Cycling on the pavement …

With 7% of journeys made by bike and around a third of the population using a cycle of some description once a month or more, Richmond has some of the best cycling stats in outer London.

Spotted in Hampton, via Google Streetview

Spotted in Hampton, via Google Streetview

However, we get asked regularly about cycling on the pavement. The law is clear, you shouldn’t cycle on a pavement unless it is marked as shared use. That said, many shared routes are poorly sign-posted and the government has long recognised that there are many reasons people cycle on the pavement, ranging from things most people would find acceptable to the completely unacceptable.

Richmond Cycling Campaign doesn’t endorse cycling on the pavement but we understand why a lot of people do it and that’s why we’ve been talking to the South Richmond Neighbourhood Team Safer Pavements team (led by Alan Laird and with the support of Pam Fleming, and others) about gathering more information and looking at possible solutions.

Our view is that people cycle on the pavement because it feels safer than being on the road. Whether you’re cycling on your own or cycling with your family, the absence of proper cycling infrastructure in the borough causes many routes to be intimidating and unpleasant. We urge anyone who has chosen to cycle on the pavement or in shared use areas to show courtesy and consideration to pedestrians.

If you’ve experienced cycling on the pavement or if you do cycle on the pavement please contact us (info@richmondlcc.co.uk), or the South Richmond Neighbourhood Watch Safer Pavements team (richmondsaferpavements2018@gmail.com), with some more information, and we’ll try to collate what we hear.

Rides for Everyone : Park and Riverside

Saturday 16th March

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Meet Teddington Station west side 10.15.

We go through Bushy Park to Hampton Court – watch out for Daffodils  and then follow the Thames back to Teddington . More than half the ride off-road but decent surfaces. Coffee break en-route. Flat 8 miles so back by 12ish depending on how long we spend over coffee.

Route

If interested please email Paul  rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

Rides for Explorers : Surrey Heathlands

Sunday 10th March

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Meet Twickeham Riverside by Eel Pie island bridge 10.30.

We head up the Thames to Chertsey  and then up into the hills as far as Chobham Common. We have lunch at the “Hangar Cafe” at Fairoaks Airport before enjoying a downhill section to Weybridge and so home.

35 miles and a bit hilly.

Route

Five of us met up on a windy Twickenham Riverside and threaded our way through the car park and so down to Hampton and , against a stiff wind , up the Thames to Chertsey. En route we had to crawl under a fallen tree and pass bikes over the top. The hills beyond were mercifully sheltered from the wind by the trees although there was a short shower.

After Lunch we had the wind behind us and made good speed back to Walton where we sampled a rather muddy river path so that we decided that Tea (and cakes) at the Cricket Club would aid recovery.

If interested please email Paul  rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

What do you want transport money spent on? LIP3 response

The council is consulting on its “Local Implementation Plan” – £1.5m a year of transport spending for the next three years – and they have to make it good, to get the money from TfL.

The consultation is here and you can read the full document as a PDF link here.

Our final response is below – please have a look and take a moment to tell the council what you’re really interested in seeing the money being spent on.

This isn't what our transport spending should be supporting ..

This isn’t what our transport spending should be supporting ..

LIP3 Response

Richmond Cycling Campaign opposes the borough’s LIP3 submission. We have talked to both officers and councillors, and we believe that there is both the interest and the will to pursue what we would characterise as ‘proper’ walking and cycling for our borough.

The LIP acknowledges the comparatively high levels of walking and cycling which Richmond enjoys, compared to other outer London boroughs. However, it does not provide sufficient detail or strategy to show how the borough will deliver the hoped-for improvements in walking, cycling and public transport use.

We welcome the borough’s objectives of making safe, active travel an option for everyone. We also support the aspirations to make public transport better, and the proposals for the enablers around these activities.

More Detailed Ambitions

Richmond Cycling Campaign believes that the LIP – as a document which sets out our strategy not only for the next three years, but for the further future – lacks sufficient detail for goals, and lacks a strategic network plan.

