Cycling Backwards on Twickenham Riverside

In November 2015 we warned that Twickenham’s Riverside development really needs to think seriously about walking and cycling.

But the latest consultation is indeed going backwards for active travel, and indeed for amking the riverside a nice place to be, choosing it for a car park, rather than for people.

One of our members has written this response.

Dear Richmond Council,

The June 2016 New Heart For Twickenham consultation material stated: ‘It became clear during the summer that cycling needs could be more fully integrated into the design. We will ensure that any future development supports and encourages cycling. We would like to hear more about how you think the current circulation for cycling could be improved. We will ensure there is provision for cycle parking and promote the opportunities for leisure cycle hire.’

We have been providing information and proposals on this topic since the Barefoot consultation in 2010. We note that, despite the above request, the actual 2016 consultation included no questions on cycling. We note too that, despite the input to this consultation from our members and other cyclists, the March 2017 Twickenham Rediscovered consultation survey made no mention of cycling.

In the material provided with the current, summer 2017, consultation, reference to including cycling in the scheme is limited to an undertaking to ‘consider cycling requirements including enhancing pedestrian and cycling access to the site, cycle parking and through routes using the riverside.’

Even at this advanced stage there are no concrete proposals regarding cycling and, again, there are no questions regarding cycling in the consultation itself. Since you appear keen to include cycling in the scheme, could you please explain the lack of questions regarding cycling in these consultations and why input from our members and other cyclists has been, and continues to be, ignored.

Kind regards

Richmond Cycling Campiagn

Road signs – getting the council to at least fix the basics

Prompted by this tweet, we’ve complained to the council about the poor approach they seem to be maintaining on dealing with roadworks and cycling …

Here’s the letter we wrote – let us know if you’ve been the victim of more rubbish signage in the borough!

Dear Councillors,
I am writing to officially complain about the ongoing issues with roadworks signage in the borough.
Richmond Cycling Campaign is unhappy not only about the fact that this is still a problem, but the fact that there appears to be no prompt, effective escalation route for it to be dealt with.
There is quite literally no scenario in which someone on a bicycle should ever be instructed to walk, or to wheel their bicycle. The most obvious recent example of this was outside the RFU (see this tweet). The council was told about this on May 31st, but on 6th June, one of our members observed the obstructions still to be in place.
We spoke about this at the last Cycling Liaison Group, and we were given to believe (a) that council rules are clear on this, and (b) that there is a process in place to deal with these problems.
We are therefore asking for a clear response from the council explaining:
1.    What rules and guidelines are issued to people doing roadworks in the borough? By whom?
2.    What is the escalation process for dealing with problems?
3.    Are there any Service Level Agreements (or deadlines)  in the escalation process?
4.    Who has responsibility for roadworks in the borough, and policing and approval thereof?
Sincerely,
Richmond Cycling Campaign

 

Star and Garter – yet another missed opportunity

NB: You can see the discussion on Cyclescape, here.

The junction outside Star and Garter is about to change, but only in the most marginal way possible. This is another disappointment from the council. Faced with an opportunity to make a large junction more pleasant and attractive for cycling, the basic proposal is “Make the lanes wider, and make sure we have parking right beside a roundabout just like … virtually nowhere in London.

Star and Garter proposals

Worse, the plans submitted in the consultation don’t even include key changed. The black arrows in the diagram above show changes thst the diagram proposes, and which aren’t discussed in the consultation (here).

Putting aside the question of why there are three full lanes exiting Richmond Park, this junction is a wide sweep of tarmac from every direction. Although a number of people use it by bicycle, this is yet another place which isn’t going to encourage others to get on their bike. Instead of maintaining the existing configuration of a roundabout people can just drive over, there’s enough space here for clearly marked space for cycling, perhaps in combination with traffic lights or different traffic routing.

Further along (the left hand roundabout on the diafgram above) the design proposes that the pavement bends out into the road, effectively creating a pinch point for cyclists, where they must move further into the lane, and risk contact with cars which can drive straight across.

