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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.