RCC Newsletter – 15 March 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!

Well, we were hoping March would bring warmer weather, but at least the days are getting longer every week. This month we’ve lots on the campaign front, with Boris’s Cycling Vision and the local impact, while it’s business as usual for the council and TfL in their consideration of cycling locally. An update on our campaign push on cycling to school and of course the usual round-up of rides and workshops. Enjoy!

Monthly Meeting
Next month’s meeting has been moved back a week to 15th April as the previous week many of us will be at the LCC Policy Forum seminar series launch on 8th April, with Andrew Gilligan and Danny Williams (http://is.gd/mHBxhl). We’ll been discussing the upcoming council Cycling Liaison Group Meeting amongst other things. Do come along if you can, it’s always nice to see new faces. Location details online – http://is.gd/eahg52

Cycling Liaison Group Meeting
The next meeting with the council is 24th April. Anyone is welcome to turn out to hear what the council is doing for cycling, at the last event there were over 20 attendees and a novice cyclist spoke very eloquently about the conditions she faces on the roads of the borough (http://is.gd/x0Akgf) Email us at campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk if you’re coming so we can fill you on any background and the agenda.

Consultations
Thank you to everyone who fed back on last month’s consultation for Railshead Road (on the busy northern stretch of the Thames near Isleworth – http://goo.gl/maps/I6E7J) that there was little in the proposals to make this safer for cyclists. We’ll await the outcome of the consultation. The council is supposed to publish responses to their consultations (like in this example where all cycling concerns are ignored – http://is.gd/VApNZI) but these are sometimes hard to find.

We’ve also fed back on the planning application for the Former Twickenham Sorting Office, asking that the developers ensure there is provision for cyclists and access for cyclists and pedestrians to the River Crane.

No new consultations this month on Council’s Consultation page (http://is.gd/JnijLg).

Boris’s New Cycling Vision
On 7th March, Boris Johnson and his recently appointed cycling commissioner, Andrew Gilligan announced a new vision for cycling in London and it was a radical departure from what had gone before. This is the press release (http://is.gd/iu974l) and here is the full report (http://is.gd/3TUxxa). They’re both worth reading and we’re supportive of what they’re setting out to achieve.

So what does this mean locally. Well, as the Twickenham changes highlighted, local councils are a significant barrier to cycling being treated as a serious form of traffic and included in the design from the outset, not as an afterthought. We’ve outlined our hopes in this post (http://is.gd/j6Ro62) and we’d like everyone to send an email to their councillor, their MP, the Richmond and Twickenham Times, asking the council to seize the initiative and follow Boris’s vision. That said, the next two items might make you question whether the vision will be implemented on the ground.

TfL Dangerous Junction Review
We reported in a previous newsletter about the TfL project to review and consult on the top 100 dangerous junctions in London. We were pleased that three TfL managed junctions in the borough had been selected for review (A316-London Road Roundabout; A205-Mortlake Road/Upper Richmond Road and A205-Sheen Lane) and were preparing to feedback – http://is.gd/bWOOMO

We were therefore shocked when work started on the A316- London Road Roundabout junction this month with no prior consultation (http://is.gd/p4TBLH) We were further shocked to hear that plans were already decided for the A205-Mortlake Road/Upper Richmond Road junction, again with no consultation, and they will just be adding some Advanced Safety Lines (ASLs). This is despite us raising it with LBRUT in last year’s consultation on the adjacent section (http://is.gd/9VxYWz). All of this has happened despite signing up for the email updates (http://is.gd/1pV7xX) – no information was ever received.

We are following this up with TfL and our local London Assembly members, we’d ask that you take 2 minutes to email them to find out what is going on (you can also cc us at campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk). Details on who to contact at the end of this post – http://is.gd/p4TBLH

If Boris’s new cycling vision is to mean anything, then TfL really need to start to follow the statement in the report which says that “Timid, half-hearted improvements are out – we will do things at least adequately, or not at all.”

Chalkers Corner
One junction which didn’t make the TfL 100 Dangerous Junction review, is Chalkers Corner on the A316. This is a very threatening junction, with the A316, the South Circular and the road to Mortlake all coming together. Recently, a new off road cycle lane was installed on the northern side on the section towards Manor Cross but nothing was done at the junction. We had hoped that TfL would do something, we knew they were looking at it, but hopes were dashed when we received an email from them last week stating that they had looked at it, it was too hard, so they’re not going to do anything about it. We’re following up on this, and we’ll fill you in with more next month, but again, so much for the new approach from TfL.

Cycling to School
The working group running campaigning around children cycling, and especially cycling to and from school is full swing. This post outlines the campaign and what we’re planning – http://is.gd/Zrddo6 At the moment, we’ve written to every school in the borough and collating the information they’ve sent back. The overwhelming message – over half of the kids in the borough’s schools would like to cycle to school, but few actually do (less than 5%)

Again, we’d love the cycling mummies and daddies of the borough to get involved and many have already got in touch. 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

As mentioned last month, Sustrans is running the ‘The Big Pedal’ cycle to school through March and not a single school in the borough signed up (this map shows the schools taking part – http://is.gd/UTpT2g) A sad reflection on cycling in the borough and says a lot about our Olympic Cycling Legacy.