We would like to see clear, measurable plans, for example: :
• A commitment that every one way in the borough will either have a contraflow, or will have been assessed and then agreed not to be appropriate
• Every school to either have a school street, or a set of interventions agreed with parents and school
• Every doctors’ surgery to have bicycle parking that is at least as close as the nearest car parking. (This should be the same for every public facility in the borough.)
• A cargo and electric bike library managed by the council, so that residents can trial these, but also so that they can hire them, like Camden and others
• Creation of a full borough cycling plan and map, and an inventory of all requests for stands, parking, cycle routes, pavement repairs, etc., publicly available
• A clear plan built in this year’s LIP for a dense network of cycle routes, which will be supported by work in subsequent years, so that by 2041 everyone can cycle safely from their home to any destination in the borough
• A comprehensive plan for traffic cells and liveable neighbourhoods across the borough, so that, wherever possible, people live on a road which isn’t used for through traffic
• Specific funding for an officer to support the bike library, school activities and cycling events, and to support parking planning
• Traffic management plans for the new developments around the borough, to ensure they aren’t just delivering more traffic (Mortlake Brewery, for example)
• Conversion every bus stop in the borough for accessibility
• Making every town centre accessible by walking and cycling, including specific commitments on the number and density of crossing points
• Use the Strategic Cycling Analysis as the primary source of route planning
• Choose an area as a low traffic neighbourhood
• Want to engage properly with Bike Week, and other activities like this: car free day, etc.

While we recognise that both officer time and budgets are highly constrained, we believe that the borough should state its ambition for these things, so that we have a delivery plan to aim for: a plan which lists our bus stops, our schools, our doctors’ surgeries, and our routes, and prioritises them, is something we can constantly strive to achieve, and constantly measure against.

ULEZ

We would like to propose that the borough seeks funds to be part of the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone. The current plans will cut the borough in half, with enforcement on one side but not the other. If cutting emissions is good enough for central London, it should be good enough for us, and we believe that the council should ask TfL to explore ways to bring the whole of the council area into ULEZ.

Equality Assessment

The Equality Assessment seems to miss an opportunity: by providing proper cycling and walking facilities, countries like the Netherlands and Denmark show that these projects are a substantial benefit especially to older people and minority groups. Studies have clearly shown that policies which prefer the motor car are effectively policies which act against equality goals – see the Sustainable Development Commissions’ “Fairness in a Car-Dependent Society.”

We believe that the Equality Assessment is an opportunity for the council to shout loudly about how addressing the previous emphasis on driving is a significant step towards removing inequality in the borough. A robust LIP and associated policies is a clear signposting of such ambition.

Specific Comments

P13: “Borough objectives”
All of these are laudable, but generally lack specificity in how to achieve them, or how to understand how to achieve them
P13/14: too many of these also have ‘improve’ or ‘seek’ or similar: either we want to do these, or we don’t.

For example LBRUT will:
• Ensure every bus stop is accessible by 2041
• Provide pedestrian priority crossings at every junction in the borough
• Provide every primary school with safe, car-free access within an agreed radius
• Develop a zero-emission delivery pilot in one of the borough’s town centres by 2022
• …

P14 – major developments: the borough should not be accepting major developments without travel plans which provide genuine walking and cycling facilities which are better than those for driving.

“It is expected that by 2021, 15% of the population will be with 400m of the [strategic cycle] network”.

P15: the quietways map is not good enough as a plan for a strategic cycle network. Our plan should include not only these plans, but also all the SCA analysis, and whatever borough plans we have building on existing infrastructure to create a borough-wide network. The network should be accessible to all 8-80+ using segregation / filtering as appropriate.
At a minimum plans for the 2 SCA priority routes identified ( Twickenham -Teddingt on , Sheen-Putney) will be drawn up by the end of 2019.

P16: Ofo has withdrawn from the borough, so we probably need to recognise this somehow.

P18: Borough objectives. We should state that every one way street in the borough will be contraflow. Unless there is a compelling reason otherwise.

Bullet “healthy routes to schools” mentions ‘site lines’ – should probably be ‘sight lines’. Cycle routes should be at least to the standard of the Mayor’s Cycling Strategy
Can we commit here to School Streets for every school that wants them?

P19 appears to propose ‘education and training’ for walking. If we think we need to educate people to walk, we’ve failed.

P21 not clear how these figures make up a trajectory:
“Seek to minimise impact of level crossings on pedestrians and cyclists” doesn’t really offer anything: it’s a vague aspiration with no action attached to it. This is the kind of thing which could be specifically analysed as part of the planned expenditure.
P22, fig 9: how did we get to these as a trajectory? There’s no immediate activity which will encourage this.

