Love London, Go Dutch

Launched on Thursday 9th February, London Cycling Campaign’s “Love London, Go Dutch” campaign seeks to get the London Mayoral candidates to commit to investing in continental style cycling infrastructure in the capital. LCC’s ‘Go Dutch’ website explains very eloquently the reasons behind the campaign, but this video gives a good overview of what cycling is like for the Dutch.

Simply put, most people are scared to cycle on London’s roads because of the high volumes and speeds of motor traffic. Think about it, while you may be happy to manage the risk, would you let your daughter, son, niece or nephew cycle to school on the borough’s roads? They do in the Netherlands without even a second thought, as this video shows.

Sponsored by Brompton, whose factory is just across the river from us in Brentford, the campaign is aiming to obtain 100,000 signatures for its Go Dutch petition before the London Mayoral election on May 3rd. Our share in Richmond is some 3,000 signatures. This is a formidable task and we need your help! We shall be collecting signatures at cycle parking places at railway stations during the evening peak periods from 5.30pm to 8pm on the following dates:

Twickenham – Thursday 12 April
Mortlake – Tuesday 17 April
Whitton – Wednesday 18 April
Richmond – Monday 23 April
Kew – Wednesday 25 April

If you can help out, even if only for a short period, please email John who’s coordinating the effort at johead@blueyonder.co.uk.

You can also fill in the petition online at this link – ‘Love London, Go Dutch’ Petition – or via the ‘Go Dutch’ link at the side of our website. Make sure you share this with your friends – both those who cycle and those who’d like to.

We shall also be organising a Feeder Ride to LCC’s ‘Big Ride’, the UK’s largest family-friendly traffic-free bike ride in 2012 calling for safer streets, on Saturday 28th April. Leaving Richmond Little Green at 10am to ride to the assembly point in Hyde Park, there will also be a a led ride back to Richmond after the event. More details here.

What’s happening?

Post Updated 8th March 2012

1. Teddington Railway Station

We now know more about the proposed secure cycle parking at the station following publication of the Council’s report to the Cabinet Member for Highways and Street Scene [click here to read it]:

“It is proposed that 3 existing shelters on platform 1, with parking for up to 30 bicycles, will be enclosed with fencing to form a secure restricted access compound. This will be accessed by a security gate controlled by a swipe card which is provided by SWT upon payment of a returnable deposit.” [para 4.7]

This is also interesting:

“The Transport for London (TfL) Cycle Security Plan highlights that stations in Outer London suffer from a disproportionate level of cycle theft. The Borough has 4 stations in the top 25 stations (in Greater London) suffering the highest levels of cycle theft (2009/10)” [para 4.4]

Twickenham in 12th place, Richmond 14th, Hampton Wick 18th and Teddington 22nd [p18]

2. A305 Richmond Road – Introduction of advisory cycle lanes between Rosslyn Road and Richmond Bridge

We responded to the public consultation on this at the end of last year and we know others did as well. We highlighted that the lane, at 1.3m, did not meet the London Cycle Design Standards which state the minimum should be 1.5m, preferably 2m and that it did nothing to deal with challenges of crossing Richmond Bridge – You can read our submission to the consultation here.

Click here to read the Council’s report to the Cabinet Member for Highways and Street Scene to see which comments made it into print and what the Council Officer has said about them [Annex B]. On the subject of narrow cycle lanes, their comment was telling on their attitudes to cyclists:

“There are many examples where advisory cycle lanes of less than 1.50 metres provide a safe and convenient facility for cyclists, particularly when vehicular traffic is stationary or slow moving” (item h in this report). Have a look at this video by a local cyclist and see if you think the lanes are safe and convenient:

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It’s good to talk: Council highway engineering schemes

Update: 12th February Hampton Court roundabout

A big thank you to all the Richmond Veloteers who replied so promptly to the consultation which meant we submitted our response well before the deadline: click here to read it.

Since then we’ve had this back from Highways and Transport:

“Thank you for your comments on the Hampton Court Roundabout and Hampton Court Bridge proposals.  I can confirm that this does incorporate both Schemes 3 & 4 on the Cycling Capital Budget 2011/12.

The improvements include relocating the zebra crossing further away from the roundabout on the north east arm to help reduce the number of accidents attributed to shunts as a result of vehicles stopping for pedestrians at the crossing.  Kerb re-alignments will also increase deflection, reducing vehicle speeds whilst maintaining existing carriageway widths.

By widening the traffic islands at the zebra crossings we hope to improve safety for the large number of pedestrians and in doing so provide sufficient protection for cyclists using the crossings.

