RCC Newsletter – 11 February 2013

Once a month, we send out an email update on cycling in the Richmond Borough. If you’d like to sign up for these, contact us here to be first to hear the cycling news that affects you across the borough.

We also post the newsletters here on our website the following week. Read below and enjoy! Previous newsletters can be found here.

Hello!

Brrr! That’s the general assessment for this month. But don’t let a bit of snow get in the way of getting out on the bike, it doesn’t stop the Danes or the Dutch! This month we’ve feedback from the Annual Meeting in January (with lots of new faces), a campaign push on cycling to school, consultations needing your input and cycling in the snow!

Monthly Meeting Tonight
Our next meeting is tonight, Monday 11th February in The Old Ship pub in Richmond at 8pm. We’ll have feedback on the recent Cycling Liaison Group Meeting and an update on the status of the Twickenham town centre changes as well as news on our schools cycling campaign. Do come along if you can. Location details online – http://is.gd/eahg52

Annual Meeting
It was a full house for our Annual Meeting last month with 14 present. There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm amongst the attendees which bodes well for 2013 and lots of new faces elected to positions on the committee. We pulled together a summary of what we got up to in 2012 – http://is.gd/iWfkpW – and you can read the minutes to see the names of the new committee members and campaign plans for 2013 – http://is.gd/VeAT4j

Cycling Liaison Group Meeting
Our first meeting with the council of 2013 was held on 29 January and as recent meetings there was a big turn out of over 20. Three new cyclists, all female, complained forcefully about the poor facilities for cycling on the borough’s roads (one of them wrote this guest post for us last month http://is.gd/ox5saM). There was discussion of a cycling strategy for the borough, but little detail about what was in it, other than a plan to grow cycling from 5% to 7% of journeys in the borough (but without a clear time frame or actions to achieve this) It was interesting to note that motor traffic through town centres is now 8% lower than in 2008 which begs the question why the changes to Twickenham town centre are based on increased levels of traffic (though, as we have found out previously, this is without any traffic modelling to back that up)

On the Twickenham changes there was little new information but the council did concede that it was anticipated that in the proposed design cycles lanes approaching traffic signals “may be encroached on” and that the width of the motor lanes meant that larger vehicles (i.e. lorries) would use the width of the cycle lane in addition to the motor lane. On the subject of lorries, the council claimed that lorries used by companies employed by the council had safety equipment fitted, but this goes against what LCC have found. (this previous blog post by a local cyclist gives a good overview of the history of these meetings – http://is.gd/CrSmnx)

London Cycling Campaign’s Safer Lorries Campaign
LCC are asking every council in London to take their Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling pledge (http://is.gd/MHQ1tB) to only use the best-equipped lorries and best-trained drivers. Some councils have already taken action, but many aren’t taking their responsibilities to cyclist safety seriously. Richmond council comes out particularly badly with no training and no safety equipment installed on the lorries used. You can see in this map of the different boroughs how they compare – http://is.gd/LTgfpT

Please take a moment to write to the council to demand they take cycle safety with regards to lorries more seriously http://is.gd/u3Kxhm This comes as TfL release a report showing that more people were killed by construction lorries going to and from sites, than on the sites themselves – http://is.gd/FnREVE

Consultations
There is a new consultation out for Railshead Road, next to the Thames near Isleworth (Map link – http://goo.gl/maps/I6E7J). This is a popular route for people cycling along the Thames towards Isleworth and Syon Park. Although the consultation states it wishes to reduce “Conflict between pedestrians, vehicles and cyclists who use the area” there is little in the proposals to make this safer for cyclists. The main objective is to keep parking spaces which are the main cause of the danger. Full details are here – http://is.gd/LKABb6 There is an online survey you can complete – http://is.gd/NgG0JL Deadline is 10 March

We’ve also spotted the planning application for the Former Twickenham Sorting Office site. We haven’t looked at them in detail yet, but we would like to understand how they will affect cycling along London Road and interaction with the River Crane. Article on Richmond and Twickenham Times (http://is.gd/paA744) and the Twickerati blog (http://is.gd/tjdNH2) You can view the planning application online (http://is.gd/HnCUJa) Deadline for responses is end of February

We continue to look out for consultations, both those posted on the council’s Consultation page (http://is.gd/JnijLg) and those that are not. We still are not consulted directly by the council on schemes affecting cyclists.

