It’s good to talk: Council highway engineering schemes

Update: 12th February Hampton Court roundabout

A big thank you to all the Richmond Veloteers who replied so promptly to the consultation which meant we submitted our response well before the deadline: click here to read it.

Since then we’ve had this back from Highways and Transport:

“Thank you for your comments on the Hampton Court Roundabout and Hampton Court Bridge proposals.  I can confirm that this does incorporate both Schemes 3 & 4 on the Cycling Capital Budget 2011/12.

The improvements include relocating the zebra crossing further away from the roundabout on the north east arm to help reduce the number of accidents attributed to shunts as a result of vehicles stopping for pedestrians at the crossing.  Kerb re-alignments will also increase deflection, reducing vehicle speeds whilst maintaining existing carriageway widths.

By widening the traffic islands at the zebra crossings we hope to improve safety for the large number of pedestrians and in doing so provide sufficient protection for cyclists using the crossings.

Accidents at the roundabout have also been attributed to lack of clear visibility due to the planters on and around the roundabout. We anticipate that by removing the planting on the roundabout we can reduce this number.

The Council are extending the shared use pedestrian and cycle path facility from Hampton Court Bridge to the north-west arm of the roundabout, with a view to further improving and linking to existing cycle facilities as part of future phases.

The Council have worked with TfL in order to provide a new widened Toucan crossing outside Hampton Court Palace and are proposing shared paths to link the roundabout and the bridge with Barge Walk.

The Council have also worked closely with Hampton Court Palace and the scheme complements their proposals for alterations and further improvements to the entrance and exits and to the area in front of the Palace.”

In the meantime the Highways and Transport report to the Cabinet Member has been posted on the Council website [here] together with the plans [here] for the shared use path, linking Barge Walk to the Molesey side of the Bridge, which weren’t posted with the original consultation.

We’ve written back to the Council:

 “Thanks for the detailed response: we’re very pleased to hear about the extension of the cycle path and look forward to seeing details of the proposed work in due course.  Just a couple of outstanding queries:

  • Was replacement of the 2 zebras [north-east and north-west arms] with toucans considered, and if so why was it rejected? [By the way will cycling over the north-west zebra be permitted?]
  • What’s the Council’s current view on creating a shared use path between Bushy Park and Hampton Court Bridge?”

______________________________________________________________

We’ve found 2 more schemes proposed by the Council we’d welcome your thoughts on if you cycle there:

1. A310 Twickenham Road 

Click here to read the report to the Cabinet Member.

We were told, but not asked, about this at the last Cycling Liaison Group meeting.  The Council Officer said it wasn’t a scheme they consult on beause it’s classed as “maintenance” [See Section 5 of the report headed Consultation]

This prompted discussion about consultation between Councillor HEAD [the current Mayor, the previous CLG Chair and a councillor for South Twickenham ward in which some of the work is taking place] and the Council Officer from Highways and Transport whose turn it was to represent the department at the meeting [remember the Council don't have a Cycling Officer and replaced the Cycling Single Point of Contact with a generic Highways and Transport e-mail address]

They agreed to carry on the discussion outside the meeting, which was a shame because we’d like to know what they decided.  Needless to say, we took the opportunity to re-start our long-standing argument about not being consulted on any schemes at all, maintenance or otherwise, which prompted the revealing reply ”but we don’t consult the AA“.

However, we would like to comment on this scheme as it includes the words ”cycle lane improvements“.

Councillor Elloy, the Opposition Spokesperson for Transport and a regular attendee at the CLG, suggested impact on cycling is included in the reports the Officers write for the Cabinet Member.

Now, interestingly, coincidence or otherwise, the recent Meadlands Primary School – Proposed Safety Measures  report to the Cabinet Member for Highways and Streetscene [click here to read it]

which should itself be read together with the Borough-wide review of School Keep Clear Markings [click here to read that, noting the emphasis on not losing parking spaces]

includes in Section 6. Policy Implications and Considerations this statement:

“proposals are in line with the following policy statements from the Development Management Plan:

DM TP 7 – To maintain and improve conditions for cyclists, the Council will ensure that new development or schemes do not adversely impact on the cycling network or cyclists and provide appropriate cycle access and sufficient, secure cycle parking facilities.”

Now, this isn’t consultation, and we weren’t consulted, but at least it shows some awareness, and consideration, of people who cycle.  Why here?  We’re guessing it’s because National Cycle Network 4 passes by the school in that bit of the route between Lock Road and Riveride Drive to, or from, Teddington Lock.

2. Hampton Court roundabout does appear as a public consultation, but not one we’ve been told about, on the Council website [click here to see the plans, read the consultation letter and the map of who's consulted]

We talked about Hampton Court in a previous posting in March last year [click here] and in our view these plans fall way, way short of what needs doing here.

3. Kew Bridge 

Last, but not least, in a posting last July [click here] we highlighted the problem of uncertainty about cycling on the footways over Kew Bridge, so credit to TfL for proposing to make it very clear you can [click here]

We’ll be interested to know what happens when you get here, particularly as the road on the left at the end of the footway is now the entrance to blocks of flats:

Hopefully, we can sort this out as part of the connection to the Cycle Superhighway.

By the way, TfL are doing this using the law we suggested the Council used to adopt the elevated section in The Terrace and Lonsdale Road but which they told us they wouldn’t because of maintenance costs.

E-mail your comments to: campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk

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