Sign For Cycling

Our new campaign or the 2016 Mayoral elections.  Details below:

On 5 May 2016 Londoners will vote for their next mayor. We want to build on the success of Love London Go Dutch and Space for Cycling to ensure that London’s next Mayor commits to, and delivers, key improvements that will continue to accelerate the growth in cycling and reduce road danger for vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists.

There is a huge risk that London’s next Mayor will not commit to making our streets safe and inviting for cycling. There is a risk that the political momentum from the current Mayor, which has given us the Cycle Superhighways and mini Holland programmes, will come to a halt. So, we are preparing the ground for our biggest campaign yet! London has a crucial window of opportunity to ensure that London’s next Mayor is as committed to making our streets safe and inviting for cycling. Will you join us?

We will be launching our ‘Sign for Cycling’ Mayoral campaign early in 2016. Please keep an eye on our website for details or sign up to our Newsletter to make sure you’re the first to know when we launch!

What will we be calling for?

We will call on all mayoral candidates to commit to creating space for cycling across London so people of all ages and abilities can choose to cycle for their journeys, through:

  • More protected space for cycling on main roads and at junctions
  • Mini Hollands: a Dutch style town centre in every borough
  • An end to lorry danger

Who is standing for election?

The mayoral candidate for each party have been selected:

  • Conservative Party – Zac Goldsmith
  • Green Party – Sian Berry
  • Labour Party – Sadiq Khan
  • Liberal Democrats – Caroline Pidgeon
  • UKIP – Peter Whittle
  • Independent – Paul Tavares
  • Independent – Siobhan Benita
  • Independent – Rosalind Readhead
  • Independent – Yanek Zylinski
  • National Liberal Party – Upkar Singh Rai
  • Respect – George Galloway
  • Something New – Lindsey Garrett
  • Women’s Equality Party – Sophie Walker

Find out more about the candidates and what they have to say about cycling.

Get involved!

We’re looking for teams of volunteers to help us make sure our campaign is as successful as possible. There’s plenty of ways to get involved depending on what sort of time you have. Find out more

Email: getinvolved@lcc.org.uk  

Who would like secure bicycle parking?

Thanks to one of our members working closely with the council’s cycling officer Richmond should be getting its first cycle hangar.

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The Bikehangar is an award-winning popular design for outdoor sites offering a safe and effective way to protect bikes from tough weather conditions and theft where outdoor storage space is limited.  They are multiplying quickly in London’s cycle friendly boroughs. The Bikehangar can securely store up to six bicycles, occupying only half of a parking space.

The Lambeth BikehangarIf you want one on your street register your interest with cyclehoop, let us know and write to the council’s bike officer. Carole.Crankshaw@richmond.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Rides for Everyone – spring along the Crane – Saturday 19th March

Meet Strawberry Hill station 10.30. We get  to the Crane via Mill Rd  and head upstream to the borough boundary. Crossing the river we travel down Hounslow’s new path on the south bank of the Crane to Kneller Gardens and Twickenham where we cut through back streets back to Strawberry Hill.

crane ride 002a

If weather is good we will have coffee in Kneller Gardens , if less good we will try the Airparks Leisure centre.

Fairly flat, short, low traffic ride. All welcome especially beginning cyclists.

In the event no beginning cyclists were evident but Sonia and I had a pleasant ride enjoying the last of the daffodils  and first of the bluebells.

Route

Contact Paul : rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

Cycling Liaison Group – Time to Get Back to Basics?

The Cycling Liaison Group meets on 26th January at 7pm (details here). 

Delivering cycling on our borough really needs the council to work hard at it, so please come along if you can!

It’s been quite a while since we praised the tone of the new team, but also quite a while since very much happened. So this meeting we’ve got a bit of a shopping list of questions, and requests for information. 

Cycling Strategy

This one’s been brewing for over six months. Other boroughs have produced excellent strategies which reflect the importance and utility of good cycling to a borough [Sutton? Others] And a recent consultation on borough policies suggest that the new cycling strategy is going to include a proposed route network. 

Now having a strategy is really important, and we’d really like to see one that has some real meat. But we shouldn’t be waiting for it before we get on with things. 

