We’ve not recieved notes yet of September’s CLG meeting, which may be the result of an apparent change in how it’s administered by the Council.
E-mail: email@example.com if you want an issue raised at the meeting.
We’ve not recieved notes yet of September’s CLG meeting, which may be the result of an apparent change in how it’s administered by the Council.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org if you want an issue raised at the meeting.
We’re moving fast towards the end of the campaigning year with RCC’s annual meeting on Monday 14th November and LCC AGM on 16th, so we’ve been thinking about doing things next year, with the London Assembly elections on 3rd May and the associated LCC 2012 campaign ”Go Dutch“.
We think we can strengthen what we already do by continuing to develop the veloteer idea used so effectively for the railway station cycle parking audits and the reports on Hammersmith Bridge and London Road roundabout.
Why do we think that? Because as a local cyclist you know the routes, what works and what doesn’t. You know the problems and because you know the problems you’re likely to know how to solve them. So you’ll know whether the works proposed by the Council, and TfL, will actually make your cycle journey better, or worse, or make no difference at all. Living locally means you can use your democratic right to ask your local councillor what’s going on. And because the Council’s highway officers have a geographic responsiblity we can develop a working relationship at a practical level.
We think there may be 9 patches in the Borough and if you live in one of them we’re asking you to get involved (and that involvement can be as simple as the occasional email or more involved if you want, the level of commitment is up to you):
1. Barnes, Beverley Brook, Barnes Bridge, Vine Road, Upper Richmond Road
2. Mortlake and East Sheen, Barnes Bridge, Chiswick Bridge, Manor Road, Richmond Park
3. Kew, North A316, Chiswick Bridge, Kew Bridge,
4. Richmond, South A316, Manor Road, Richmond Bridge, Petersham Road, St Margaret’s including north A316
5. Ham and Petersham
6. Whitton, North A316 from Marlow Crescent
7. Twickenham, Twickenham Bridge, Richmond Bridge, Fulwell and Strawberry Hill golf courses, St. Mary’s
8. Teddington, Bushy Park, Kingston Bridge, Hampton Court Bridge
We also think the A316 Cycle Route should be have its own veloteers because it runs through so many of the patches and is such an important route.
E-mail: email@example.com to make a difference to cycling in Richmond Borough, we know many of you already do.
The 3 cycling related deaths we know about in our Borough this year prompted us to ask Richmond Council about all accidents, or collisions as they’re called by the responsible authorities, involving cyclists. At the end of September’s meeting of the Cycling Liaison Group we were given a map for collisions recorded between 1st January 2006 and 31st December 2010. We’ve only got it on paper at the moment but it looks like this [clicking on it makes it a bit bigger]
Now, whatever the Council, TfL and RCC does to encourage cycling, eliminating, or at the very least minimising, risk of harm to cyclists must be the priority.
Recent research tells us why people don’t cycle. It includes fear of harm stopping adults from allowing their children to cycle to school in significant numbers and a perception of risk of harm among other demographic groups, regardless of the economic and health benefits of cycling to both the individual and society in general.
The London Cycle Network and Cycle Superhighways are 2 examples of responding to the problem of harm, reducing risk by moving cyclists on to roads with less vehicle traffic, creating separation from that traffic and managing conflict with it at high risk locations like road junctions. And we’ll know more about what London Cycling Campaign means practically by “Go Dutch“ when they tell us in November about their Manifesto for the 2012 Mayoral Elections. This is what it means to the Dutch. And, if you’re a parent of school age children, have a look at this video of cycling to school and the very different challenges of the school run there.
So, how does the map help us to adopt a problem solving approach to reducing harm?
Remembering mapping is only a first level of analysis, answering the question ”where?” but not “who?“, “what?“, ”how?” or “why?“, you won’t be surprised to see clusters, concentrations, in certain places like:
East Sheen’s Upper Richmond Road, notably between Clifford Avenue and White Hart Lane:
Richmond Circus, including the southern end of Kew Road and alongside Old Deer Park:
That’s one reason why we took the Green Party Mayoral Candidate, Jenny JONES, there last week. We also took her there because Richmond Town Centre was voted the number 1 priority in our recent e-mail poll.