Draft Police and Crime plan for London
This is currently out for consultation and lacks any mention of dangerous driving offences. If you think it should include something about improving road safety and tackling dangerous driving, then please do respond to the consultation. Deadline is soon so be quick. Background and where to complete the quick online survey – http://is.gd/nlgTyV

Cycling to School
After lots of feedback to questions about cycling to school in previous RCC newsletters (and of course the positive reaction to The Richmond Magazine follow-up – http://is.gd/olY1pB) we set up a working group at the Annual Meeting to run campaigning around children cycling, and especially cycling to and from school. We’ve started to collate information about the situation schools in the borough but we’d really like the cycling mummies and daddies of the borough to get involved. Do you cycle to school with your children? Would you like to? How do you feel about your routes and options? What is the attitude of your school towards cycling. Drop us a line and let us know, so we can shape the campaign – campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk

Several schools are already proactive in the area of cycling and walking to school, have a look at Isleworth Town School just outside the borough – http://is.gd/W5RaN6
Next month sees the start of Sustrans ‘The Big Pedal’ cycle to school event (http://is.gd/21X0E7). At present, not a single school in the borough is signed up (have a look at this map to see which schools are taking part – http://is.gd/UTpT2g) which says a lot about our Olympic Cycling Legacy.

And while we’re on the subject, this blog post by a cycling mummy sums up the fears of many about cycling to school and why often the car is the easy option – http://is.gd/6BRbpC

Rides
Sadly rain stopped play at the weekend, but our 2013 ride program is in full swing. Upcoming rides listed below. If you’re coming to either of these rides, send Paul, our Rides Coordinator, an email at rides@richmondlcc.co.uk so we know how many to expect and also to let you know if we need to cancel the ride due to weather conditions.

‘Ride for Everyone’ to Chiswick House on Saturday 16th February with a coffee stop along the way to warm up.
Meet at Mortlake Green by the station at 10.30am.
Details online – http://is.gd/81SjPZ

Have a look at our Rides Information page for more details on upcoming rides – http://is.gd/IxqE3S

Maintenance Workshops
Jonathan has come out of his winter hibernation re-energised for the regular maintenance workshops. With the dark nights, they are a good opportunity if you need some help fitting a new set of lights or getting some mudguards fitted for those wetter days. Everyone and all bike types are welcome and no appointment is necessary. It’s all free but donations welcome to cover our costs – http://is.gd/oKpKQW:

Mortlake – The Old Bakery – 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month 19:00-21:00
Location – http://wp.me/pSDFw-4X
Next dates are 14th and 28th February

Twickenham – All Hallows Church, – 4th Wednesday of the month 19:00-21:00
Location – http://wp.me/pSDFw-4U
Next date is 27th February

Ham – Ham Youth Centre – every other Saturday 10:00-12:00
Location – http://wp.me/pSDFw-14t
Next dates are 16th February and 2nd March

Better by Bike
One of the things we’ll be promoting in 2013 is how important cycling is in supporting local shops and business. As listed in this great blog post, getting people to cycle and walk to their shops really pays – http://is.gd/2XmNcL To start, we’ve put together a post listing the borough’s regular markets which are perfecting for popping along to on your bike – http://is.gd/F0yIUf

Let us know of any local cycle friendly businesses in the borough, be they shops, pubs, restaurants, cafes. Anywhere that makes you feel welcome as a customer coming by bike.

And Finally…
We let a bit of snow stop you getting out on the bikes, the Danes and Dutch manage to keep on cycling and their cycle lanes are gritted and snow ploughed when needed (and shows who they value cycling as a form of transport) http://is.gd/rQPQ4e

Thanks for reading and keep cycling. Feel free to pass this email on to anyone who may benefit and don’t hesitate to get in touch through info@richmondlcc.co.uk to help make the borough a nicer and safer place to live and cycle. You can see our list of cycling events in the borough on our online calendar: http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/category/events and if you’ve missed any of our newsletters, they are all online – http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/category/newsletters

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Richmond Cycling Campaign
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