Accidents at the roundabout have also been attributed to lack of clear visibility due to the planters on and around the roundabout. We anticipate that by removing the planting on the roundabout we can reduce this number.

The Council are extending the shared use pedestrian and cycle path facility from Hampton Court Bridge to the north-west arm of the roundabout, with a view to further improving and linking to existing cycle facilities as part of future phases.

The Council have worked with TfL in order to provide a new widened Toucan crossing outside Hampton Court Palace and are proposing shared paths to link the roundabout and the bridge with Barge Walk.

The Council have also worked closely with Hampton Court Palace and the scheme complements their proposals for alterations and further improvements to the entrance and exits and to the area in front of the Palace.”

In the meantime the Highways and Transport report to the Cabinet Member has been posted on the Council website [here] together with the plans [here] for the shared use path, linking Barge Walk to the Molesey side of the Bridge, which weren’t posted with the original consultation.

We’ve written back to the Council:

 “Thanks for the detailed response: we’re very pleased to hear about the extension of the cycle path and look forward to seeing details of the proposed work in due course.  Just a couple of outstanding queries:

  • Was replacement of the 2 zebras [north-east and north-west arms] with toucans considered, and if so why was it rejected? [By the way will cycling over the north-west zebra be permitted?]
  • What’s the Council’s current view on creating a shared use path between Bushy Park and Hampton Court Bridge?”

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Twickenham Town Centre

Update: 12th February 2012

Twickenham Area Action Plan public consultation

Thanks again to the Richmond Veloteers who helped us submit our written response to LDF Consultation before the deadline on 10th February [click here to read it] as well as the two background reports, written in 2009 and 2012, we sent in to inform the content of the “detailed Traffic Scheme” the Action Plan refers to.

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Cycling Liaison Group 9 January 2012

The next meeting of the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames Cycling Liaison Group is Monday 9th January 2012, 630pm, York House, Twickenham.

Click here to read the agenda which includes a report from the police on bike theft and an update on the Cycling Strategy.

Click here for our proposed agenda items which includes asking for an update on the 2nd Local Implementation Plan for Transport and for cycle collisions at identifiable locations, including Richmond, Teddington and Twickenham town centres, to be a priority for action.

Click here to read notes of the last meeting in October, including:

Item 8: Cross Deep, Twickenham

“LBRuT is working in partnership with LB Hounslow, LB Ealing and Royal Borough of Kingston regarding cycle direction signage for LCN Route 75.  The Heath Road / Cross Deep junction has been identified as an important junction on the route and the consultant’s proposals for how people follow route 75 and join / leave this route are awaited.”

Now interestingly, London Cycle Network Route 75, appears to run along Strawberry Vale, Cross Deep and London Road, including the long-standing problem of the roundabout on A316 Chertsey Road.  The route includes significant clusters of cycle collisions at the junctions with Ferry Road in Teddington, Waldegrave Road, Heath Road, King Street and Whitton Road so we’re very interested to know what the consultants have to say about “improvements to route continuity” and how this fits with the Twickenham Area Action Plan and Item 6 on next week’s CLG agenda A310 Strawberry Vale and Twickenham Road Improvements Update

Item 5 20mph zones and limits confirms the requirement for at least 51% households to agree.  We note this is 1 of 4 issues the Liberal Democrat candidate for this year’s London Assembly elections is campaigning on.

Item 8 Adoption of the Elevated Footway in the Terrace includes the Council’s decision on our suggestion, which is “Given the additional responsibility of taking on maintenance of this area, adoption was not possible.”  So, no change here then, which we think is a missed opportunity.

E-mail campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk with your thoughts, comments, questions, issues to raise: we’ve already been asked about the planned works on the footbridge at Teddington Railway Station.

“War: what are we fighting for?”

Safe Cycling on a Cycle Lane in Richmond

Richmond Cycling Campaign, the local group of the London Cycling Campaign, exists to encourage people to cycle.  We do this in different ways:

  • organising two rides a month;
  • running maintenance workshops at different places in the Borough;
  • asking the two relevant highways authorities, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and Transport for London, for safe and convenient routes to cycle in the Borough;
  • asking the Council for sufficient cycle parking to meet the need;
  • asking the police to work on the problem of bike theft.

No one of these activities is more important than another which is why we supported Sky Ride Local this year, funded by the Council in partnership with British Cycling [click here for their review of the 2011 programme] and why we wouldn’t argue with Councillor Harborne, our Borough Cycling Champion, about the value of “promoting an exciting programme of events to get more people cycling, more often, safely and for fun”.

