Star and Garter – stop making sense!

This is an email thread with the council about the council’s Star and Garter consultation. You’ll need to read it from the bottom. But the things that worry us:

  1. Someone actually thought about cycling, then realised they couldn’t even design in a painted on bike logo
  2. Someone else is apparently thinking about 20mph in the area. Which is news to everyone we know.
  3. The council doesn’t understand the point of consultations. This provides no options, no analysis, doesn’t accurately show what is changing, and assumes that interested parties are going to try to go to the planning portal to understand the context for these things. There’s surely no better way to make sure no-one responds.
  4. Honestly, the council has no idea what makes for acceptable cycling conditions.

________________________________

Dear RCC,

As stated in my previous email, the changes being made directly outside the Star and Garter development were agreed as part of the planning application. Members of the public would have been given an opportunity to comment on these as part of this planning application.

The main alteration here is the addition of a new footway outside Ancaster House, which is highlighted on the consultation plan. The remaining changes consist of minor elements to bring the layout in line with the current standards. These type of changes usually addressed through our maintenance programme, but will be undertaken as part of this project while we are working in the area.

The ‘build out’ you refer to on the roundabout is a form of horizontal deflection. This is a requirement on mini-roundabouts to prevents vehicles speeding through the junction or failing to give-way. This is a safety feature that benefits all road users, including cyclists.

You refer to the road widening, but the overall carriageway width here has actually be reduced to accommodate the development works. Although this has been mitigated by removing the central hatching, to maintain the required lane widths.

As previously mentioned the 20mph proposal has not fully been investigated, and as such is not ready to be consulted on.

Regards,

[Council]

 

From: Borough Coordinator [mailto:info@richmondlcc.co.uk]
Sent: 05 July 2017 21:31
To: [Council]
Subject: Re: Star and Garter Consultation.

[Council],

I apologise if I didn’t make it clear, but I think there are a number of questions to be answered here.

  1. Why does the consultation document and diagram fail to explain what changes are actually being made to the road layout?
  2. Why is there a build out on the roundabout? What is its purpose? Did anyone think how this might affect cycling?
  3. Why does this road need widening at this point?
  4. Why was there so much information offered subsequent to the consultation which wasn’t included *in* the consultation?
  5. If there’s a 20mph plan, why is this the first we’re heating about it?

You may be aware that the Cycling Liaison Group is on 25th July. I would hope the council can provide some of these answers in advance of the meeting.

Sincerely,

Borough Coordinator, Richmond Cycling

 

On 6 Jun 2017, at 23:17, Borough Coordinator <info@richmondlcc.co.uk> wrote:

Dear [Council],

Thank you for taking the time to write back. I’m afraid i still don’t understand a number of things about these plans.

Firstly, the consultation document doesn’t actually show what changes are being effected to the junction area, with most changes un-noted. I don’t think it is reasonable for people to expect a clear statement here of what is changing. As an example, the roadway is being widened by a significant amount, through the removal of central ‘hatching’ on the approach to the gate, but this isn’t shown.

Secondly, there is a small but important new build out on the roundabout opposite Star and Garter. What is this for? Why are we – at a clear pinch point – forcing cyclists further towards motor traffic?

Thirdly, can you explain to me why the road needs widening at this point anyway? If you’re not prepared to put in cycle lanes, then widening the road isn’t going to make cycling better, I would suggest.

Finally, you provided a lot of useful information in your email – and I think it’s fair to say that this should all have appeared on the consultation: you’re asking us to accept these changes in the context of potential larger plans, so why is none of this mentioned?

I should probably also add that I’m am in no way looking forward to hearing of another Richmond cycling scheme which involves painting big bike roundels on the road and fantasising that it will make the blindest difference to people on bikes, or people who might be considering getting on a bike: it’s really disappointing that in 2017, the borough’s ambition is so spectacularly limited.

Sincerely,

Borough Coordinator, Richmond Cycling

 

[Council] wrote:

Dear RCC,

Thank you for your email.

The work being undertaken on Star and Garter Hill, Richmond is a relatively minor scheme, to implement the new bay outside the Star and Garter development. This will be a very limited stay drop off / collection bay for the residents here. The bay was previously agreed as part of the planning application for the development here.

The informal crossing facility is being removed was originally used by the support staff for the Royal Star and Garter home, that resided in Ancaster House. Due to the redevelopment of these sites, this is no longer a required movement. We have monitored this facility to ensure that it was longer used prior to proposing that it was removed.

The carriageway width in this location is too narrow to implement an on road cycle facility, however we are considering a 20mph speed limit/zone in this area. As this does not require any civil works we are not, restricted to the July construction window. Once this has been fully investigated and developed, this will be consulted on as a separate scheme. As part of this works we will be looking into the implementation of cycle symbols on the ground. Unfortunately we are unable to progress with element until the development of the 20mph works, as there will likely be some conflict around the locations of the 20mph roundels and the cycle symbols.

I hope this information useful

Regards

[Council]

www.richmond.gov.uk / www.wandsworth.gov.uk

From: Borough Coordinator [mailto:info@richmondlcc.co.uk]
Sent: 15 May 2017 23:06
Subject: Star and Garter Consultation.

Hello,

I’m writing on behalf of Richmond Cycling Campaign to complain about the poor proposals on Star and Garter Hill: http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/2017/05/15/star-and-garter-yet-another-missed-opportunity/

I find it very hard to believe that the best engineers could come up with was wider traffic lanes, a new pinch point, and a consultation document which didn’t even show clearly half of the proposed changes.

This is a large sweep of tarmac which already tacitly encourages high speeds from vehicles not using the park entrances – and the proposals only make this worse, but providing an even wider lane heading into and out of Richmond. You could have included a proper pedestrian crossing on every arm of this roundabout, or used traffic lights to better allocate the space, or really marked any kind of cycling provision whatsoever. But instead, there’s a nice new loading bay outside Star and Garter – which seems not to look much different from the old one – and you’ve actually **removed** a potential pedestrian crossing point (here).

Before anything goes ahead, the very least the council can do is to clearly indicate **all** the changes at this junction, explain why walking and cycling hasn’t been included, and explain the schedule for any safety plans which are supposedly being looked at.

Sincerely

Borough Coordinator, Richmond Cycling
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RCC is a branch of London Cycling Campaign

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