Village Plans – take a moment to ask for some proper cycling!

Twickenham and Strawberry Hill are having “Your Vision Your Village” consultations, on the council website. (Twickenham here, Strawberry Hill here.)

In a hurry? You can respond using the council’s forms, or just writing to them at allinone@richmond.gov.uk – please tell them to think about active travel, safe cycling, and cleaner air! 

One of our members has been through them, and made the following observations:

Section C 10 of each consultation invites readers to refer to ‘Consultation Material’ and provides a link. It might be good to read these pdf files before tackling the consultation itself however.  Notably absent from both is any nod to the Healthy Streets Initiative.

There is no need to respond to every question but the following in each consultation are particularly relevant to cyclists and cycling:

2: “What you would like to see if you came back in ten years time.” I suggest everyone inserts their description of cycling utopia here.

16: “The character area where you live can be affected by any number of threats or issues, some of the more common threats and issues in terms of development are listed below. Which of the following do you agree or disagree are threats or issues in your area?”

The list includes ‘Street Parking’ and ‘Maintenance of Roads and Pavements’. If you strongly agree that the first is an issue, be sure to stress in the comments box below that this is because there is too much of it; don’t let it be thought that you feel there is too little(!).

Parking (presumably by drivers) also appears in 22, in relation to shopping areas and parades, another place to let feelings be known. Note that the council seemed keen to replace any lost car parking space during discussions on the proposed riverside development by adding (even) more at Heath Road.

26: “Concerns have been expressed about the difficulty in travelling around Twickenham village. How often do you use the following ways of getting around?”

Options include walking and cycling. (You know what to do!) 

27: “To what extent do you agree or disagree that the following would make it easier to travel around and through the area?”

The list includes ‘Improved Cycling Routes’ and ‘Improved Cycle Parking’

To complete the Twickenham form go here: https://consultation.richmond.gov.uk/village-planning/twickenham/

And to complete the Strawberry Hill form go here: https://consultation.richmond.gov.uk/village-planning/strawberry-hill/

Links

A quick list of important links we want to be on top of!

Monthly Meetings: http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/monthly-meetings/

Suggesting a new location for bike parking: http://www.cyclehoop.rentals/suggest-location/

Council consultations portal: https://consultation.richmond.gov.uk/

TfL consultations portal: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/

Richmond Park – the new South Circular

The draft report on how we use the park makes chilling reading.

The 2015 traffic survey shows a number of worrying aspects – though primarily the one raised by the majority of the attendees at the meeting held a few years ago by Zac Goldsmith: there is too much traffic in the park, and most of it is using the park just like it might use the South Circular or the A316.

Credit is due to the Royal Parks for the thoroughness and detail which the traffic survey provides us – not only do we find out where people enter the park, but where they leave, the times, the speeds, the original sources and destinations, and the relative volumes.

The report hasn’t been officially released but it’s been shared in its draft form, and if we take the data as it appears, there’s a lot to see:

  • On a typical week (‘neutral’) week just 12% of morning (8am-9am) traffic and 9% of afternoon (5pm to 6pm) traffic is actually people coming to Richmond Park to visit it.
  • Even on Saturdays and Sundays the percentage of cars coming to the park was just 31% and 41%
  • Summer sees a significant fall in traffic into the park, suggesting that local school and business journeys are part of the volumes here: the morning volumes fall by 40.3% and the afternoon volumes fall by 29.4%..
  • Traffic flows in the typical week show very clear preferences for moving back and forth between specific gates, with Richmond and Kingston gates showing the highest volumes.
  • There’s a lot of speeding, especially on particular sections of road: between Kingston and Roehampton Gate every car speeds, with a significant number reaching 30mph..
  • Traffic on Broomfield Hill (on average) never manages to keep to the speed limit.
  • Lots of people get around the park by bike, with thousands of visitors every week arriving on wheels they’ve powered themselves.
  • Summer is a lot more popular to be in the park on a bike!
  • On weekdays, less than 20% of visitors who filled in response cards reported that they came to the park to actually visit it.
  • A quarter of typical weekday traffic is using the park for the school run
  • There is no day when the majority of people who drive through Richmond Park describe the purpose of their visit as ‘visiting Richmond Park’. (Although including ‘Leisure’ does finally tip the balance on some occasions.)
  • Around three quarters of the trips through the park on a typical weekday morning begin and end in one of the boroughs bordering the park.
  • Even though there still seem to be high volumes of traffic in the park at the moment, the volumes have slowly fallen more or less consistently since 1998.

If the final report confirms this analysis, then we think there’s a good case for the Royal Parks either closing Richmond Park to through traffic or introducing Congestion Charge style pricing to discourage through traffic.