We’re told that there are safety issues at this junction, but they’re clerarly not that important, because otherwise it’s hard to understand why money is being spent on it in such an appalling fashion. Tell us what you think, but we’re very disappointed.

We need to talk about Chalkers’ Corner!

It’s a massive barrier for cycling in the borough, and indeed for almost everyone else. If only for the sake of the Mortlake Brewery devleopment, Chalkers’ Corner needs fixing.

Our proposal includes a number of significant changes:

  • Cycling continues directly across from the Richmond side towards Chiswick Bridge
  • All modes get long greens
  • Make the exit from the A3006 (Mortlake) much easier, with a single light sequence
  • Better pedestrian crossings on all arms

To achieve this, members have helped put together this model – it’s got a lot on …

Chalkers Corner proposal

The numbers show the light sequences, the red lines show cycling movements, and the dashed lines show pedestraisn movements.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Walking, cycling and driving heading east or west only (straight ahead)  on the A316. This includes crossing the A205 and A3006
  2. The A205 heading north goes ahead, left and right. The A316 from Chiswick Bridge turns left to the A205 and A3006
  3. The A316 from Richmond turns right into the A205 and A3006. Cycling and walking cross the eastern side of the A316.
  4. The A3006 (from Mortlake) goes ahead, left and right.
  5. The A205 from Kew goes ahead and left. Cycling and walking cross the western side of the A316.

This design needs us to reallocate space throughout the junction, but provides clear routes for everyone, and makes it safer: It eliminates left and right hook conflicts, but will rquire a proiperly enforced yellow box.

What do you think? Our borough coordinator has uploaded the slides here.

May 2017 Agenda

We’re meeting at the Old Ship at 8pm this evening (Monday 8th May) – details here: http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/monthly-meetings/ 

  • – Budget for RCC – review and agree
  • – Road safety week
Happening this week – people can volunteer to support speed monitoring
  • – Cycle gutter
Do we think it would be a good idea to have one between The Byway and Central School Path (SW14)?
  • – New members / publicity
We could do with getting more people involved. Is there a way we can get out to actually see people more? (Leafleting? Tags on bikes? Cards to give people?)
  • – Eliza – Cycling Without Age proposal – http://cyclingwithoutage.org/
  • – Hosting, etc. have a full mailbox and we need someone to look at updates, etc.
Need someone to do some tech stuff …
  • – Mortlake Brewery, etc.
Initial meeting done. We need a group proposal on this and other changes in the borough. The council is talking to developers, but there’s no use a site encouraging walking and cycling if the council doesn’t fix the roads around it.
  • – Consultations – Star and Garter Hill
Looks a bit rubbish, and has no cycling. What do we want to do?
  • – Liveable neighbourhoods
LCC is asking for bids. Does someone want to lead this? It includes the opportunity of a lot of LCC support if we do this.
  • – Clean Air on Our Roads
Discuss current cmpaiagns, council activity, etc.
  • – Chalkers Corner
There are rumblings of a review on this, and we need to get in first.
  • – CS 9
Under review internally in LCC. Controlled documents which I haven’t seen yet

Cycling Liaison Group Meets Soon!

Quick read: come along to York House on April 18th to find out the latest on cycling in the borough – we need your input!

The Cycling Liaison Group meets next week and everyone can come! This is your chance to ask the council about cycling and cycling facilities in your area.

There’a a lot on the agenda, so we’ve put together some notes, to show why you should come, and what you can find out …

Contraflow Report

Contraflows are about allowing cylists to travel both ways on a one way street, so that we can make journeys by bike easier, and potentially move cycling from some of the less attractive routes through the borough. We’re hoping to hear about which roads will be included in this proposal, and when.
DfT image

DfT image – a Brighton contraflow

Filtered Permeability

“Filtering” means filtering out one or more types of transport. Throughout the borough there are a number of roads whee bollards or pavements prevent you from driving all the way along a road – usually to prevent it being used as a rat run. We’d like to see more of this in the borough, and we are going to hear about proposals for this.
Filtered permeability at Well Lane / Martindale junction

Filtered permeability at Well Lane / Martindale junction

Cycling to school grants update

There’s some money around for encouraging cycling to school, and we’re going to find out where it is being spent, and how. Getting more families riding to school is a sure fire way of sorting out the hideous morning congestion in the borough, but we know people need to feel teir route is safe before they stop using a car. Our hope is that there’s a real plan for how to spend this money.