Teddington, in particular the High Street junctions with Waldegrave Road, Broad Street and Park, but also Ferry Road junction with Kingston Road:
Twickenham, with Heath Road, King Street junction with Cross Deep and then London Road up to A316, standing out:
It’s also interesting to note where collisions, or at least reported collisions, don’t happen, like Hampton [A1] and parts of Whitton [A16]
While the map is only “where?” what all these locations suggest, most clearly the line of blue squares [serious collisions] and green circles [slight collisions] along Upper Richmond Road, is the role junctions play in the “how?” and ”why?“ Knowing this should drive 2 things. First, and foremost, a priority list for highway engineering works in the Borough. Second, the test that work at a location does something about the problem there. Will TfL’s work on Upper Richmond Road reduce collisions?
In our view neither Richmond’s Second Local Implementation Plan for Transport or its associated Draft Cycling Strategy make harm reduction a priority or adopt a problem solving approach. Click here to see how our neighbours in the London Borough of Hounslow are encouraged to report problems.
Back in June we pointed out the consultation document for Twickenham Town Centre didn’t actually use the words “bicycle”, ”cycling” or “cyclist” and ”cycle” appears only once, on page 3: “Limited widening of eastern footway in London Road through removal of cycle lane”. This is very disappointing when you see the number of blue squares and green circles:
We also said back in May the apparent enthusiasm police showed for issuing fixed penalty notices for cycling on the pavement in Heath Road was likely to mask a problem with cycling on the road; borne out again by the blue squares and green circles.
We said at the beginning this is a map of recorded collisions so reporting them in the first place is important and the Metropolitan Police Service explains when and how to do that here. They also invite you to report drivers here. Note they say they are happy to hear about “Road layouts that you think may be dangerous or can be improved.”
Finally, you may be interested in: http://www.crashmap.co.uk/
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts on taking a harm reduction approach to cycling in Richmond.
We said in our recent post on September’s meeting of the Cycling Liaison Group the Council were removing the cycle lane in Kew Road. It seems they were mistaken and have now clarified their position.
This is what we wrote to the Council after the meeting:
“We were surprised to hear…the cycle lane in Kew Road is to be removed. We were also surprised to hear consultation had taken place “some years ago.” Do you know:
Removal of the lane was justified because there is a recommended route along Ennerdale Road. We’re concerned about the credibility of that route because its safety is threatened by use as a rat run and parking makes it impossible for cars and cyclists to share space. Signage also needs to be improved.
Given a Cycle Superhighway will run past the north side of Kew Bridge, RCC takes the view the Kew Road cycle lane is an invaluable on-road link between it and the A316 Cycle Route and removal of it is unnecessary and short-sighted.
We also note the written response of the Mayor of London to the following cycling related question:
“Will you ask Transport for London to reject any local transport plan produced by a borough which includes the systematic removal of all existing cycle lanes in a 20mph zone when the road is being resurfaced?”
“The Guidance on Local Implementation Plans (LIPs), published in May 2010, makes it absolutely clear that any borough must get written consent from Transport for London prior to removal or substantial alteration of works carried out to infrastructure installed with the benefit of TfL funding. Where a borough breaches the above conditions, TfL may require repayment of any funding already provided and/or withhold provision of further funding.
Accordingly, any LIP proposal to remove cycle lanes will be subject to review and approval by TfL. However, it may be that in locations where other mitigating measures are being installed, which assist in reducing traffic speeds and volumes, there is no longer a requirement for previously installed cycle facilities.”
Is the answer applicable to Kew Road?”
This is the Council’s reply:
“…apologies for any misunderstanding regarding the part-time mandatory lanes on the A307 Kew Road.
It was always envisaged that once the cycle route using Ennerdale Road as the alternative was completed then the possible removal of the 2 hour route on the west side of Kew Road would be the subject of a feasibility study. It had been suggested that a two way route on the east side of Kew Road on a widened footway could be investigated or the Ennerdale Road route would be the alternative cycle route to Kew Road northbound.
Since the Ennerdale Road route was completed the removal of the Kew Road west side has not been seen as a priority for removal, so no feasibility study has been carried out. It is not programmed for investigation in the near future and would be subject to extensive public and statutory traffic management order consultation prior to any decision being made.
In terms of TfL funding, these cycle facilities were put in prior to TfL’s existence so there would probably not be an opportunity for TfL to withdraw/claw back funding on this scheme even if there were plans to remove the cycle lanes.”
Good news then and thank you to members who contacted Councillors to express their concern about the proposal.
It’s two weeks since CLG met, arranged after the scheduled one was cancelled, and two weeks before the next on Monday 3rd October so, ahead of publication of the official record, a few things to think about.
