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.

A Tube Map for Richmond

The idea of representing cycle routes like tube lines was developed by cyclists in Bristol and Bath. They show connections clearly by simplifying geography so are not meant for navigation but give an overall idea of the state of the network.

The most accessible routes are drawn in blue and then via cyan, yellow , orange to the most hostile in red. The call is “turn the map blue ! “.

Richmond Cycle Tube MapOK ish  (mostly thanks to Royal Parks ) apart from around Twickenham and Richmond-Mortlake but the network is only as good as its weakest link and some of the weaknesses have been glossed over in the above picture. From the collision rate shown in the LIP map Twickenham Station-Riverside should be Red  as should Upper Richmond Rd.

The A305 / A311 is the direct link  between  “Village Centres” and so will be used for cycling although it is hardly to be recommended to the inexperienced. I have used a slightly thinner line. The thinnest lines are for routes that avoid traffic at the expense of being very roundabout ; fine for recreational rides.

This is an ongoing project – for the latest version see This Link

The “real” map corresponding to this is HERE To make the routes easier to follow I have used consistent colours rather than quality grading. Again the A305/A311 is narrower.

 

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.

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: