Strategic Cycle Routes

I have been banging on about deficiencies in the borough’s plans for some time. To push some more I have written a brief paper that I hope to get onto the agenda for the next CLG.

Richmond Cycle Routes

What I have tried to produce is the draft for a system that would provide safe , reasonably direct, routes for all bike users  8-80+ across the borough and into adjacent boroughs at least during daylight hours and that is realistically achievable.

Any constructive comments gratefully received

Paul rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

Cycling Liaison Group – a Shopping List

CLG Notes – July 2017

We’ve got quite a few things for the Cycling LIaison Group, and for the council.

(a) The “Walkway” seems to be the route by the Old Sorting Office site development from Twickenham station – to Craneford Way playing field. The question is will it be (when finally open) officially a cycle route – and if not why was that not demanded as part of planning permission.

(something similar seems to have happened in Hampton Wick when the riverside route was initially going to be a cycle route but then acquired a gate.)

The Wellesley Rd – Fifth Cross Rd link for connecting Strawberry Hill station to Crane Park shared use path requires more than just signing. (interestingly it appears on the Borough Cycling Strategy map.)

(b) The need for a working party to be set up to look at the case for establishing and publicising a Richmond Cycling Network. (There is a map in the council’s documents, but it shows too many routes which are clearly not appropriate for everyone to cycle on.)

(c) RUTC to give proper consideration to the impact on cyclist safety of the road restrictions and closures in place during RFU events

(d) The need for RUTC to arrange for traffic Wardens to stop motorists from parking on double yellow lines, particularly at corners, where the reduced visibility of passing traffic puts cyclists and pedestrians at risk. Additionally, double yellow lines often protect stepless pavement access, which is important for wheelchairs, prams, and a variety of other pavement users.

(e) Parking at Kew station. We’ve asked about this before – the station needs more bike parking on both sides, but especially on the North Road side.

(f) The council recently consulted on changes to the Star and Garter roundabout. According to email discussions with the council, this is being considered for possible 20mph zoning. We’d like to know why we only hear about these things via email, and what the process is for this.

(g) Also on the Star and Garter consultation, we are very disappointed by the entire consultation process, as well as the proposed designs. The consultation failed to clearly show the proposed changes, didn’t show what analysis had been undertaken, and didn’t offer any options. Most importantly from our point of view, it offers no improvements at all for cycling.

(h) We looked at the minutes from January 2016 (here). It’s hard to see what progress has been made on virtually any of the items listed:

  • Kingston to Hampton Court cycle links
  • Rocks Lane cycle route
  • Mini Holland funded cycle routes
  • Sheen Road cycle route
  • Fifth Cross Road / Wellesley Road cycle route
  • Contraflow cycle routes
  • Simultaneous green junction

(i) In a consultation on the Uxbridge / Hampton Road junction, pavement and park space is being taken away to increase road space for queuing cars. Why are we sacrificing park space for traffic? Why are there no options on the table beside having more cars in the area?

(j) Cycling information is buried on the council website – it’s virtually impossible to find the cycling liaison group and it is poorly publicised.

(k) The Mortlake Brewery and St Mary’s University developments seem to have no council plan for walking and cycling. Why? These are excellent opportunities to push for more active travel and to provide attractive active travel options, but the council has done nothing.

(l) Twickenham Riverside. Why is cycling not included? Why is there no cycle parking, no cycle routes? We have spoken to the council about this for more than 3 years, and yet still designs never include walking or cycling properly.

Star and Garter – stop making sense!

This is an email thread with the council about the council’s Star and Garter consultation. You’ll need to read it from the bottom. But the things that worry us:

  1. Someone actually thought about cycling, then realised they couldn’t even design in a painted on bike logo
  2. Someone else is apparently thinking about 20mph in the area. Which is news to everyone we know.
  3. The council doesn’t understand the point of consultations. This provides no options, no analysis, doesn’t accurately show what is changing, and assumes that interested parties are going to try to go to the planning portal to understand the context for these things. There’s surely no better way to make sure no-one responds.
  4. Honestly, the council has no idea what makes for acceptable cycling conditions.

________________________________

Dear RCC,

As stated in my previous email, the changes being made directly outside the Star and Garter development were agreed as part of the planning application. Members of the public would have been given an opportunity to comment on these as part of this planning application.

The main alteration here is the addition of a new footway outside Ancaster House, which is highlighted on the consultation plan. The remaining changes consist of minor elements to bring the layout in line with the current standards. These type of changes usually addressed through our maintenance programme, but will be undertaken as part of this project while we are working in the area.

The ‘build out’ you refer to on the roundabout is a form of horizontal deflection. This is a requirement on mini-roundabouts to prevents vehicles speeding through the junction or failing to give-way. This is a safety feature that benefits all road users, including cyclists.

You refer to the road widening, but the overall carriageway width here has actually be reduced to accommodate the development works. Although this has been mitigated by removing the central hatching, to maintain the required lane widths.

As previously mentioned the 20mph proposal has not fully been investigated, and as such is not ready to be consulted on.

Regards,

[Council]

 

From: Borough Coordinator [mailto:info@richmondlcc.co.uk]
Sent: 05 July 2017 21:31
To: [Council]
Subject: Re: Star and Garter Consultation.

