This is our proposed response to the changes on Sheen Road. See here for the borough consultation.
Richmond Cycling is in general supportive of improving crossings when the upgrades benefit both pedestrians and cyclists. This proposal unfortunately has not fully thought through the interaction of cyclists, pedestrians and motor vehicles, and therefore we cannot support it in its current form.
We would recommend that the scheme is implemented with the changes outlined below. The recommended changes will ensure that vulnerable road users’ safety is prioritised and the comfort of the cycling and pedestrian experience is enhanced:
- The crossing should be raised to slow approaching vehicles. Vehicle speeds are too high in this area, particularly considering the proximity to a primary school.
- Removal of the central refuge to create a single stage crossing is to be applauded. This will remove a cycle pinch point and will correctly prioritise pedestrians over other road users.
- The new road space that is created by the removal of the central refuge should be used to extend the existing mandatory cycle lanes on each side of the carriageway. It is our understanding that the 2015 TSRGD (traffic signs regulations and general directions) will permit the extension of the cycle lanes over the crossing. The work should pay heed to this so that this can be incorporated when the new regulations go live.
- Keep the zebra crossing. RCC cannot support the removal of the zebra crossing at this location, changing to a traffic light controlled crossing, prioritises vehicular traffic over pedestrians and those on bicycles. It is RCC’s belief that concerns, from users, that vehicles are not stopping in a timely fashion at this location are due to excessive speeds rather than the style of crossing. As mentioned earlier lower speeds should be achieved through a raised crossing to make the zebra crossing more effective. An enhanced zebra crossing keeps priority with the most vulnerable road users.
- The proposal suggests widening the pavement to make the crossing shorter. This would only have a marginal impact on the time to cross. The pavements should not be widened since this will not permit a continuous cycle lane. It will force cyclists to pull in front of fast moving motor vehicles, creating a new pinch point and hazard for cyclists.
- The railings on either side of the road should be removed. TfL research has shown that these encourage high traffic speeds and do little to protect vulnerable road users.