But because no one of these activities is more important than another we think Councillor Harborne should be concerned when cycling is not safe and is not fun on the Borough’s roads.  That’s why we wrote to the Council, after Liverpool City Council and the local Primary Care Trust agreed to jointly fund 20mph schemes, to ask if:

“there are any comparable discussions going on between the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and the Primary Care Trust about the public health benefits of 20mph limits?  Are there any plans to do so?”

We received this reply from our Borough Cycling Champion:

“Did you know that:

There are already 46 20 mph zones in the borough and large parts of the rest of the borough where there is no record of any accidents at all, ever.

We are the 3rd safest LB out of 33. Obviously we should be the safest, but that’s a work in progress.

Sometimes campaigning to improve safety is counter productive. It puts potential new cyclist off. Is that what you want to do?

Particularly when the fear of accidents is not backed up by statistics. Don’t you think?

Can we please have RCC encouraging people to cycle not putting them off.  It would be better for everyone.”

Now, we exist to encourage cycling so being told we’re putting people off is a worry, so we wrote back to our Borough Cycling Champion:

very helpfully we have a map of cycle collisions recorded in the Borough between 2006 and 2010 so we know exactly where they do and don’t happen which is why we’re particularly concerned about the 4 clusters identified below

[Click here for our previous post about where collisions happen in the Borough and here for a searchable map of all collisions for the last 10 years]

As a campaigning group we constantly wrestle with the problem of unintentionally discouraging people from cycling but it’s our view that people make informed decisions about risk when they know the facts, hence our concern about these four clusters.  I am very happy to publicise the fact we are the 3rd safest Borough in London if you tell me the meaning of “safe” and the statistical source.

Do you have a list of the 46 zones in the Borough and do you know how this compares with other Boroughs, say the neighbouring Boroughs of Hounslow and Kingston with whom we share our Assembly Member?  It’s been suggested Richmond has the 2nd lowest number of zones in the country, do you know if that’s the case?

Are you able to answer my original question about talks with the PCT?”

We haven’t received a reply to date.

Early in the New Year LCC will launch “Go Dutch – clear space for cycling on London’s main roads” the single issue campaign to accompany the London Assembly elections.  It’s about safe and convenient cycle journeys not least because of the cyclist fatalties in London this year.

The campaign aims to get 100,000 signatures on a petition and 10,000 cyclists on the road to persuade the candidates for the London Assembly that this important, not just for cyclists, but for everyone who want to improve the quality of life in London, who want people-friendly streets.

Which is what we want in our Borough.  We want Richmond, Teddington and Twickenham town centres to be people-friendly, which is not how you could describe them now.  Was it coincidence that last week’s Richmond and Twickenham Times had “High street havoc” on the front page and Tim Lennon’s excellent letter “Deal with this congestion” inside?

Which is why we’ll go on commenting about the effect of planned highway engineering schemes even though we have to search for them and even though we were told in September we can’t go to the Transport Management Liaison Group.  And thank you to all the Veloteers who replied to our request for comments on these schemes.

[Click here to read what we’ve done this month]

Which is why we’ll go on asking the Council what they’re doing for people who cycle even though few, if any, of our Manifesto requests at the 2010 local government elections have been realised.

Which is why we’ll keep going to the Cycling Liaison Group and ask the Council questions about cycling in the Borough.

[Click here for the issues we’ve raised ahead of the next meeting on Monday 9th January 2012]

E-mail your comments to: campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk

“On your bike” – Proposed Highway Engineering Works

This post has been updated on: 15th December 2011

Thank you to all the RCC Veloteers who responded to our request for comments on these 3 schemes.  Click on the locations to read our submissions:

Hanworth Road Whitton, Stanley Road Teddington and Terrace Yard Petersham.

It’s worth noting we have been consulted about a proposed Advisory Cycle Lane in Richmond Road, East Twickenham, but this may be the result of a long-standing working relationship with the Highway Engineer: click here to read our response.

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Since the Council told us earlier this year that we couldn’t go to the Traffic Management Liaison Group anymore, and while we wait to hear how they will consult us about the potential impact of proposed highway engineering works on people who cycle, we’ve been picking up proposed work through Richmond Council’s Digest, an e-mail list of Council activity [click here if you want them to tell you what they’re doing]

There are 3 this week, all relating to proposals to spend Section 106 Town and Country Planning Act money on highway improvements at:

1. Terrace Yard, Petersham Road, Richmond

2. Stanley Road, Teddington

3. Hanworth Road, Whitton

1. Terrace Yard, Petersham Road, Richmond

3.2 The new layout of the development and the new crossover access to the site has impacted on the existing pelican crossing. To ensure that the crossing is safe for pedestrians it is essential that the crossing is relocated away from the vehicle crossover. Associated footway and surfacing works are considered necessary to ensure that the approaches to the relocated crossing are to an appropriate standard.