Agenda Item 3 Minutes of last meeting
20 mph zones
Discussing this [Item 3g, page 2] we stumbled into a party political difference that became clearer on 9th September when the Richmond and Twickenham Times quoted Councillor Geoffrey Samuel, deputy leader of Richmond Council:
“We are very happy to follow national policies and guidelines and Greater London policies, but we don’t believe Richmond should be singled out for political experiments on the modification of how people get about the borough.”
Now, “Political experiments“ is a very strange and confused characterisation of an intervention the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said in their report “Preventing unintentional road injuries among under 15s”
“will reduce casualties by around 40%”
and went on to say:
“Signage, road design and engineering should be used to reduce vehicle speeds on roads where children and young people are likely to be, such as playgrounds, schools, residential roads or where pedestrians and cyclist journeys are frequent.”
Interesting also to compare Cllr Samuel’s words with the Mayor of London in his written response to the following cycling related question:
Question No: 2641 / 2011 ”Do you believe that 20mph speed limits make the roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians alike?”
“The introduction of 20mph speed limits can improve safety for all road users. Research by the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that 20mph zones have reduced casualties by up to 40% in locations where they have been implemented in London.
My Transport Strategy acknowledges the benefits of 20mph zones in making streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists. In addition, TfL looks to include lower speed limits as part of new scheme designs where appropriate. For example, as part of the implementation of new Cycle Superhighway 8, a 20mph speed limit has been introduced at Old York Road.
In considering the introduction of lower speed limits a number of factors need to be taken into consideration including potential safety benefits, the characteristics and function of the road in question, the impacts on traffic flow and the practicality and cost of implementation and enforcement. As such, the potential for new 20mph limits will vary by area and road type.”
Presumably Cllr Samuel relies on the last sentence to support his position.
Given the Metropolitan Police Service issue fixed penalty notices to cyclists using the pavement to cross Richmond Bridge, and it’s unlikely the Council will make the footway shared use, we think the Bridge exactly meets the NICE description “where pedestrians and cyclist journeys are frequent” and should be part of a 20mph zone.
We’ve heard our Borough has the second lowest number of 20mph zones in the country but have yet to confirm it.
Agenda 4 British Cycling
During their presentation about SkyRide Local we were interested to hear British Cycling moving into the gap left by the abolition of Cycling England nationally, and Smarter Travel Richmond locally, and talking about cycling to work issues like secure parking and showers.
Agenda 5 CLG The way forward
Carried over to the next meeting in the absence of Cllr SALVONI Cabinet Member for Community Development
Agenda 6 PROW Footpaths
There seemed to be general support for our proposal to de-regulate footpaths on a case by case basis without deciding on the particular paths we suggested. We’ve asked to be told at the next meeting what the decision making process will be.
We’ve also added to our list:
Blandford Road to Bushy Park, about 4 metres wide and linking to the pelican that should have been a toucan in Blandford Road
Longford Close to Dean Road
linking to the new crossing of Uxbridge Road into Burtons Road
Oldfield Road to Upper Sunbury Road where there’s a toucan and a marked cycle route but also a no cycling sign.
Agenda 7 Draft LBRuT Cycling Strategy
Still in discussion with TfL although we weren’t told why.
Agenda 8 Update 2011/12 cycling scheme programme
Pleased to see one of our quick win suggestions make it on to the list [Scheme 3 Kingston Bridge] and very pleased to see consideration of Hampton Court Bridge [Scheme 4 Hampton Court roundabout] We’ve asked for a timetable so we know when work will be done.
Agenda 9 Any other business
RCC members, both at the meeting and in e-mails ahead of it, asked about vehicles parking in cycle lanes, particularly in Lonsdale Road, Barnes and Staines Road, Hampton.
The definitive word on cycle lanes is in paragraph 16, pages 95 to 101, of the Traffic Signs Manual but by coincidence they were raised in a series of cycling related questions to the Mayor that received written replies, including these two relevant to our members concerns:
Question No: 2649 / 2011 “Is it now your policy to allow trucks to use cycle lanes?”
“It is not my policy to allow trucks to use cycle lanes. Cycle lanes which have a solid white line are only for the use of cycles and no other vehicles may drive or park in them at any time during their hours of operation. Other vehicles are also not allowed to enter cycle lanes with a dashed white line unless it is unavoidable. This is set out in the Highway Code.”
