Vigil and Die-In at Bank of England, Bank Junction, City of London, EC4N 8BH

A cyclist has died in a crash with a tipper truck, making her the eighth cyclist to die on London’s roads this year.

The death of the 26-year-old woman on Monday morning came just three days after a 50-year-old cyclist died following a collision with a car in Harrow. Last year a total of 13 cyclists were killed on London’s roads and 14 died in 2013.

In response to the two fatalities in the past few days, LCC will be organising a flash protest at Bank junction on Wednesday morning between 8.30-8.45am.

There will be two rides into Bank if people want to ride in with others. One starting at Finsbury Circus (meet south side) and the other starting from London Bridge (west pavement, northern side). Meet at these locations at 8am, to leave at 8.15am.

More info here. Keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter for news / updates.

 

There will also be a vigil at the Bank of England, Bank Junction, City of London, EC4N 8BH on Monday 29th June ( Assembly time to be confirmed but likely to be from 5.30pm or 6pm in the evening)

This is a horrendous junction – 7 major and 2 minor roads merge there, meaning no matter how good the driving or cycling, it is a nightmare – with absolutely no sensible provision for cyclists and even pedestrians poorly looked after.

At least 3 of these roads needs to be closed to through traffic and made over for the huge numbers of pedestrians and cyclists using this junction at rush hour every day.

A staggering 33% of the rush hour traffic is already cyclists at this junction.

The City of London opposes provision of physically protected cycle lanes.

They have spent ZERO on protected cycle lanes over last 5 years.

On a positive the City has adopted a 20 mph – but it is unknown how much enforcement by the City of London Police is taking place.

7 out of the 8 kllings have been by Killer Tipper Trucks.

The Mayor of London should call an emergency Killer Tipper Truck summit to ensure all trucks in London carry the full safety technology and not just the safety mirrors which positively are coming in after our campaign in September.

 

 

Woman killed after collision on notorious Lambeth Bridge roundabout

We’re sad to report that a female cyclist was killed last week at the roundabout on the Westminster side of Lambeth Bridge. Moira Gemmill, a prominent designer, was involved in a collision with a tipper truck – the type of truck that’s been involved in four of the five cyclist fatalities so far this year.

Our condolences go out to Moira’s family. Stop Killing Cyclists is holding a vigil and ‘die-in’ at Lambeth Bridge on Monday 20 April from 6pm, so we hope to see as many of our supporters there as possible.

 

Russell School Consultation

Richmond Council is planning to rebuild and expand the Russell and Strathmore Schools in Petersham, but has no clear plans about the impact on traffic in the surrounding area.

Have you say! Make an objection here. Although the deadline of Wednesday 18th February has passed, it is believed that they submissions will be accepted until March.

Here are some ideas on what you might say to the Council.

Richmond Cycling welcomes the re-building and improving of the school facilities, in order to ensure that it is fit for the 21st Century, and the changing needs faced by schools and their children. But we want to make sure the Council does it right, and considers the surrounding infrastructure.

Richmond Cycling’s view is that:

1. Any re-development needs to include proper, complete provision for active travel. It should be a requirement that it is safe and pleasant to access the school by foot, scooter and bicycle, as the primary modes of transport.

2. The potential expansion of the school needs to take into account the local community: if the area already faces significant traffic issues with the present volume of pupils, this will only get worse with more pupils.

Active travel can significantly reduce the impact of traffic on the local area, by cutting congestion and noise pollution, and making it a safer place through lower traffic volumes.

 

Ham to Richmond – January 2015 update

Progress on the Ham & Petersham & Richmond Riverside Ward Ask – to create a safe properly surfaced route for walking and cycling between Ham and Richmond.

Latest Developments – Cut Throat Alley improvements

Councillors Frost and Loveland have been on the case and addressed one part of the route: Cut Throat Alley – with excellent results. Here are before and after photos. cutthroatalleyfeb 2014 IMG_0558 This is a real success for all. LCC’s Election campaign combined with local group campaigning, and the persistence and dedication of Councillors Loveland and Frost has made this happen. The work carried out in December immediately turned a slippery and uninviting quagmire into a pleasant attractive path. The addition of the dropped curbs and surfaced path across the green makes it easy for people with buggies, scooters and bikes to cross from Riverside Drive. IMG_0563 Cut Throat Alley is an important link partly because it is a route that can be used when the riverside path floods, but it is also an off road shortcut to the Russell, Strathmore and German Schools. The mud put many people off walking or cycling with their kids to school. The path is officially for walking only but because it is narrow and winding, those with bikes either dismount or cycle very cautiously, giving pedestrians priority – the new surface does not seem to have changed this behaviour. Now this route just needs to be included in the Council’s leaf clearing and maintenance schedule. Another much needed repair was carried out in November on the previously muddiest section of the path next to Petersham Field, where it meets Buccleuch Gardens. Photos show before and after. petersham meadow mud Feb 2014   petersham meadow repaired Dec 14 Now the worst part of the path is the least bad! This repair is not a long term solution but is still a valuable improvement to the route. It also shows that it is worth logging repair complaints on the LBRuT website.  I have seen how this can produce results as long as it counts as a repair rather than a change to the infrastructure. It helps if you can detail why the current state of affairs is dangerous.  http://www.richmond.gov.uk/streets_fault_reporting