P24: increasing permit prices for diesels is only going to be a partial fix, and in any case is likely to simply result in the borough providing an either direct or implied subsidy to those able to buy new cars, whilst not really providing any discouragement for csr ownership (if that is the goal).

P24 – borough objectives. These could also be clearer and more specific. We recognise that not all of this can be done at once, but we want a ‘menu’ of activity so that the council is constantly pursuing useful, agreed plans.

P25: Clean and green. Is there anyway we can extend the ULEZ to our borough, too? If TfL is setting this up, why not ask for its extension, with borough support?

P29: aiming for all bus stops to be accessible. Can this be identified somewhere as a specific target?

P29: accessibility of train stations. Need to also list our stations, and have a plan.

P32: sustainable development … we should identify that the challenge here is making developers write proper travel plans which put walking and cycling first.

P33 – transport investment. Perhaps a good thing to spend money on would be to understand capacity of transport in the borough: for example, how does it work if we build new developments which feed commuters into the train services into central London, like Mortlake or North Sheen? Should we be looking to get more people to fast service stations like Richmond?

P34: we should identify the major projects we have, and say what we think we need from them, and what the concerns are.

P37: Speed indicator devices are rotated, but no data is gathered from them, which makes them a little bit of a sticking plaster.

P37: Mentions a study to improve walking and cycling in the south west. Not clear what this study is – is it referenced in the spending plans?

P43: We should be considering whether a work place parking levy is an appropriate measure to take.

P45: missing text “Pedestrian and cycle bridge connecting …” Presumably Twickenham and Ham.

P50: the biggest risk is that the lack of specifics in the plan mean we won’t deliver anything.

P55: local targets. It is quite unacceptable to have a target of 300 EV charging points, but just 100 bicycle stands.

P56 onwards: Table ST07 should have current values, and targets for interim years, too.
P59: outcome 5 – a good public transport experience. Increasing ridership on public transport is a good thing, but we must recognise that this should not be at the expense of walking and cycling numbers. We should state explicitly that increasing public transport use can only come from discouraging ( sorry but if we want modal shift this has to happen) private car journeys.

P57 outcome 1 : The borough will engage with TfL to suggest and facilitate the spread into the borough of the London cycle network. 60: Outcome 9. “Active, efficient and sustainable transport will be the best option in new developments. “ We should identify all current developments, and have a specific plan about how all new developments will have this baked in. The proposed new site for Turing House School will be an exemplar for this approach.

p61 : schemes.
A307 Kew corridor. This needs a cycle lane. Badly. This proposal just puts off doing anything.
“Borough wide collision investigation”. What will this tell us? Looks like 5k pa which won’t lead to anything.

A310 again 280K on a study. For free we have substandard cycle lanes hard up against parked cars and giving up at Waldegrave Rd junction. Safe for cycling would be a 2 way segregated track on the east side. If too financially / politically expensive promote alternative route.

P62
Future safety schemes. Looks like 191k of vagueness.
It is not quite clear why stations need 50k studies: would it not be preferable to do one station at a time, and get it done?
Barnes High St neighbourhood scheme. This is £260k over three years for a place which is a traffic sewer. This money is highly likely to be wasted if there is no traffic plan associated to it, and no cycling plan.

 

Rides for Explorers – Box Hill ; Sunday 13th January

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Meet Twickenham Riverside – by Eel Pie bridge 10.00.

Our traditional post-turkey jaunt. On/off road quiet and scenic route to Box Hill then a steady climb to the viewpoint and lunch in NT Cafe at the top (as the pub we used to patronise is now a trendy wine-bar). Enjoy  a switchback descent taking us most of the way home. About 40 miles in total. Better bring lights but expect to get back before 4.

Route  (May be modified if we get much more rain. )

Four of us met up on Twickenham Riverside. After a generally dry few weeks the going over the commons was good and we were treated with glimpses of sun. After a quick snack at the top we zoomed back getting back to Twickenham at about 2pm. Is this a record ?

If you are thinking of coming please contact Paul rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

An open letter to Richmond Schools

Dear Local Schools

Please support Richmond Council’s 20mph consultation today.

Assen (NL) school run, courtesy David Hembrow

Assen (NL) school run – could Richmond upon Thames be like this?

Traffic speed is a major cause of collisions on our streets, and faster speeds mean worse collisions – the evidence on this is very clear. We also know that children under 15 are particularly vulnerable as they can’t detect vehicles approaching at speeds greater than 20mph1. For every 1mph speed reduction, the risk of crashes drops 6% 2, and the risk of injury with it.

