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

A Tube Map for Richmond

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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

Once the routes reach a consistent quality they can be marketed with arbitrary colour coding – just like the London Underground

Richmond Tube Map

The “real” map corresponding to this is HERE  Again colours are for continuity not standard. The probably sub-standard A305/A311 is shown narrower. The Traffic Light symbols indicate crossing that are NOT present yet.

At a recent meeting with councillors there was acceptance that Richmond needs a long term plan for cycle routes and a willingness to look at these proposals. There was especial interest in Tube Map idea for waymarking.

 

Cycle Hub at Teddington Station

cyclehub….was opened by the Deputy Mayor who arrived by bike (although it later transpired that it had been borrowed from her son. )  She talked about encouraging commuters to leave their cars at home ..but the remark about this leaving space for parents returning from driving their children to school suggests that the message has not fully got through. The Network Rail person’s emphasis on planning for future increase in demand was more welcome.

We get : lots of decent cycle parking – and there is space between the double decker racks to pull down the upper and load your bike from the end-  , a pump which doubles as a maintenance stand and a chained set of tools all overlooked by a security camera with info on trains and weather on a monitor.

Now all we need is good routes to cycle to the station !

Quiet Way 1 – Your Chance to See the Detail – NEW DATE

** UPDATE ** There will be another opportunity to see plans and discuss them with officers in Teddington on 26th November at Teddington Baptist Church. Details are here. 

The council is consulting on a substantial new cycling route through the borough, provisionally called ‘Quiet Way 1’.

Riding on the Tamsin Trail.

Riding on the Tamsin Trail.

The consultation is online here. You can read our earlier discussion here.

There’s now a new opportunity to review these plans on Monday. The borough cycling officer is hoping to bring the plans to our monthly meeting at the Old Ship (details here)

Although we think there are things missing in the quiet way plan, we’d really like to see a major project like this, and we need your support and views. We’ll have a response out soon, but if you want to know more, please come along on Monday evening.

Ride that Olympic Legacy! (Or “Don’t, actually.”)

We’ve been asking members what to talk to the council about at the Cycling Liaison Group. And since it’s an Olympic year, one member has asked us to investigate just what the legacy has been.

He wrote:

“We should remind the councilors that we are now in an Olympic year, and four years after cycling went through our borough there has been NO OLYMPIC LEGACY.

Don’t let them fob us off with blah-blah about educating children etc. My children won’t dare cycle in central Richmond. There are NO new cycling lanes in the centre of the town.

They will talk about Twickenham – as they have in emails to me – but Richmond has had nothing, except a dead cyclist on the A316.

It’s an utter disgrace, as Central London forges ahead with cycling lanes and designated, protected routes.

We should make them understand that Richmond’s children are not safe on Richmond’s roads, and the failure to protect kids (rather than protect bus routes and cars through the town centre) will bring multiple consequences, not least on our health budget, as our kids choose NOT to cycle.

But really, we must nail them on the lack of an Olympic legacy. On some of the very streets the cyclists rode on there are no cycle lanes.

And when there are? Look at the road going over the railway lines at the back of Richmond station –a road with a cycle lane that is 18 inches wide at one point.

Shame. And I’m a car driver, as well as a cyclist.”

 

You can see this post from our Rides coordinator, written just after the Olympics, hoping for a legacy. And with a bit of digging you can find the lacklustre ambition to make 7.5% of journeys in Richmond by bike when we get to 2026 (see p92 of the ‘second Local Implementation Plan’, hosted on this page). Based on current progress, we probably won’t even reach that poor target.

We’re not forgetting cycling in Twickenham *again*, are we?

Well, yes, apparently the council is, sadly. We’ve already spent millions of pounds on the first attempt to make Twickenham better, with virtually nothing for cycling, now we might be about to do it again.

Cycling and walking both allocated space – isn’t this the least we should expect?

We welcome the plan to make the riverside a more pleasant place for people, but would like to see considerably more thought go into:

1. How people arrive at the new facilities

2. The transport environment around the new development.

How people arrive.

