Coordinator’s Report – March 2020

This is an annual report prepared by the group coordinator.

Engagement

The borough has a *lot* of groups interested in the things we’re interested in – MASC, Mums for Lungs, and so on. We’ve met or spoken to an awful lot of them through various members,

Over the year, members have had dozens of meetings with councillors and officers, including the deputy leader of the council. We attend the Active Travel Advisory Group, and support lots of other activities in the borough too, with rides, including around 100 who took our led ride to the RideLondon Freecycle.

It has actually been a good year for the creation and approval of a policy framework which better supports active travel, but sadly this has yet to translate into much action on the ground, beyond 20mph.

LCC

We’ve had a lot of time and support from LCC head office this year, which I want to personally record and appreciate: there are lots of opportunities in the borough,

Richmond Town Centre

This is an on-going piece of work. The council has seen quite a few reports, and has been holding stakeholder briefings.

The goal at a simple level is to stop George Street being the worst road for air pollution in the borough. The initial proposals seem to be to have a clean air zone, along with other things being done at the same time, including improved cycling facilities and the new cycle hub at the station.

It still isn’t clear what the timescales for this are, but there is at least a fascinating set of data which has been gathered, showing just how much traffic in the town centre is just driving through.

Burtons Road

This Low Traffic Neighbourhood was at Transport Committee on 10 March, and will get a second round of consultation. It is incredibly disappointing that the council has failed to act here, given the appalling situation they describe. Sounds like it will be re-consulted after the Mayoral election.

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

Neither low traffic neighbourhood consultation has gone through, and the council needs to find a new way to do these. Clearly people in surrounding roads are worried about traffic issues, but the way to fix traffic issues is incrementally. If we try building a massive plan, it will take years, and still not satisfy everyone.

20mph

Should now be mostly done – after the initial fight, it all seems to have calmed down a bit, although local Nextdoor is proving a fine hotbed of anti-council anti-change sentiment.

Contraflows

These are apparently now in a programme. I haven’t been able to get an update, but there are a few now done, and more in the offing.

Peddlemywheels

Council has announced it is going to work with peddlemywheels to support people trying cargo and ebikes. We asked them about this a while ago, and are pleased to see it being included – once live, it is a scheme we need the council to publicise well.

Ecargo bike grants

We also asked the council to look at whether they could engage with the DfT on the ecargo bike fund and, to their credit, they went with it. Lots of businesses seem to have at least expressed interest, so really exciting if this goes ahead. https://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/2020/02/02/massive-e-cargo-bid-by-council/

School Streets

Current status: https://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/2020/01/27/schools-and-school-streets-where-are-we/

Some due to start soon (not sure of exact dates or plans), and they seem encouraged to work on more. There’s now officers from TfL also helping (two people we think, on at least 1 FTE basis.)

Royal Parks

RCC members have attended a number of Royal Parks meetings, and we have responded to their consultation. Another response is in progress, and we’re hopeful this is going to lead to real change at the parks.

Liveable Neighbourhoods

Our bid for funds for Ham was unsuccessful. TfL has provided feedback (copy here)

In general, it seems like we needed to be a lot more ambitious, and from discussion with councillors and officers, it would appear that this is the intent next year.

The announcements for this are due 20 March. (Purdah begins on 21 March.)

Twickenham Riverside

Members have been supporting this project, and it looks like it should be positive for walking and cycling.

Roadworks

The council seems to be actively taking on board the new TfL guidance on signage. This means not only an end to ‘Cyclists Dismount’ but also should mean that works in the borough generally should be more accommodating for people both walking and cycling.

This was raised at the last ATAG, and it sounds like action will be taken here.

Twickenham Station

Sadly it’s unlikely that the new station is going to get great cycling. We’re stuck with a very crappy looking design based on the original plans, but this might get an earlier review than would normally be the case, perhaps.

Events

May Fair went really well – it would be good if we can do more events, too. .

Air Quality Meeting

Strategy was approved, I think, at the Transport and Air Quality Committee on 10 March.

https://cabnet.richmond.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=803&MId=5012

Hammersmith Bridge

The bridge is being worked on, and will get a walking and cycling (temporary) bridge quite soon (not sure of dates).

It is still a huge opportunity to sort out traffic in the Barnes area, which is choking on 4x4s and needless journeys by car. Possible that the LN proposals, if they go ahead, will make a difference.

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