Going Forward

There is still much to be done to make the whole route between Ham and Richmond safe and inviting. See http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/2014/11/02/ham-to-richmond-reconnaissance-ride-12-july-2014/ for more details. In November myself and another local resident spoke at a meeting for the recently established Ham & Petersham Forum.  We put this project forward as one that the Forum could support, in order to help create a healthy, sustainable transport link for the community. This was met with a positive reception from the 150 local people present. This could lead to funding or at least wider local support for the project. All three elected Councillors in the Ward of Ham & Petersham & Richmond Riverside signed up to this LCC Ward Ask, so I hope and expect that they will continue to push for improvements to the rest of the route. The question remains why so many people would still rather choose this route on the Petersham Road jampetershamrddark rather than this one, along the riverside Richmondbridgeview There are aspects that make the off road routes unsafe, difficult or impossible for people on foot, or with kids buggies, or with bikes, bikes with kids trailers, or in wheelchairs, to use this route, such as :

  • mud

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  • flooding

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  • gates that are difficult to negotiate

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We wish to push the Council to explore potential ways to improve the quality of the paths, without losing the semi-rural quality of the routes, and without creating conflict between different path users. The more people who are able to walk and cycle along this route, the less congested Petersham Road will be, and the more space there will be for those who have no choice but to drive.

Ham to Richmond – Reconnaissance Ride 12 July 2014

Outcomes and Ideas from Reconnaissance Ride – Ham to Richmond – 12.07.2014

Background: All three Councillors for the Ham & Petersham & Richmond Riverside Ward signed up to the London Cycling Campaign “Ward Ask” which was to create a safe surfaced route for cycling and walking from Ham to Richmond. As a starting point towards that Cllr Loveland, Cllr Frost, Andrew Beedham (Chair of the Ham Forum), several representatives of the Richmond group of London Cycling Campaign as well as other interested local people met to cycle the route and talk about how it could be improved.

I have done my best to put together all the thoughts, problems and suggestions that were raised during this ride., but of course there will always be more to add. While I have included the ideas and solutions put forward to some of the difficulties presented by this route, the intention was not to try to present technical solutions as this is a job for Council officials.

  1. Petersham Road across Ham Common (from The Hand & Flower – Ham Gate Avenue)

Suggestion:

1. This section is wide enough for advisory cycle lanes to be marked on both sides. This would alert motor traffic to people on bikes

  1. Petersham Road from Ham Gate Avenue – Sandy Lane

Suggestion:

1. This section is not wide enough for cycle lanes however the central white lines could be removed. It was noted that during the period when the road was resurfaced and there were no markings, cars treated cyclists with more caution when overtaking. This concept is backed up by studies from the recent TfL London Cycling Design Standards, which states:

https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/draft-london-cycling-design-standards/user_uploads/ch5-cycle-friendly-street-design.pdf

Street design

Psychological traffic calming
5.3.8 The character of the street has a subtle effect on traffic speeds: the street width, lane widths, the amount of greenery, the sense of enclosure given by the buildings, the levels of activity and the uses that the street supports. If motorists perceive that they have unbridled priority and that the street has been designed primarily for through traffic, then they will drive accordingly.

5.3.9 A study by TRL,’Psychological’ traffic calming(2005),compared different design techniques for traffic calming, together with more conventional speed reduction methods. Uncertainty was observed to be very effective in reducing speed, particularly ‘tree buildouts’. The greatest impacts were achieved using combinations of psychological and physical measures. Geometry is a key factor: when motorists are in more doubt about whether the space exists to make a passing manoeuvre, they are likely to overtake more slowly and more carefully (if at all).