3.3 This project will comprise two main elements:

  • A slight relocation of the existing pelican crossing to ensure that it is mid way between the two vehicle crossovers and not partly over one as is the current position;
  • Improvements to the footways and road surfacing in conjunction with the changes to the pelican crossing, with the addition of anti-skid surfacing to improve road safety.”

2. Stanley Road, Teddington

3.2 Residents have reported ongoing issues with vehicles parking on the zig-zag markings on the approaches to the Stanley Road Zebra Crossing and illegal manoeuvres associated with the one way restrictions at the junction of Fulwell Road/Stanley Road. The development site is opposite the junction of Fulwell Road/Stanley Road and just north of the Stanley Road Zebra Crossing.

3.3 This project will have two main elements:

  • Footway widening at the junction of Fulwell Road/Stanley Road to improve the start of the one way working;
  • The introduction of a central refuge on the zebra crossing outside the parade of shops, just south of the development to shorten the crossing distance and discourage parking on the zig-zag markings.”

3. Hanworth Road, Whitton

“3.2 The junction of Hanworth Road/Powder Mill Lane has a history of Personal Injury Collisions.  The junction is currently controlled with a mini-roundabout and has a Puffin Crossing in close proximity to the mini-roundabout.

3.3 The project comprises:

  • Relocation of the existing crossing and the possible provision of a new crossing facility or signalised junction (subject to feasibility/design)
  • Realignment of the mini-roundabout to increase deflection and alterations to the existing parking arrangements.”

E-mail: campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk if you know any of these locations and think there’s an opportunity to make things more safe and more convenient for people who cycle, or you think that what’s proposed could make it unsafe and inconvenient.

And why not e-mail the Council as well: HighwaysAndTransport@Richmond.gov.uk

LCC AGM and Bow roundabout

Apologies if you were at the London Cycling Campaign Annual General Meeting last night and know all this.

The motion endorsing Go Dutch was passed with a majority.

Click here to read the welcome letter from the LCC Chief Executive concentrating on the imminent campaign and here to see the 10 Go Dutch Key Principles printed on the wallet-sized foldout given out at the meeting.

One of the words used by the Chief Executive to describe the campaign was “transformative“, which I take to mean “things will be very different afterwards”.  His letter refers to “3 flagship Go Dutch developments on major streets and/or locations” and during the refeshment break members were invited to comment on displays relating to:

  • Bow roundabout;
  • The Embankment;
  • Tottenham Court Road.

It wasn’t clear whether these are the “3 flagship developments” envisaged.

Bow roundabout was subject of an emergency motion that was passed overwhelmingly: click here to read it and here for the LCC Press Release.  While Bow is a long way from our Borough these very tragic events brings it close because

  • the first cyclist was a local man whose wife is working very hard and very publicly to stop it happening to someone else;
  • our members went on Saturday’s ride;
  • we all cycle, and
  • we’ve had our own argument with TfL about London Road roundabout.

Richmond Cycling Campaign is writing to London Assembly member Tony ARBOUR asking him to press TfL for immediate remedial work at Bow roundabout and you can to: tony.arbour@london.gov.uk

Here’s the reply from Caroline Pidegeon, Chair of the Transport Committee, London Assembly, to another members e-mail:

“I know that I speak for all Assembly Members when I say that I too am appalled by the tragic deaths of cyclists on London’s roads and am doing all I can to urge the Mayor to improve safety as well as hold him to account over his decisions. To this end, cycle safety in London has been discussed as a priority at several Meetings of the Assembly over the past fortnight.

At the Assembly Plenary on Wednesday 9th November, Assembly Members had the opportunity to question the Mayor in his capacity as Chair of Transport for London. I asked him outright if TfL’s roads are safe for cyclists, and indeed whether he takes cycle safety seriously. You can read the transcript of the meeting here

http://www.london.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=179&MId=4331

At Mayor’s Questions yesterday (16th November), I urgently raised this matter once more. As a result, the Mayor has confirmed that TfL are undertaking a review of all of the roundabouts where serious injuries and fatalities have taken place so see what can be done to improve safety. Furthermore, he has agreed to meet with the family of one of the cyclists who was killed at Bow Roundabout. A webcast of Mayor’s Questions can be found on the GLA Website http://www.london.gov.uk/who-runs-london/the-london-assembly/webcasts, my question starts about 10 minutes in.