Cycling Liaison Group Meeting – Tuesday 31st

The council’s Cycling Liaison Group meets tomorrow at York House, 7pm – details here.

corridors and villages

(This is the map of ‘corridors’ the council is looking at – more details on p139 onwards of cabinet papers, on this page.)

There is *a lot* on the agenda, and it’s a chance to find out what’s happening, or what might hsppen in a lot of places in the borough. In particular, the council has included these:

  • LONSDALE ROAD – PARKING IN CYCLE LANES
  • CYCLING STRATEGY UPDATE
  • LOCAL PLAN
  • CORRIDORS AND VILLAGES UPDATE
  • MORTLAKE BREWERY
  • TOWPATH UPDATE
  • UPDATE ON CYCLE TO SCHOOL GRANTS
  • CYCLE CONTRAFLOWS UPDATE
  • QUIETWAY CONSULTATION RESPONSE
  • CYCLE PARKING

There’s also an “any other business”, which is an opportunity to ask about all the other cycling things we want to happen in the borough.

Meeting Notes / Actions – 9 Jan 2017 (AGM)

RICHMOND CYCLING CAMPAIGN ANNUAL MEETING,

                                     8 PM, MONDAY 9th JANUARY, 2017

held at the “Old Ship” pub, 3 King Street, Richmond

ACTION ARISING

Present : , Tim Lennon (in the chair), Simon Daws, Jonathan Gurney, Nick Hutchings, Anthony Paish, , Mick Sinclair.

Apologies : Paul Luton, Susan Scorer.

1    New Constitution : Agreed to adopt the revised and expanded constitution received from LCC, but for this decision only to take effect as from the end of the next meeting, due on Monday, 13th February.

2   Officers’ reports :

(a) Co-ordinator : Noted that Tim had already circulated to RCC members a copy of his report on the past year online.

(b) Treasurer : Noted Jonathan’s report that in the past year about £1,200 of RCC funds had been returned to LCC, leaving about £400 with RCC.

(c)  Rides Co-ordinator : Noted Tim’s report on Paul’s behalf that there had been quite a good attendance at the rides he had led in 2016, particularly to/from Box Hill.

3    Possible alternative venue for future meetings

Nick to investigate the availability, suitability and cost of a possible alternative venue, which reportedly might be hired on an hourly basis, and to report to the next meeting.  

4    Election of Officers :

(a) Tim to contact Ross Adam to establish whether the latter (Secretary for the past year) wishes to take up any elected office in 2017.

(b) Noted that, subject to the outcome of (a), the following elections were made :

Tim
to be Co-ordinator again, Simon to be Joint Co-ordinator for the purpose of Item 40 of the new constitution, Jonathan to continue as Treasurer, Paul to be Rides Co-ordinator again, and Anthony again to be Secretary i/c notes of action arising.

(c) Tim reported that John Finnerly had been very helpful in publicising RCC on Twitter, and that he would find out if John would in consequence like to take up any elected office.

5    Plans for 2017

Tim emphasised the need to get more RCC members involved in its activities and to publicise RCC more generally via events such as BikeFest. Simon added the desirability of pressing Richmond Council to remove the gate between Bank Lane and Palewell Park,which particularly handicapped users of non-standard bikes and wheelchairs, and undertook to send Tim details of the problem so that he could pursue it with the Council. 

Pasted below is the coordinator’s report for 2016.

2016 in Richmond Cycling

Quiet way proposals – 1 in consultation is in progress, others in review – I think with council and TfL. As I understand things, there are 4 being proposed, two probably have funding allocated.

Mayor’s promises of Mini Holland for every borough: we’re not sure what this will look like, but Enfield, Waltham Forest and Ealing have done some great work with their money.

More 20mph across the borough – Nelson Road is being consulted on, and appeared to have a lot of support when it was last looked at. The quietway will be 20mph, and Barnes has a number of new 20mph sections, too. (And Oak Avenue – not one I know much about …)

Nelson Road – our article is here: http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/2016/06/28/nelson-road-we-didnt-bother-reading-the-travel-plans/

Now consulting for 20mph, but council probably does need to think about how it consults. (We’re basically consulting twice, when once should have been sufficient. Also, it’s an ongoing ‘we’re not looking at this as part of a wider strategy’.)

Better cycling as a public health issue. This is starting to come more to the fore, with the local health group starting to think harder about it. Although their own documents emphasise the importance of active travel and safe cycling, they’re doing little to support it right now.  http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/2016/06/01/better-cycling-is-a-public-health-issue/

Change of transport boss

Peter Buckwell is the new cabinet member for transport, and there are new officials in his department, too. We seem to have people who know more or less what to do, and we have a cycling officer who is helping to make things happening. Carole has been very supportive in (for example) getting the cycle hangar done.

Cyclehangar finally – people can ask for more

We’ve got cards for this, and the council is interested in supporting it.

New cash – £2.8m? But need to be careful how they spend it .