On a related note, TfL have an online survey at the moment about how children get to school but has no mention of safe cycle routes. If you think it should, take two minutes to add your comments – http://is.gd/nzCxrg

London Cycling Campaign’s Safer Lorries Campaign
Following LCC’s campaign asking everyone to contact their council to take their Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling pledge (http://is.gd/MHQ1tB), the council has put up a new page on their website outlining what they are doing with regards to lorries and cycle safety (http://is.gd/QxIbkf). It shows that they are starting to recognise the issue (we first raised it with them two and a half years ago – http://is.gd/xIhj0k) but while their two main contractors are FORS accredited (the TfL run scheme to improve lorry safety – http://is.gd/lHI4I6) what they don’t admit to is that the council’s own lorries are not accredited (http://is.gd/pRHfVf – you’ll see for example Hounslow in there) Rest assured we’ll be following up with the council, with assistance from LCC in house lorry expertise. In the meantime, this map of the different boroughs shows how they compare – http://is.gd/LTgfpT

Again, if you haven’t already, 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

Teddington Lock
Work is ongoing at Teddington Lock footbridge and it is closed weekdays 9.30am-3.30pm. Worked started on 4th of March and was due to last 3 weeks, so next week should see its completion. Here are a few photos of the current progress – http://is.gd/G0kZFE

If you need to get across the Thames, and don’t fancy going all the way to Kingston or Richmond Bridges, try Hammerton’s Ferry between Orleans Road and Ham House. They are bike friendly and a crossing is £1 for an adult, 50p for an adult bike, 50p for children and small child bikes go free (and they’re a true piece of borough history, in operation since 1909!)

Bushy Park to Kingston Bridge
Subject to an earlier consultation mentioned in a previous newsletter, the council is introducing a link between Bushy Park and Kingston Bridge, a gap that has been a significant barrier to many who would like to cycle to the park. Great to see it introduced, sad that (as has been the case several times) the roadworks to install a safer route for cyclists, puts cyclists in danger. See the photos in this post (and the ironic council sign!) – http://is.gd/dEulOt

Again, it doesn’t have to be this way – in Denmark, roadworks take into account the needs of cyclists (http://is.gd/xe1kRr) and even in other parts of London the councils are proactive in this area. Come on LBRUT.

20mph Limits
The Richmond Magazine continues to turn over a new leaf this month, with an excellent article on the desire to reclaim our residential streets by introducing 20mph limits – http://is.gd/lh8N4g

Here in Richmond, the council continues to make it extremely difficult to introduce 20mph limits in residential areas. A local referendum with a 51% vote in favour is required and no response is counted as a vote against. One has to wonder why they were so keen to push 20mph in the Twickenham town centre changes (in place of cycle lanes) yet didn’t consider it for the Whitton town centre improvements.

Rides

‘Ride for Everyone’ to Bushy Park and Hampton Court this Saturday 16th March. A nice flat ride with a coffee stop along the way to warm up and lots of daffodils to see along the way
Meet at Teddington Railway Station (West Side) at 10.15am.
Details online – http://is.gd/sBg3ep

‘Ride for Explorers’ to the Chilterns on Sunday 7th April. This is a new ride for us and we’ll be taking the Overground from Richmond to Carpenters Park. A great opportunity to escape London and get some real fresh air and quiet roads with a lunch stop along the way.
Meet at Richmond Railway Station at 10.15am.
Details online – http://is.gd/9nXGfK

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.

Have a look at our Rides Information page for more details on upcoming rides – http://is.gd/IxqE3S or our Rides Reports page for reports of previous rides – http://is.gd/mqQzSg

A local charity based in St Margarets, Biking for Children in Care, got in touch to tell us about a long distance 200 mile ride to the Netherlands they are organising from 20-24th June. To find out more, contact gill_timmis@talk21.com

And Ealing based charity Uganda Development Services are looking for riders to raise money for them in this year’s London Night Ride – more at http://is.gd/PFKOtW

Maintenance Workshops
The work shops are in full swing and lots of people are coming along to get their bikes ready for Spring. 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 28th March and 11th April

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

Ham – Ham Youth Centre – every other Saturday 10:00-12:00
Location – http://wp.me/pSDFw-14t
Next dates are 16th, 30th March and 13th April

Better by Bike
Interesting post on why our town centres need a rethink, and no, free parking is not the answer – http://is.gd/2XmNcL

And Finally…
Made just across the river in Brentford, and commonly seen at stations across the borough, you won’t have seen many Bromptons ridden like this! http://youtu.be/G62gRmdIBY0

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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