Our roads don’t feel safe enough for many parents to feel safe with their kids walking, scooting or cycling to school. Kids love being active, and evidence shows walking, cycling and scooting to school makes them more alert, as well as boosting their mood, and helping them maintain a healthy weight and grow stronger3. Supporting 20mph in Richmond would be a big help in making our streets feel and be safer, enabling more of us to ditch the car on the school run.

So we need you, your families and staff to reply to this consultation – cos there are lots of drivers in Richmond who don’t want to slow down, and don’t, it seems, care about our children’s  safety or the air they breathe.

Perhaps you could share a note from us in your school newsletter, mention the consultation at assembly, or ask your PTA to share something with your parents and carers and help drive (ahem) home the message we need this change.

You can see the council consultation here: https://richmond.gov.uk/20mph

Our call to action is here: http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/2018/11/11/lets-go-20/

Many thanks,

Borough Coordinator

Richmond Cycling Campaign

We campaign for our borough to be a place where everyone can cycle safely

  1. http://roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/speeds-greater-than-20mph-pose-crossing-risk-for-children/
  2. https://www.rospa.com/rospaweb/docs/advice-services/road-safety/drivers/inappropriate-speed.pdf
  3. https://www.sustrans.org.uk/sites/default/files/file_content_type/sustransinfosheet_benefits_activetravel_youngpeople_web_0.pdf

Let’s go 20!

We need your help to make ours a 20mph borough

Slow down!

The council is consulting on their 20mph proposals – http://bit.ly/Richmond20mph – and we need to get this through as a first step to better cycling.

London Cycling Campaign has asked for 20mph for a while now, and while we consider this, the City of London is looking at 15mph on its key roads. 20mph is a good thing for a whole range of reasons:

Roads are calmer: Traffic noise and traffic speed falls when you implement 20mph

Roads (and pavements) are safer: when traffic slows, roads become a safer environment, especially for our most vulnerable roads users

20mph will make us fitter and healthier: areas that introduce 20mph see increased levels of physical activity, with more people walking and cycling for some of their journeys.

TfL is going to do it anyway! Parts of the South Circular are already under detailed investigation to go 20mph – it would be pretty odd to drive down a 20mph A road, and then expect to do 30mph on a residential road!

So we really need your support.

Fill in the consultation. http://bit.ly/Richmond20mph
Tweet it up – https://twitter.com/search?q=20mph%20richmond&src=typd has some good links.
Tell your friends and family on social media, ask your schools to support it, and contact our local 20splenty or drop us a line info@richmondlcc.co.uk if you can give a hand.

Rides for Explorers – Burnham Beeches

Ride cancelled this year due to lack of interest.

Sunday 4th November

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Meet Twickenham Station before 10.05 to catch the 10.15 to Staines.(arr 10.30) We cycle through Staines Moor then via Colnbrook , through Langley Park and past Black Park to  the woodlands of Burnham Beeches in their autumnal splendour. After lunch in a woodland cafe  we head down to the Jubilee River path which takes us to Datchet and so back to Staines. About 30 miles mostly tarmac with some smooth gravel paths. Quite scenic / hilly.

Route

If interested please email Paul  rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

NB ride will be cancelled if it is wet – lunch spot is not roofed !

Coordinator’s Report 17 October 2018

This is a summary of key recent items.

Richmond Town Centre Report

I attended a meeting with a number of stakeholders with an interest in making Richmond town centre better. The previous Liveable Neighbourhoods bid was rejected by TfL, but included a number of changes which the council is interested in. (TfL, local councillors, Richmond Business Improvement District, etc.)

The purpose of the meeting was to look at other ideas and suggestions for how we could make the town centre better, and focussed on the dominance of motor traffic in the area. A number of ideas were discussed around placemaking, and helping pedestrians and cyclists get around, and low emissions delivery and other goods delivery strategies were mentioned.

Data from the consultants showed that the overwhelming majority of ‘traffic’ in the town centre area is pedestrian, with just 1% measured as people cycling. Representations were made by a Richmond Green supporter, who took the view that the green should not be used for rat-running, or through traffic.

The next steps are the sharing of the reports, and for the council to look at some of the smaller and larger proposals that were discussed.