Twickenham is already heavily congested with motor traffic for large parts of the day. Increasing the number of people who arrive to shop and visit is not going to positively improve this situation. This is an opportunity to repair some of the damage done to Twickenham’s transport options by making sure that people can arrive safely by bicycle, and also park their bicycle in a covered, safe, convenient location.

This should apply both to people who work in the centre, and people who are visiting. In particular, we believe all the surrounding roads should become two-way for cycling, with suitable interventions to make this inviting and safe.

Cycle parking should be designed in from the outset. It is not acceptable to have no plans for where cycles will be parked. Plans must include sufficient cycle parking to at least the levels defined in the standards set out by TfL and the London Assembly.

The transport environment

The new development needs to be ‘permeable’ for walking and cycling. That is to say it must be simple and convenient to access the area, but also to pass it. In particular, there is no facility to cycle along the front of the riverside, nor is it possible to access it from both directions. This must be an essential part of the design: people on bicycles should be able to access the riverfront from both Wharf Lane and Water Lane, as well as from – and all the way along – either side of the development.

Crucially, it is not enough to say ‘cyclists will be able to share with pedestrians’. With high volumes of both, this is a recipe for an environment full of conflict and unpleasantness for both groups: just like the two access roads aren’t designed to be shared between cars and pedestrians, so a dedicated cycle route should not be simply dropped onto existing pedestrian space.

Richmond Cycling Campaign has seen too many plans from this council where cycling is an afterthought. It is not sufficient to spend tens of thousands of pounds on plans which say “We would like to hear from cyclists” as their only concession to recognising this as valid and desired mode of transport.

 

No More Investment in Cycling – Write to your MP now

The Times reported   that despite the fact that David Cameron has confirmed that he is “huge cycling fan” and says that he wants to “go further” and “realise our ambition to make the UK a true cycling nation,” echoing the calls he made in 2013 for a “cycling revolution.” the November Spending Review seems to spell an end for cycling infrastructure spending.

I have shamelessly plagiarised Matt Turner to come up with the effort below. via

https://www.writetothem.com/write

It would be useful if Tania and Zac were in receipt of more variants.

Dear Tania Mathias,

I’m writing to you about the report in The Times   that investment in
cycling is due to be cut in the November spending review .
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/article4601075.ece

I’m dismayed at this news if it is indeed true as it contradicts the
Prime Minister's stated intention to " make the UK a true cycling
nation". 

 We must keep investing in cycling, not for cyclists, but so that
everyone has the freedom to ride a bike. Helping to revitalise our
neighborhoods by reducing congestion, noise and making them nicer
places to spend time. To give our children the freedom to travel
independently, to reduce the burden on our health service, to begin to
tackle climate change and especially poor air quality ( in which London
is exceeding EU health limits ), and fundamentally, to give people a
the choice to move about without relying on a car.
I understand that a big focus of this review will be on transport
infrastructure, but cycling seems to be missing out. Back in March the
government published research into the benefit cost ratio (BCR) of
cycling investment compared to other transport investment, it showed
completely that the BCR was far higher for cycling than for any other
form of transport. I simply can’t understand why cycling investment
wouldn’t be a key part of infrastructure investment in the UK.
Link:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/348943/vfm-assessment-of-cycling-grants.pdf

Yours sincerely,

Does your quiet street seem busier!

Does it seem like your street is getting more and more traffic on it!  It probably is and is likely because of technology.  Waze is a new sat nav style app that encourages drivers to avoid traffic and junctions using back streets. It got us thinking!

Local shortcuts are no longer local secrets! That means previously quiet roads are getting busier.

Waze - Encouraging Rat Runs

What can be done about? We think that as the way people drive is changing so road designs will have to change.   If we wish to protect our quiet neighbourhoods and create safer space for cycling gentle street changes will be required to keep folks on the main roads.  A proven method of reducing rat runs and maintaining quiet streets is to restrict through traffic.  Access is maintained but motor vehicles cannot pass directly through, the techies call this filtered permeability.

Filtered perm

We have written to Cllr Speak (Highways and street scene) to let him know that road designs will have to adapt to new technology. If you are worried about quiet roads becoming busy roads please do the same Cllr.SSpeak@richmond.gov.uk and ask for a ‘filtered permeability’ trial on your street.