5.3.10 Features that may support this psychological calming effect include:

  • the appearance of road narrowing and reduction of forward visibility
  • removal of road markings that give motorists more security than is appropriate,

resulting in excessive speed (typically centre lines on local roads) 

  1. Ham Avenues intersects Sandy Lane – built out crossing with one way priority give way signs for on-road traffic.

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 Background: The built out crossing was meant to slow motor traffic but creates an unnecessary inconvenience for people cycling along Sandy Lane towards Ham Street as they have to stop to give way too. There is also a danger and inconvenience for people cycling from Ham Street towards Petersham Road as motor traffic often does not see/ or just fails to give way to cyclists. The advantage of the built out crossing is that it links the well-used Ham Avenues and creates a safe crossing point for people on foot and bike, particularly for children and buggies because on one side is the Sandy Lane playground and on the other is Greycourt School.

Suggestions:

  1. Build a cycle path across the built out path on the Greycourt side of the road so that bikes do not have to stop. Possible difficulties with this solution include the potential conflict with people crossing the road. Would the cycle path run behind them and they wait on an “island”? Alternatively it could be placed right next to the road.

2. Build a fully segregated cycle path down both sides of the street, from Ham Street to where the residential housing begins.

  1. Cut Throat Alley

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Cut Throat Alley is a valuable walking and cycling link between Ham Street and the Avenues. It is a safe child-friendly route to reach the Russell, German, Strathmore Schools as well as the KISH (Kindergarten in the Scout Hut) and onwards to Richmond. The narrow winding alley and path bumpy path surface keep speeds extremely low and users are almost always polite and considerate when walking and cycling through.

Throughout the autumn/ winter/ spring the second half of the alley, the part furthest from Ham Street does not drain and becomes dangerously muddy.  Apart from creating a slipping hazard this makes the route unappealing for anyone who does not want to reach their destination covered in mud.

http://www.cyclescape.org/issues/1018-bad-path-surface-in-cut-throat-alley-ham

Suggestions:

  1. Include the alley in the council leaf clearing schedule.

2. Look into improving the water drainage on this part of the path. The first part of the path has the same surface but does not end up with deep mud. What is causing this difference? Is it just the leaves?

3. It was noted that this problem cannot be solved, as previously tried, by scattering a layer of pebbles, as this just increases the slipping hazard. 

  1. Dirt track across The Copse adjacent to Strathmore School, linking Meadlands Drive with Ham Avenues/ service road for the German School and the Polo Club.

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 Suggestion:

  1. Providing a properly surfaced path from Meadlands Drive to the road serving the German School and the Polo Club would improve walking and cycling access to Strathmore and Russell Schools and help provide a better quiet route from Meadlands Drive area towards Richmond – providing more/better options for avoiding the busy Petersham Road. The current expansion/ rebuild/ land sell off on the Russell Strathmore site offers a perfect opportunity and additional imperative to make this happen.

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The path could be properly linked to the pavements at either end.  Currently there is an uneven drop at both the meeting point with Meadland Drive and with the Ham Avenues.

  1. A possible surface would be a continuation of the treatment used for the rest of the Ham Avenues, see photo below:

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http://www.cyclescape.org/issues/836-link-meadlands-drive-to-ham-avenues-surfacing

http://www.cyclescape.org/threads/1259 

  1. Ham Avenues intersects with service road to German School/ Polo Club and also intersects with dirt track leading to Meadlands Drive.

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At the point where the Ham Avenues intersect with the Polo Club/ German School access road and the aforementioned path across the Copse there is a dangerous spot. School coaches, horse boxes, delivery trucks and other motor traffic comes down the one-way loop service road to the Polo Club and German School, and around the blind corner. When crossing from the Avenue to the Copse path on a bike or on foot with kids it is not possible to get out of the way in time once you hear a vehicle coming. The alternative to using the service road is a ditch next to the path wide enough for a person on foot but not for bike or buggy. If the hedge were cut back and the Ham Avenue surface extended this ditch could be changed to create a safe alternative link.

  1. Ensure sold off land has excellent pedestrian and cycling through-access As there is already such a problem with high volumes of motor traffic and parking in Petersham Road and Meadlands Dri veany agreement to sell the current Strathmore land needs to have strict expectations imposed on the developers. Ie high quality through-traffic access for walking and cycling, possibly including segregated cycle paths. This is another opportunity to genuinely improve access and create a modal shift towards walking and cycling. Also, covered secure cycle parking for every new residential property built (2 cycle spaces per bedroom) will encourage the new occupants to cycle too, (as per the revised London Plan?) 
  1. Signage for public footpath which borders the Scout Hut Land the German School, leading to wooden bridge leading onto towpath.

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At this point, coming from the Ham Avenues or the Petersham Nurseries, the wooden sign indicating the footpath is behind a hedge and facing in the other direction. In the photo you can see the wooden posts of the sign on the left behind the foliage.  Straight ahead is the Scout land which is not a public right of way.  To the right is the path leading towards Water Lane and Ham Nurseries. This sign is currently not usefully visible to anyone.

