Phew, Kew cycle lane lives on…

We said in our recent post on September’s meeting of the Cycling Liaison Group the Council were removing the cycle lane in Kew Road.  It seems they were mistaken and have now clarified their position.   

This is what we wrote to the Council after the meeting:

“We were surprised to hear…the cycle lane in Kew Road is to be removed.  We were also surprised to hear consultation had taken place “some years ago.”  Do you know:

  1. When the lane will be removed?
  2. When the decision was taken to remove it, who took it, who was consulted and did that include Richmond Cycling Campaign?
  3. What figures for cycle journeys along Kew Road were used in making the decision?

Removal of the lane was justified because there is a recommended route along Ennerdale Road.  We’re concerned about the credibility of that route because its safety is threatened by use as a rat run and parking makes it impossible for cars and cyclists to share space. Signage also needs to be improved.  

Given a Cycle Superhighway will run past the north side of Kew Bridge, RCC takes the view the Kew Road cycle lane is an invaluable on-road link between it and the A316 Cycle Route and removal of it is unnecessary and short-sighted.

We also note the written response of the Mayor of London to the following cycling related question:

“Will you ask Transport for London to reject any local transport plan produced by a borough which includes the systematic removal of all existing cycle lanes in a 20mph zone when the road is being resurfaced?”

“The Guidance on Local Implementation Plans (LIPs), published in May 2010, makes it absolutely clear that any borough must get written consent from Transport for London prior to removal or substantial alteration of works carried out to infrastructure installed with the benefit of TfL funding. Where a borough breaches the above conditions, TfL may require repayment of any funding already provided and/or withhold provision of further funding.

Accordingly, any LIP proposal to remove cycle lanes will be subject to review and approval by TfL.  However, it may be that in locations where other mitigating measures are being installed, which assist in reducing traffic speeds and volumes, there is no longer a requirement for previously installed cycle facilities.”

Is the answer applicable to Kew Road?”

This is the Council’s reply:

“…apologies for any misunderstanding regarding the part-time mandatory lanes on the A307 Kew Road.

It was always envisaged that once the cycle route using Ennerdale Road as the alternative was completed then the possible removal of the 2 hour route on the west side of Kew Road would be the subject of a feasibility study.  It had been suggested that a two way route on the east side of Kew Road on a widened footway could be investigated or the Ennerdale Road route would be the alternative cycle route to Kew Road northbound.

Since the Ennerdale Road route was completed the removal of the Kew Road west side has not been seen as a priority for removal, so no feasibility study has been carried out.  It is not programmed for investigation in the near future and would be subject to extensive public and statutory traffic management order consultation prior to any decision being made.

In terms of TfL funding, these cycle facilities were put in prior to TfL’s existence so there would probably not be an opportunity for TfL to withdraw/claw back funding on this scheme even if there were plans to remove the cycle lanes.”

Good news then and thank you to members who contacted Councillors to express their concern about the proposal.