This is our response to the Ham Quietway (QW1) consultation
You can see the drawings in this PDF. We urge you to make your own response: you can fill in the questionnaire, or email the council team directly at email@example.com
Richmond Cycling Campaign generally supports the changes proposed in this consultation, but we have specific concerns which we think need to be addressed in order to maximise the appeal of this route to people who cycle now, or who are considering it.
Taking the individual sections:
Ham Gate to Upper Ham Road
At 2.5m this is probably a minimum width to be shared between walking and cycling, and we predict that on busy days there will be conflict between the two modes because of the width.
The entrance to the park is also a potential area for conflict, as the design seems to suggest cycling joins the main road at this point.
The priority for this path over the driveways and crossings on the route is a very welcome change for the borough, and should benefit both walking and cycling.
At the traffic lights at the end of Ham Gate Avenue, we feel this is a poor experience for people cycling and walking. The design offers low capacity for these movements. It also requires someone cycling from the park to make two movements, whereas a driver needs only to make one. The design to then join Ham Common provides a very real likelihood that waiting traffic will block this junction, making it even harder to cross the road.
Fundamentally, if Ham Common is good enough to cycle on, then so is Ham Gate Avenue. If Ham Gate Avenue isn’t appropriate for cycling, then neither is Ham Common.
Even if we accepted the proposed movement, the designed turn from Ham Common onto the cycle route has extremely low capacity if – as is likely – someone arrives with a family, a cargo bike, or any other larger cycle. Again, conflict is being designed in if this route is used by the volumes we are hoping for.
Once on Ham Common, we welcome the change in design at Martingales Close, which provides a significantly better pedestrian experience. We are concerned that there are no parking changes on this road, however, because the volume of traffic here and the parking on alternate sides makes for a needlessly complex cycling environment which will especially deter less experienced and younger cyclists.
Risks around traffic volume persist on Lock Road. Although potentially suitable by volume and designed speed (20mph), this has some features – such as the speed cushions and build outs – which have a likelihood of causing conflict: we’d like to see some more analysis of how to make sure cycling gets clear priority in this area.
We applaud the proposed changes to the Broughton Avenue / Hardwicke Road crossings, as likely to make this significantly more inviting to cycling.
Similarly, the widening of the more obvious crossing is also a welcome change which we think will make a real difference to people cycling in the area.