Cycle events this year

Normally the council supports Bikefest in the summer, but it isn’t happening this year because of over-reliance on volunteers. So we’re interested to know what else the borough has planned.

Heart of Twickenham / Village Plans

Village plans are a great place to talk about cycling, and about things that can be done in local areas to make it better. However, they invariably offer nothing, or just platitudes. We want proper active transport options – i.e. Walking and cycling – “baked in” to all these proposals. The recent ‘Heart of Twickenham’ plans are a case in point – despite a number of contributors asking about being able to cycle in the area, and being able to park a bicycle, the consultation documents seem able only to plan for lots of car parking.

Towpaths

The council approached us about towpaths a while ago – which towpaths to do? – and asked which towpaths we wanted them to look at, given limited funds. Hopefully this will be an update on what’s happening here.

Quietways / Quietway 2

We’ve had the consultation for quietway 1, and now it looks like we’re going to hear about another one – possibly this one.

Cycling Strategy

We’re likely to hear about any final changes to the cycling strategy, and when it might be adopted. Which is good, because it will need to tie in closely with …

Healthy Streets / Corridors Update

The corridots are the latest wheeze for having proper routes around the borough. You can see a potential map of them here. And now we know the council needs to set up a clean air strategy, and needs – by law – to actually think harder avbout active travel – we’re hoping that they can get themselves organised. That’s what this item will tell us …

Crossdeep Junction

We’re waiting with anticipation. This is a terrible ijunction for cycling, and a major barrier. Does the council have a new plan?

Richmond Cycling Campaign Items

We asked about a number of items, detailed below:

  1. Brompton docks. We’d like to hear more about these – schedule, finance, etc.
    These are due to turn up in Twickenham, and wed like to understand the economics here: Especially as we think the station needs more bike parking. We like the idea, and support it, but it has come out of the blue a bit…
  2. Roadworks signage. We want the council to prevent all use of ‘cyclists dismount’ signs in the borough. No roadworks should use these, and there should always be a cycling alternative. This is something we’ve raised before: The council should be instructing contractors to use the most up to date guidance here as it isn’t acceptable to just be putting up signage with little concern for how people will get around. (See here for some council info …)
  3. Tiger/walking and cycling zebra crossings. Can we have these everywhere? They’re now national guidance, so should be under consideration. See this article for  bit of discussion.
  4. Richmond Strategic Cycle Network? We need to be planning for routes linking all Villages in the borough that can be made suitable for all 8-80 (and beyond!) The map in the Borough Cycling Strategy fails to identify sensible routes ( the A308 in Hampton is an extreme example of a route that cannot be made suitable but Cross Deep and King Street are also far from an acceptable standard.)
  5. As a related issue Fulwell Park link. Carole suggested raising this. It links Hampton (via Dean Rd) , Fulwell (via Burtons Rd) and Hanworth (via a cyclable bridge over the A316) . On the 2007 Cycling in Richmond leaflet is is marked as “Proposed” and a toucan crossing (of A305) was actually made.
  6. What happened regarding Water and Wharf lanes and surrounds in Twickenham. This was raised at a previous CLG and an email exchange followed. Cllr Loveland mentioned it at the start of the last meeting and suggested it had ‘been done’, without ever saying what had been done. Then there wasn’t any opportunity to ask further.
  7. A review of the Cyclehoop activity – we know some have gone up, and we need to understand better how to publicise these / how well they’re going.
  8. A single place where we can see and understand what is going on in the borough. We’d like one place where we can actually see all the plans for transport.
  9. Mortlake Brewery and St Mary’s. There’s no obvious indication that anyone thinks much about cycling to and from these places – for Mortlake, the only real change I can see is the entry onto Chalkers Corner being made more grim and traffic-choked than it already is.

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.