Sandycombe Road – safety with paint and a bit of tarmac.

The council is consulting on fixing Sandycombe Road (see here), in an attempt to deal with safety and congestion concerns.

Can this fix Sandycombe Road?  Probably not.

Can this fix Sandycombe Road? Probably not.

Sadly the consultation seems mostly to be about painting, making it easier to drive up and down, and ignoring cycling or walking as options. Sandycombe Road is one of three separate routes that can get you from the A316 to Kew Bridge / the South Circular, but it’s also a way for lots of people to access their homes.

We think Sandycombe would benefit from:

  • Filtered permeability (see here). This would prevent people using the road as a rat run, but would allow buses to carry on using it, and maintain access for residents
  • 20mph. Many people don’t travel down here at much more than 20mph, but there are some who do, and this is one of the areas that made it very clear that it wanted speeds cut. We won’t see more people cycling on this road if speeds aren’t cut, especially as these designs will likely increase speeds
  • Enhanced traffic calming measures. The raised tables are a good start at this, but they are only a start – there are all sorts of other ways engineers have in their arsenal to calm traffic in an area like this

Frankly, it would also benefit from losing its designation as a ‘B’ road – no-one should be lead to Sandycombe Road because they think it’s a key arterial route.

The council designs – which add more pavement parking like this, at the expense of people choosing to walk – is likely to cost a lot of money for no benefit to cycling, and precious little to anyone else, we think.

Finally, did you know there are plans to build a primary school at the top of Sandycombe Road, on the Manor Circus roundabout? If this goes ahead, all bets are likely to be off for safe traffic or pleasant walking in this area. 

So please write to the council using their form (here), the engineer’s email (Lisa Fenn at or email us your comments and we’ll share them.

Please tell the council:

  1. Traffic volumes need to fall on Sandycombe Road
  2. Speeds need to fall on the road
  3. Through / non-local traffic should be discouraged
  4. More focus needs to be given in the designs to walking and cycling

And let us know your comments, below!


3 thoughts on “Sandycombe Road – safety with paint and a bit of tarmac.

  1. This is frankly a tricky one: as you say, it’s one of the 3 routes from Kew Bridge to Richmond and beyond. Given that, it’s difficult at best to reconcile public and hyperlocal interests.

    The A205 is saturated, partially by a badly designed junction at Chalkers corner ; its cycle path isn’t continuous either.
    Kew road is also congested and doesn’t have cycle facilities.

    With those facts in mind, it would make a lot of sense to work around choke points by offering safe cycling alternatives.

    1/ Going through North road should be sign-posted and encouraged.
    2/ There should be a full, segregated cycle lane on the A316 North Side to link up Chiswick to Richmond, not just one little breadcrumb lane on the South side. This would offer options to go right or left after North road.
    3/ Cycling should be encouraged through Bushwood road and parallel roads toward Kew village, from Kew green
    4/ Finally, something should be done to sort out Chalkers corner. It’s not fit for purpose for pedestrians or cyclists.

  2. I have responded to the consultation. However, I completely agree with the LCC comments here. As usual, the problem is that the council is absolutely unwilling to remove any parking.

    They need to make up their minds – if roads are to be through routes, and they want traffic to keep flowing, then they have to stop people parking their vehicles by the side of the road to creat pinch points (the north end of Kew Road just before Kew Green is a particularly bad example of this) – this requires more double yellow lines and enforcement.

    This problem is entirely independent of cyclists! Even if there were no cyclists, parking pinch points would still cause delay to motorists on these roads, as there is not enough space to allow people to leave their cars here and still allow two way vehicle flow, especially when larger vehicles are involved.

    Of course, removing parking would make things safer for cyclists by reducing the risks of being ‘doored’, and would also free up space that could be used for protected infrastructure…

    On the other hand, if the council is prepared to allow residents to use the street to park cars, then the road should be recognised as not being suitable as a through route, and additional traffic calming and filtered permeability added to make it safer and more pleasant for everyone.

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