We went along to the Environment, Sustainability and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee (trying saying that after a few jars!) meeting on Monday 7 January. We were hopeful that our comments made back in November would have been taken on board. This post by a local cyclist summed up the potential that could be achieved.
Sadly we were to be disappointed. Disjointed, advisory cycle lanes that form part of the nearside motor lane, no consideration at junctions other than ASLs, a taxi rank to dodge – you can read the full plans here (PDF 5MB) Not a design that parents will feel happy about cycling to school with their kids on. We were somewhat exasperated by the council boasting that they were being generous by giving 1.5 m cycle lanes. While this may be generous compared to the usual treatment in the borough (e.g. the recent cycle lanes on the approach to Richmond Bridge) this is the absolute minimum width recommended by the London Cycle Design Standards (yes, they do exist!). Perhaps the Richmond officers need a refresh.
Until the council treats cycling as a means of transport, with officers who actually use the designs they come up with, we won’t see more people taking to their bikes to cycle to work, school or the shops. Across London, other councils are waking up to this – read how Ealing council went to Copenhagen, even TfL are starting to rethink their designs. We only hope this will eventually happen in Richmond. In the meantime, here’s your Olympic legacy. Which is a shame, because when you look at this post by a local parent, you see what could have been achieved with the space available and some political will – a vibrant Twickenham people go to, not drive through.