and the relative volumes.

The report hasn’t been officially released but it’s been shared in its draft form, and if we take the data as it appears, there’s a lot to see:

  • On a typical week (‘neutral’) week just 12% of morning (8am-9am) traffic and 9% of afternoon (5pm to 6pm) traffic is actually people coming to Richmond Park to visit it.
  • Even on Saturdays and Sundays the percentage of cars coming to the park was just 31% and 41%
  • Summer sees a significant fall in traffic into the park, suggesting that local school and business journeys are part of the volumes here: the morning volumes fall by 40.3% and the afternoon volumes fall by 29.4%..
  • Traffic flows in the typical week show very clear preferences for moving back and forth between specific gates, with Richmond and Kingston gates showing the highest volumes.
  • There’s a lot of speeding, especially on particular sections of road: between Kingston and Roehampton Gate every car speeds, with a significant number reaching 30mph..
  • Traffic on Broomfield Hill (on average) never manages to keep to the speed limit.
  • Lots of people get around the park by bike, with thousands of visitors every week arriving on wheels they’ve powered themselves.
  • Summer is a lot more popular to be in the park on a bike!
  • On weekdays, less than 20% of visitors who filled in response cards reported that they came to the park to actually visit it.
  • A quarter of typical weekday traffic is using the park for the school run
  • There is no day when the majority of people who drive through Richmond Park describe the purpose of their visit as ‘visiting Richmond Park’. (Although including ‘Leisure’ does finally tip the balance on some occasions.)
  • Around three quarters of the trips through the park on a typical weekday morning begin and end in one of the boroughs bordering the park.
  • Even though there still seem to be high volumes of traffic in the park at the moment, the volumes have slowly fallen more or less consistently since 1998.

If the final report confirms this analysis, then we think there’s a good case for the Royal Parks either closing Richmond Park to through traffic or introducing Congestion Charge style pricing to discourage through traffic.