  1. Crossing Petersham Meadow

This is a key section of this route and the one which presents the most obstacles but also many opportunities.  I have divided the main possible routes into options A, B, C and D. They are not mutually exclusive as a combination of improvements would be likely to attract a wide range of users.

A. The Tow Path: This is the most obvious off road link for this part of the route. The difficulties with it are that the path is not well-surfaced and it gets very muddy for much of the year (see photo below).  In order to make this route attractive to people getting to work/ school/ shops who do not want to arrive covered in mud, an alternative needs to be found.

http://www.cyclescape.org/issues/810-thames-towpath-richmond-ham

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 The towpath floods fairly regularly when there are very high tides, which means that it is sometimes impassable and the flooding makes the mud worse. Below: people trying to negotiate it at a high tide.

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Below: Some pedestrians avoid the mud by climbing over the wall and walking on the grass in Petersham Meadow. This is not a solution for the less able or people on bikes/ with buggies. 

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B. Main Path across Petersham Meadow: This is the first alternative to the towpath

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As you can see in the picture above this path is narrow and also prone to flooding but is not muddy because it is a tarmacked.  In order to be a genuinely useful link all year the path would need to be raised.

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Above: Kissing gate by Buccleuch Gardens leading into Petersham Meadow

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Above: Kissing gate leading from the meadow to Petersham Nurseries.

At either end of the route there are kissing gates to prevent the cows from escaping. The gates are not big enough to allow longer bikes, bikes with trailers, cargo bikes, or double buggies to pass through and are difficult to negotiate for standard bikes too.

In Cambridge, where many cows graze on common land there is a standard design for a cattle grid which cyclists can cross with a separate pedestrian gate next to it. The link gives lots of information and examples http://www.camcycle.org.uk/resources/cattlegrids/ Below is one example of cattle grids for pedestrians and cyclists.

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Another difficulty with this route across the meadow is that when you reach the Petersham Nurseries side there is a narrow path leading to a bumpy muddy track past the nursery and then another even narrower path linking with Water Lane. This last link is really only suitable for people on foot who do not mind the mud, so it does not provide an inclusive route for all. Alternatively, you can go straight ahead past the church and join Petersham Road.

Below: the track next to Petersham Nurseries  and Petersham Church (Feb 2014)

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Below: path linking Petersham Nurseries with Water Lane:

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 C. Entrance to Petersham field through kissing gate on River Lane, next to Old Cow Sheds (below).

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Another potential link across Petersham Meadow begins at the entrance through the kissing gate on Water Lane. Currently, the gate is so narrow that no bikes can pass through, and it is also too narrow for a larger person or pregnant woman to pass through – not an inclusive design. The track leads straight across the field to the kissing gate by Buccleuch Gardens. This removes the problem of the difficult section around the Petersham Nurseries and Church altogether. The disadvantage of trying to push for this possibility is that it would mean creating a properly surfaced path across the meadow (raised to avoid flooding). As the view from Richmond Hill overlooking the meadow is protected it could be difficult to get approval for a surfaced path here.

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Above: track from Water Lane kissing gate across the meadow

 Lower path running alongside Petersham Road, from the Dysart Arms to the Rose of York.

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Above: the is start of the off road path linking two sections of the Petersham Road,  next to the meadow, from the Dysart entrance to Richmond Park to the Rose of York pub. The first part above is surfaced because it is also a driveway, the second part (below) is a dirt track.

Below: where the path comes to end, bringing you back on to the Petersham Road.  This path also gets muddy in winter but if it was properly surfaced it could potentially provide a solution to the problem of crossing Petersham Meadow.

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 Below: A few metres further along the road is another narrow kissing gate which is too small to be passable for cycles and leads to another track around the edge of the meadow, linking up with the Buccleuch Gardens kissing gate. The path and the gate could be linked, the gate could be changed and the path surface around the edge of the meadow could be improved. This could then provide a link which would not effect the view from Richmond Hill.

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D. On road route on Petersham Road between the Rose of York and the Richmond Hill road junction.

This could be improved by redesigning the wide section of Petersham Road (below) by putting in an (at least) 2 metre wide segregated cycle path on the Petersham Common side of the road, with corresponding redesign of the junction. As it stands, this wide smooth section of the road encourages motor traffic to speed when clear, and leaves bikes blocked in when congested.

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I would like to end on a positive note, with an example of a good piece of infrastructure, which has recently been repaired, (admittedly after many complaints by locals) and now continues to provide a valuable link in the chain of this route. The bridge below, leading between Ham House and the towpath by the Hammerton Ferry stop is in keeping with its surroundings, suitable for all possible route users and extremely well-used.

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