Active Travel Advisory Group

We attended the inaugural ‘Active Travel’ Group at the council. This is currently invite only, but observers are also welcomed. The group looked at:

Cycling quick wins / LIP strategy / walking quick wins / how the group should work / quietway updates

Quick wins

I can’t recall exactly what was agreed, but we asked that the council progress with bike parking as a matter of some urgency. There was discussion which linked general bike parking with overnight (Cyclehoop) bike parking, but these are different. It still isn’t clear when they will get on with installing another cycle hangar, but officers asked us to share the ‘spade ready’ scheme we mentioned.

The council is dragging its heels on the subject of cycle hangars because they think them ugly, but they have failed to propose any alternatives, thus far. They agreed to look at more cycle parking, but again there were fine words about ‘making it fit into the urban space it is in.

We also pressed on the cycling contraflows – it sounds like the council will update us reasonably quickly with where these are.

We submitted our page of quick win proposals from the website, and officers undertook to provide feedback. It could be worth setting this page up to be more manageable by the group as a whole.

Walking quick wins

We didn’t have anything immediately to add here, but drew everyone’s attention to the new City of London strategy. This is a general transport strategy which includes walking as a primary mode.

How the group works

We discussed how the group should operate. It is currently planned to meet quarterly, but we argued that more schemes need eyes on them at an earlier stage. We discussed that there are two separate needs – looking at what has been proposed before it is too late to change things, and helping to set a wider strategy for the borough.

Quietway

The quietway work will begin in December, and run until the middle of 2019. No substantial changes from the last plans have been made, but the council was asked to re-consider the Lock Road design, as a minimum.

Other items

Sustrans attended, with a quietway manager, and someone who is working with schools on pilot walking and cycling projects. The council thinks that just 40% of schools actually have a school travel plan. The Richmond Park quietway is still going to have gates which are not usable by anyone without a strong arm and a small bike.

Local Implementation Plan

This is due to go to council in November. It currently includes:

  • 75% of all trips to be made by walking / cycling / public transport by 2041. (Today’s baseline = 61%)
  • 70% of residents to get at least 20 minutes active travel per day by 2041 (baseline = 40%)
  • 72% of residents to live with 400m of strategic cycle network by 2041 (baseline 0%)
  • Increase cycle parking year on year
  • “Develop a comprehensive network through continued development of cycle corridors … new strategic routes … prioritise permeability for non-car modes …
  • “Healthy routes to schools will be developed … focus on introduction of school streets, improved crossings, Copenhagen crossings …”
  • “Review traffic signals to provide additional priority to pedestrians … “
  • Key projects: A310 Cross Deep / Waldegrave Road
  • Key projects: A308 Hampton Court roundabout to Church Road
  • Key projects: A313 Park Road / Hampton Road / Teddington High St
  • Key projects: A305 Sheen Road / Upper Richmond Road
  • Aspirational projects will also be included – the plan is likely to run to a fairly lengthy document

Data

We received a large selection of data from the council which looks like it could be very helpful, especially when linked to other things like the TfL walking and cycling strategies. In this public folder: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B8LFztRO67voYk52N1NNXzB6czQ?usp=sharing

Walking / Cycling / Transport Strategy

We probably need to agree a group position on this. At Waltham Forest, Dan pointed out how they have a clear strategy that brings everything together, and which allows officers and campaigners to look at the list and say “What’s next?” and then just pull something straight out of the plan.

The City of London has somewhat changed the goal posts with its new document – this includes all modes in one overall plan. I personally really like this, but it’ll take us nearly 2 years from a standing start, especially as the City document includes lots of consultation, too.

Waltham Forest visit

We’ve now visited Waltham Forest with two separate groups, including the cycling champion, leader of the council, members from every party, and officers. I did a tweet thread.

A new bridge?

There is a consultation to ‘call for evidence’ on a new walking and cycling bridge over the Thames: https://haveyoursay.citizenspace.com/richmondecs/thames-bridge/consult_view/ There is a PDF paper which discusses what the council has worked out so far. There’s no budget, and no immediate plan to do anything – it feels like a project which will need a champion, if it’s to get off the ground, although it would be amazing to link it to the Ham and Petersham Liveable Neighbourhoods bid.

Mini Updates

I’m told the A310 has money allocated for 19/20 and 20/21, as does the A308 but there are no plans as of yet. Council will be doing some towpath repaving this year, suspected to be between Teddington Lock to Richmond through Ham.