Question No: 2773 / 2011 “I understand different stretches of cycle lane have distinct levels of authority; mandatory, advisory and the highly recognisable blue surfacing, but what is the penalty for a driver that breaches the rules and drives into any sort of cycle lane? How many drivers have been penalised for such transgressions in each year of your Mayoralty?”
“Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly.”
Chris Smith, LBRuT Integrated Transport Planning Manager was quite clear at the meeting: report it as a parking complaint for enforcement action by their team of 35.
We were also told, out of the blue, that the cycle lane in Kew Road is to be removed. The local councillor was surprised, particularly when told there was a consultation “years ago“. The justification for its removal was the LCN route using Ennerdale Road. Apart from our concerns about the safety of that route we don’t think this is either/or. With the planned Cycle Superhighway on the north side of Kew Bridge the Kew Road cycle lane provides a link between it and the nearest thing we’ve got to a cycle superhighway, the A316 Cycle Route. The removal of the lane is very short-sighted. E-mail Cllr.JBurford@richmond.gov.uk who was at the meeting and surprised to hear about it.
E-mail email@example.com with your comments or issues to raise at the meeting on 3rd October.
It’s been a while since the last meeting so there should be lots to talk about next Monday.
Read notes of the March meeting [Agenda item 3] for what was said last time. In relation to those [6 Review of CLG Priority List] we’ll soon ask the Yahoo Group to indicate their preferences for the routes listed in Draft RCC Priority List Action Plan
Agenda item 6 Public Rights of Way Footpaths was prompted by our June posting and suggested so far are:
From Thames Towpath at Barnes Bridge to Barnes railway station and NCN 4 at Vine Road to Richmond Park via
Barnes Recreation Ground
Evelyn Terrace at Old Deer Park Gardens in Kew, as an alternative to Jocelyn Road where the road is significantly narrowed by parked cars
South Worple Avenue in Mortlake, avoiding White Hart Lane
and on to Barnes station south of the railway via Rosslyn Avenue and Woodlands Road
and Barnes Common
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts about these and issues to raise at the meeting. Remember TfL will not be attending as it’s outside office hours.
Despite our continuing disagreement with TfL about their planned work at the London Road roundabout, the urgency of making the A316 cyclepath safe to use at Old Deer Park and resolution of those “Cyclists Dismount” requirements at Manor Circus, Chalkers Corner and Mortlake Road, we’re not ignoring their Programme of work in the Borough this financial year.
11 schemes are listed, 5 relating to A316 Chertsey Road and 6 to A205 South Circular, 4 of those in Upper Richmond Road.
There are no projected costs attached to these works so we don’t know what money is being spent.
London Road is 1 of the 5 schemes and another, the route between Chalkers Corner and Manor Road, is apparently complete, leaving 3 to be considered. TfL have asked us to comment on one and, if you cycle the route or live in Whitton, we’re asking you to contact them direct because they don’t acknowledge or reply to our e-mails. Here’s the detail:
A316 Chertsey Road – Proposed cycling and pedestrian improvement scheme
Transport for London (TfL) is currently developing a proposal to improve facilities for pedestrians and cyclists along the A316 Chertsey Road. In addition the scheme will eliminate the issues of illegal rat running on the adjacent side roads off Chertsey Road.
The scheme will see the junctions of Godfrey Avenue, Redway Drive and Jublilee Avenue on the Chertsey Road permanently closed to vehicular traffic (junctions have been temporarily closed for over 10 years)
Shared use pedestrian and cyclist footways will be provided at these locations and improved signage informing cyclists and pedestrians of shared use footways will be installed.
In summary, the proposed measures include the following:
If you have any comments with regard to this proposal please contact us at STEngagement@tfl.gov.uk by 22 August 2011.
Sara Peters, Consultation and Engagement Centre, Transport for London, STEngagement@tfl.gov.uk
Now, Richmond Cycling Campaign welcomes any changes that makes cycling this route better, we just think there are rather more important things to do, which is what we will tell TfL.
By the way, we asked TfL to come to the Cycling Liaison Group, which meets 4 times a year, every 3 months, but they say they don’t attend external meetings outside office hours.
Click here to read what Cyclists in the City think.
Sadly, one of the A205 schemes listed ”Rocks Lane to Kew signage review” includes the words “confirmation is also needed for shared use for cyclists over Kew Bridge which could link to cycle improvements to the other side of the River Thames”, sad given the recent fatality on the bridge.
If you cycle in, or through, Twickenham, then please click here to go to the Twickenham Area Action Plan consultation page on the Council website.