[Council],

I apologise if I didn’t make it clear, but I think there are a number of questions to be answered here.

  1. Why does the consultation document and diagram fail to explain what changes are actually being made to the road layout?
  2. Why is there a build out on the roundabout? What is its purpose? Did anyone think how this might affect cycling?
  3. Why does this road need widening at this point?
  4. Why was there so much information offered subsequent to the consultation which wasn’t included *in* the consultation?
  5. If there’s a 20mph plan, why is this the first we’re heating about it?

You may be aware that the Cycling Liaison Group is on 25th July. I would hope the council can provide some of these answers in advance of the meeting.

Sincerely,

Borough Coordinator, Richmond Cycling

 

On 6 Jun 2017, at 23:17, Borough Coordinator <info@richmondlcc.co.uk> wrote:

Dear [Council],

Thank you for taking the time to write back. I’m afraid i still don’t understand a number of things about these plans.

Firstly, the consultation document doesn’t actually show what changes are being effected to the junction area, with most changes un-noted. I don’t think it is reasonable for people to expect a clear statement here of what is changing. As an example, the roadway is being widened by a significant amount, through the removal of central ‘hatching’ on the approach to the gate, but this isn’t shown.

Secondly, there is a small but important new build out on the roundabout opposite Star and Garter. What is this for? Why are we – at a clear pinch point – forcing cyclists further towards motor traffic?

Thirdly, can you explain to me why the road needs widening at this point anyway? If you’re not prepared to put in cycle lanes, then widening the road isn’t going to make cycling better, I would suggest.

Finally, you provided a lot of useful information in your email – and I think it’s fair to say that this should all have appeared on the consultation: you’re asking us to accept these changes in the context of potential larger plans, so why is none of this mentioned?

I should probably also add that I’m am in no way looking forward to hearing of another Richmond cycling scheme which involves painting big bike roundels on the road and fantasising that it will make the blindest difference to people on bikes, or people who might be considering getting on a bike: it’s really disappointing that in 2017, the borough’s ambition is so spectacularly limited.

Sincerely,

Borough Coordinator, Richmond Cycling

 

[Council] wrote:

Dear RCC,

Thank you for your email.

The work being undertaken on Star and Garter Hill, Richmond is a relatively minor scheme, to implement the new bay outside the Star and Garter development. This will be a very limited stay drop off / collection bay for the residents here. The bay was previously agreed as part of the planning application for the development here.

The informal crossing facility is being removed was originally used by the support staff for the Royal Star and Garter home, that resided in Ancaster House. Due to the redevelopment of these sites, this is no longer a required movement. We have monitored this facility to ensure that it was longer used prior to proposing that it was removed.

The carriageway width in this location is too narrow to implement an on road cycle facility, however we are considering a 20mph speed limit/zone in this area. As this does not require any civil works we are not, restricted to the July construction window. Once this has been fully investigated and developed, this will be consulted on as a separate scheme. As part of this works we will be looking into the implementation of cycle symbols on the ground. Unfortunately we are unable to progress with element until the development of the 20mph works, as there will likely be some conflict around the locations of the 20mph roundels and the cycle symbols.

I hope this information useful

Regards

[Council]

www.richmond.gov.uk / www.wandsworth.gov.uk

From: Borough Coordinator [mailto:info@richmondlcc.co.uk]
Sent: 15 May 2017 23:06
Subject: Star and Garter Consultation.

Hello,

I’m writing on behalf of Richmond Cycling Campaign to complain about the poor proposals on Star and Garter Hill: http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/2017/05/15/star-and-garter-yet-another-missed-opportunity/

I find it very hard to believe that the best engineers could come up with was wider traffic lanes, a new pinch point, and a consultation document which didn’t even show clearly half of the proposed changes.

This is a large sweep of tarmac which already tacitly encourages high speeds from vehicles not using the park entrances – and the proposals only make this worse, but providing an even wider lane heading into and out of Richmond. You could have included a proper pedestrian crossing on every arm of this roundabout, or used traffic lights to better allocate the space, or really marked any kind of cycling provision whatsoever. But instead, there’s a nice new loading bay outside Star and Garter – which seems not to look much different from the old one – and you’ve actually **removed** a potential pedestrian crossing point (here).

Before anything goes ahead, the very least the council can do is to clearly indicate **all** the changes at this junction, explain why walking and cycling hasn’t been included, and explain the schedule for any safety plans which are supposedly being looked at.

Sincerely

Borough Coordinator, Richmond Cycling
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RCC is a branch of London Cycling Campaign

Twitter: https://twitter.com/richmondcycling

Web: http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/richmondcycling/

 

 

 

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

Rides for Everyone – Palaces of West London – Sunday 21st May

Osterley 2017Meet Richmond Little Green by theatre at 10.00am.

We Cross the Thames and pass through the grounds of Sion House before heading up the Grand Union Canal to Norwood Green. A country lane takes us into the wide spaces of Osterley Park where we enjoy coffee in the stables before passing the mansion on the way home. About 10 miles, quiet with some slopes. Should be back around 12 ish.

Route

Six of us met up with the youngest aged 7 and 11 – this is a Ride for Everyone.  We enjoyed excellent weather and no one fell in the canal. From the response to the sites that we visited we should be applying for sponsorship from the London Tourism Board.