New LIP uses ‘corridors and villages’

This is a bit of an interesting change: it looks at proper full routes which go places people want to go. It links with the quiet way proposals, and seems to show a real plan.

Quietway in Richmond Park

Was consulted on – I don’t think their proposal is that great, but then the bit through the park needs virtually nothing done, except making the gates more accessible at night.

Roehampton Lane changes

Being consulted on by Wandsworth Council. This includes elements of Priory Lane, but is still not a pretty looking place to cycle, tbh.

Towpaths – being consulted on improving them.

We made some submissions on this: http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/2016/10/20/towpaths-which-would-you-improve-first/ It sounds like it is money that needs to be allocated before the end of the year, and I’m not sure what final decision was made.

New cycling strategy http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/2016/11/23/draft-detailed-response-to-the-cycling-strategy/

This should hopefully be discussed at the next Cycling Liaison Group

Teddington Station – new cycle hub: http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/2016/11/15/cycle-hub-at-teddington-station/

Part of a wider South West Trains strategy. Looks nice and functional, and will hopefully be running out of space very quickly!

Asking police to step up: http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/2016/11/03/time-for-richmond-police-to-do-their-bit/

Camden Police and West Midlands have been carrying out a ground-breaking piece of work on close passes. Despite email, tweet and direct message to Richmond, we’ve heard nothing from them.

Council slowly improving how it closes paths and pavements.

This is something they are a bit random about. There seem to be clear guidelines, and some boroughs (and TfL) have clear rules about making sure roadworks leave things safe for walking and cycling, but the council needs to follow their base guidelines, and ideally adopt the more stringent ones.

But lots of places where cycling is still an afterthought, like Hampton Court. On Petersham Road, we were supposed to be able to cycle, but then it got withdrawn at the last minute. http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/2016/06/23/petersham-road-is-closing-but-not-to-walking-and-cycling/

Merger with Wandsworth – not clear what effect this will have.

This seems to have gone through, and both councils have been re-advertising jobs. There have been changes in Highways, but I don’t know what difference this will really make.

Change of MP – will Sarah Olney be more pro-cycling? We’ve asked for a meeting.

No actual change we can see to cycle provision in the borough – a long list of things that need fixing, but the Quiet Way is the first time the borough has said ‘we are prioritising walking and cycling over driving’

Hammersmith bridge work

Some extensive work is due to happen here, but we don’t really know when, or what. H&F cyclists might know more.

Kew bridge work

Running for three months. Again, not sure what all the changes are, but this is separate from any plans to improve cycling.

CS 9 coming.

Apparently. I think this was announced in the mayor’s latest plans, as one that would go ahead, but we’ve not really heard much …

New parking standards – how do we make sure these are enforced?

It sounds like the policy has been approved, but again, it’s not entirely clear how this will be enforced. Probably need to check that the policy made it live, and that

Bring Back Cycling through Duke’s Head Passage!

The Royal Parks still won’t fix Duke’s Head Passage. Despite a petition now numbering over 1,300 supporters, they refuse to change their minds on letting people cycle down the passage, to avoid using the A308 and A311 roads around the park.

Since the closure, there’s been more analysis, especially by the ‘Save Our Shared Path’ local community group, who put together the petition.

A number of groups are now looking at this: Richmond Borough’s cycling officer, the Royal Parks’ Walking and Cycling Group, London Cycling and Richmond Cycling, and Save Our Shared Path. In addition, campaigners have gained support from a large number of local groups and individuals, including the Teddington Society, former local MP Vince Cable and many local Councillors.

When we attended the last Walking and Cycling Group at the Royal Parks, the unofficial feedback was that the path would only be re-opened to cycling when it had been upgraded to the standards described in TfL’s London Cycle Design Standards.

However, as pointed out by campaigners, little needs to be done to the path to make it compliant with LCDS standards: the path is used by low volumes of walkers and cyclists, with just two reported incidents in the last five years. Although there are other anecdotal reports of incidents in the passage, and no-one wants to see this, we question the evaluation of the very low level of risks  in the Duke’s Head Passage, versus the proven very high level of conflict and danger experienced by people choosing to cycle on the alternative routes:

crashmap

All we ask is for a fair and proportionate response: all path users need to show consideration to others. And, given that the passage has been successfully used for decades, this is all that is needed at present. Certainly, the path could be better for all, by being wider, with a more consistent surface, etc., but we should not wait for this to happen before people are again allowed to cycle safely along the passage.  .

The Royal Parks are sadly not very clear as to how they justify the changes to Dukes’ Head Passage, and they seem entrenched in their narrative that ‘people can always “just get off and walk their bikes for 500m’. We will be raising this again at the next Royal Parks walking and cycling meeting, in the hope that we can get this decision changed.