If you cycle then some of the words on the page are encouraging, like “improvements to the environment, traffic management, public transport and pedestrian and cycle links will be required”
Unfortunately the 8 page consultation leaflet ”Twickenham Rediscovered, looking back looking forward” available at yesterday’s public meeting and here doesn’t actually use the words “bicycle”, ”cycling” or “cyclist”. ”Cycle” does appear, once, on page 3:
“Limited widening of eastern footway in London Road through removal of cycle lane”
In the document you’re either traffic or pedestrian and if you’re pedestrian then you’ll be pleased to know the impact of traffic is being reduced, mainly by widening pavements.
Now I’m sure when the word pedestrian is used the author had cyclists in their mind’s eye, after all there’s a bike in the drawing on page 6, parked in the middle of an imagined King Street, just like they do in Kensington High Street. But it doesn’t say that and cyclists aren’t pedestrians, except when we’re required to dismount and push our bikes.
There again maybe I’m wrong because our aspirations for the Crane Valley Route providing a traffic free journey through Twickenham and Moor Meads Park is undermined by repeated reference to the “River Crane walkway”.
Please take the opportunity to comment by completing the questionnaire here pointing out the lack of any explicit reference to the needs of cyclists, including secure cycle parking spaces.
The closing date is 22nd July
Talking of which you may want to keep an eye here on the planning application for re-development of Twickenham Railway Station that includes
“250 covered cycle spaces for commuters, 208 covered cycle spaces for residents and provision of a river walkway”
Click here for what we’ve said before about cycle parking at railway stations, including Twickenham.
Some interesting numbers from yesterday’s meeting included:
2000 vehicles an hour through Twickenham during the peak, dropping to 80% of that, still 1600 vehicles, off-peak.
For the imagined King Street to work the off-peak figure needs to drop to 65%, 1300 vehicles. So 300 drivers need to get out of their vehicles and use another way to get around: maybe cycle?
If King Street is pedestrianised off-peak traffic will be diverted to London Road via Arragon Road.
Note it says on page 5 “Transport proposals will be subject to further detailed testing to ensure they do not have an unacceptable impact on the highway network.”
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, crossing the London Road at the junction with Chertsey Road is difficult and dangerous. So we were pleased to hear in March that Transport for London was consulting on a plan to make it easier. We weren’t pleased when we saw it. Why? Because it doesn’t do anything to make crossing less difficult or less dangerous. Here’s an example of what TfL say:
“In terms of the width of the traffic islands, the Department for Transport has issued guidance which suggests that a cycle with a trailer is 2.75m long, and that the recommended minimum depth of a traffic island (in order to accommodate a cycle with a trailer) should be 3m. The proposed pedestrian refuge on the southern arm of London Road is 3.5m wide at its widest point, and at the northern arm is 3.7m wide at the widest point. We are confident therefore that parents using cycles with trailers can be accommodated.”
Forget, for a moment, the relevance of the widest point on an island that’s a tear drop shape and is not designed to be crossed at its widest point anyway: much, much, more important is how do you get on it when traffic is nose to tail and moving at different speeds?
And how do you get off it when vehicles are accelerating into the exit lanes like it’s a race track?
We say people need protected space to cross in and narrowing entrance and exit lanes creates that space. TfL says:
“Increasing the size of the islands any further would prevent the owners of [properties in] London Road from entering/exiting… The same issue prevents us from installing zebra crossings – there are a number of dropped kerbs on the north and south sections of London Road and these would prevent the installation of a crossing. The only available space is approximately 30m from the roundabout (on each arm), which would be too distant from the natural pedestrian desire line to make their provision worthwhile.”
Why can’t TfL install toucan crossings, like the all junctions before and after London Road and like the one that is so well-used on the Richmond side of the roundabout ?
We think it’s disgraceful that people, cyclists and pedestrians, are brought to the edge of a busy road and given no help to cross by TfL: why not?
What do you think? E-mail email@example.com Remember TfL have been invited to the next meeting of the Cycling Liaison Group on 11th July.
And thanks to Caroline Pidgeon, Chair of the Transport Committee at the Greater London Assembly, for her continuing support, including repeatedly asking the Mayor of London when and what TfL is planning at the junction.
UPDATE: Getting TfL to prioritise the safety of pedestrians and cyclists is not just an issue here in Richmond, over in the City of London, Transport for London won’t release information about whether or not it included cyclists or pedestrians in the models for Blackfriars junction.