A written transcript, including responses to written questions tabled by Members, will be made available online next week http://www.london.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=183&MId=4335

Please rest assured that I will continue to press the Mayor on this issue in order to hold him to account over his decisions which will impact on safety for cyclists. I am also keen to continue working alongside the London Cycling Campaign and other cycling groups to raise awareness and campaign for safer roads.

Click here for the flyer about the Bow Vigil this Friday evening.

With a Cycle Superhighway coming close to us, on the north side of Kew and Hammersmith Bridges, you may be interested to read here what Cyclists in the City say about one in our neighbouring London Borough of Wandsworth.

E-mail your thoughts to:  campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk

Maybe they are listening…

1. Twickenham

Back in June we asked you to respond to the Council’s consultation on the Twickenham Area Action Plan [click here for the original post] We said then:  

“Unfortunately the 8 page consultation leaflet ”Twickenham Rediscovered, looking back looking forward” available at yesterday’s public meeting and here doesn’t actually use the words “bicycle”, “cycling” or “cyclist”.  “Cycle” does appear, once, on page 3: “Limited widening of eastern footway in London Road through removal of cycle lane.

Well, a report on the consultation for the Council’s Cabinet has been published [click here] together with a summary of all consultation on the options [click here]  If you live, work or spend time in Twickenham you’ll be interested in all of it but as cyclists we’re particularly interested in what it says on page 49 of the Cabinet report under 3.19 Responses to Traffic and Pedestrian Proposals:   

“Separate comments received within the questionnaires and at various meetings included concerns about sufficient provision being made for cyclists.”  

“It is proposed that further detailed feasibility work and modelling is carried out.  The main areas for further investigative work are:

Station area improvements, including consideration of bus lanes and stops, provision for cyclists and taxis, improved junctions and site access;

King Street/York Street improvements including changes to bus lanes and stops, improvements for pedestrians, cyclists, servicing and consequent environmental improvements;

Water Lane/Church Street/Embankment – further investigation of opportunities to reduce turning movements and through traffic, consequent environmental improvements to public areas.”

So thanks to all of you who responded to the consultation and made sure cycling in Twickenham is on the agenda. 

What we didn’t have in June was the cycle collisions data the Council gave us in September.  This shows clearly clusters of blue squares [serious collisions] and green circles [slight collisions] in Heath Road, King Street and London Road [click on the photo to make it a bit bigger and a bit easier to see]

    

At last night’s meeting of the Cycling Liaison Group we asked the Council if they use the cycle collision data to 1) prioritise highway engineering works and 2) decide what work is appropriate.  They said “yes we do“, the officers discuss it with the Cabinet Member when deciding on the programme of works for the next financial year.  That time is soon so while we work through the CLG we’re asking those of you living in Twickenham to ask your councillors what’s being done to reduce the number and severity of cycle collisions. King Street and London Road south of the railway are in Twickenham Riverside Ward, London Road north of the railway in St Margaret’s and North Twickenham and Heath Road is South Twickenham, according to My Richmond

Depending on the cause of each collision maybe 20mph zones are the way to go in Richmond [including Richmond Bridge] and Twickenham town centres.  

2. A316 Cycle Route

In August we asked you to respond to TfL’s consultation on the proposal to permanently close the junctions on the Chertsey Road at Godfrey Avenue, Redway Drive and Jublilee Avenue [click here for the original post] We’ve received this reply to our response:

TfL considers that this current proposal will reduce illegal rat running through Redway Drive, the proposals will also encourage cyclists to use this adjacent route as an alternative to the shared use footway.

With regard to the bollards at Jubilee Avenue, I can confirm that the bollard on the northern side of the junction between the telecommunications box and the railings will be removed from the proposal and a further bollard will be relocated as per the attached design. TfL considers that the remaining bollards follow the line of the northern timber fence and therefore do not present a significant barrier to cyclists or pedestrians.

TfL is currently investigating renewal of the lighting columns on the A316 and will, subject to feasibility and the availability of funding seek to relocate the lamp columns away from the centre of the footway. Resurfacing of the route will be considered as part of our future maintenance. In the interim we will instruct our maintenance team to trim back the existing foliage to maximise the available width.”

Reasons to be cheerful, 1, 2, 3?

E-mail: campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk with your thoughts about cycling in Twickenham and on the A316 Cycle Route