But in the meantime your help will still make a difference, so here are the things that you can do:

 

Richmond’s Quietway Number 1 – Official Response

This is Richmond Cycling Campaign’s Official Response to the Quiet Way Proposals

Richmond Cycling Campaign welcomes these designs as a major change in council proposals for cycling. Although we have a number of concerns, and changes we would like to see, we support the overall proposal. We also welcome the effort and commitment that this quiet way implies, and we look forward to helping to make this a success.  

General Observations

The proposed 20mph limits are an essential element of this project.

We recognise that the budgets for quiet ways are lower than for ‘superhighways’, but it is clear that a number of compromises have been made on these designs which we’d really like reviewed.

Sections of the proposed route, due to the volumes of traffic particularly, are probably not compliant either with LCDS or the new Standards for Highways. Although 20mph limits will make a difference, we think that further changes will need to be part of a wider strategy.

We also recognise the limitations at Teddington Lock, and urge the council to look seriously at improving river crossings in the area

Specific Comments

Comments linked to specific design sheets from the consultation. A copy of these are on Cyclescape.

Ham Gate to the junction of Ham Common and Petersham Road

  1. Our optimal solution would be to stop parking on this road, widen it slightly, and use clearly marked cycle lanes each side (find Dutch example)
  2. If the existing path is to be used for shared walking and cycling, it will need more marking, and needs to be – as proposed – a continuous, plain, machine-laid surface. The present surface is no more suitable for cycling than a gravel track is for driving. We’d like it to be clear that the path should also have priority across drives, and should smoothly cross them.
  3. At the junction with Petersham Road, cyclists travelling away from the park have to make two movements to cross a road, where cars making the same journey have to make only one. This is repeated from the other direction as well – we would prefer a better solution to this.
  4. The dropped kerbs which access the quiet way may need to be further one way or the other, in order to ensure they’re not obstructed by queuing traffic.
  5. This area is also prone to flooding.

Ham Common – junctions with Martingales and Ham Common

  1. We support the new raised-table design proposed at these junctions. This emphasises speed and safety.
  2. We would like consideration to be offered to continuous pavements here: it’s a clear area where we should do our best for walking, and the low volumes of traffic turning in should make these possible.
  3. It would probably be preferable to have parking on one side of the road for this entire length, as there are regular point of conflict, depending on where people have parked.

Ham Common into Lock Road

  1. This junction will also need signing clearly.
  2. In general, consideration needs to be given to passing places on Lock Road, especially if it is to see an increase in volume.
  3. One option could be the use of raised tables instead of speed humps, to provide obvious pedestrian crossing points, and dissuade people trying to avoid the humps.

Lock Road leading to Hardwicke Road

  1. This section of the route will need to be signed clearly.
  2. We welcome the removal of barriers that prevent easy access by bicycle.

Hardwick Road to Riverside Drive and across to Teddington Lock

  1. We like the cycling zebra crossing.
  2. This route has a gate which is often closed – this may need review, to ensure that there’s a continuous route.

Teddington Lock

  1. We recognise that Teddington Lock is heavily used by foot traffic: if it proves to be very popular as part of this route, then this will hopefully give the council some urgency to look at how to upgrade the bridge.

Teddington Lock to Manor Road and Twickenham Road

  1. The change in priority on this road will make accessing the lock by bicycle much easier.
  2. At the Manor Road junction, we welcome the early release, but this is still likely to be a highly intimidating junction for cycling. (Though the new 20mph limit may have some beneficial effects.)

Teddington High Street (Twickenham Road to Udney Road junctions)

  1. Move to 20mph will make a difference here, though this could still be an intimidating environment.
  2. We like the improvements in pedestrian facilities, which bring more emphasis to this as an area for people, rather than for transit.

Teddington High Street (Udney Road to Vicarage Road junctions)

  1. Welcome the new pedestrian crossing.
  2. As earlier, the introduction of a 20mph zone will improve the accessibility of the road.

Teddington High Street to Broad Street

  1. The access from Waldegrave Road is quite steep, and could be problematic for people with mobility impairments, etc.
  2. In general, the proposed solution for the mini roundabouts is still not ideal, asking cyclists to make multiple stops and starts compared to motorised traffic.
  3. Other ways to deal with this could include traffic lights at both or one of the, roundabouts.

Park Road and Adelaide Road

  • No specific comments

Victoria Road, Clarence Road, Avenue Gardens

  • No specific comments

Avenue Gardens / Park Road / Bushy Park

  1. This seems very confusing for cyclists leaving the park, with three independent movements to go straight ahead. If the road either side is deemed safe enough to cycle, then the junction needs to be, as well. Why not traffic light control the junction?
  2. Another option could be a mini roundabout with a clearly raised centre to control speeds.
  3. Or there could be a raised table from the park to Avenue Gardens.