Twickenham Riverside

The new plans for the Riverside don’t appear to have been very well received, based on some of the comments we saw. And it is rubbish for cycling. It really isn’t clear why the council is still putting together proposals that spend more time and space talking about parking cars than anything to do with cycling. 

We’ll be asking why this is the case: if the council honestly thinks that active travel should be a priority, then it needs to plan for this in the beginning of all these consultations, and not leave it as an afterthought. 

Parking

There’s already ample evidence that the borough lacks sufficient cycle parking. From Kew Gardens to Richmond Park, from Richmond town centre to Twickenham and Whitton, there aren’t enough spaces to park bikes. Even if you do decide to go by bike, your chances of finding somewhere safe and unobstructed to park can be terrible.

We’ll be asking why parking is not just an ongoing activity – it’s not like it’s that hard to identify where it’s needed. After all, we’ve given the council enough suggestions in the past. 

(And we’ll also be asking why bike parking isn’t in every new plan that comes out of the council, and always gets offered “will be included in detailed planning”.)

Money

We know the council doesn’t like spending its own money on cycling – it has to ask TfL for this (through thing like the LIP programme). Instead, councillors keep trying to voncince us that money spent on roads maintenance has a substantial benefit for cycling.

While this is true – because no-one likes cycling through potholes – we should be very clear that not a single road in Richmond has been resurfaced or repaired just to make cycling nicer.

Trials

We keep asking the council if they’re going to try any trials. Other boroughs have demonstrated clearly – as at Tavistock Place [others] that for a small amount of money it’s possible to trial new ideas, to establish whether they’re going to be beneficial for the borough. Indeed, two years ago, Richmond was lined up to try an ‘all ways green’ junction. Which still hasn’t happened. 

What’s Going On?

Every time the council touches a road or a pavement, that’s a chance to do something to make the borough a better place to be on a bike. Whether it’s fixing a dropped kerb, improving an advanced stop line, or making a corner more forgiving. Yet we’re passing up these opportunities again and again. 

Quiet Routes

This isn’t one we asked about directly, but now features in their agenda. We suggested some detailed material for this a while ago, so we’ll be interested to see what the council has managed to put together.

And just for fun, we’ve asked the council if they can tell us what they think they’ve done for cycling in the last five years. Because we don’t think it’s very much … a few cycle stands, some new cans of Dulux on re-surfaced roads … 

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.

Rides for Explorers – 10th January – Box Hill

Meet Twickenham Riverside – by Eel Pie bridge 10.00.

Our traditional post-turkey jaunt. On/off road quiet route to Box Hill then a steady climb to the viewpoint and lunch in NT Cafe at the top (as the pub we used to patronise is now a trendy wine-bar). Enjoy  a switchback descent taking us most of the way home. About 40 miles in total. Better bring lights but expect to get back before 4.

Route

Looks OK for Sunday but there has been so much rain recently that the commons will be very muddy. May have to grit teeth and go out by Hook Rd (back by normal route).

IMG_20160110_122433040Both the people who said they were coming cancelled and no-one turned up on spec but as it was a decent day I did the ride anyway.

Hook Rd isn’t too bad , on a Sunday morning anyway, and I got to the top of Box Hill by 11.30. The usual bicycle crush. On the way back checked the refreshment van on Headley Common ( second instalment of lunch ) – will be operating every Sunday so may be a useful lunch stop. Back in the Borough by 1.30.

Paul – rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

 

Hampton Hill Proposal – a local writes …

Local Jo Stead, who works in public health and active travel, wrote this excellent response to the council’s Hampton Hill proposal:

I would to take the opportunity to respond to the draft plans for the Hampton Hill uplift

As you will be aware the greatest issue that the High Street faces is the poor behaviour of individuals who choose to drive and park with little consideration for those who are walking and cycling. This is particularly terrifying for those of us with young families trying to bring them up to be active and environmentally responsible.

I was disappointed to see the on-pavement parking in the plan – failing to leave room for door opening risking the life of people riding past on their bikes. Having this parking is going to lead to ongoing poor behaviour of people queuing to use this parking and driving erratically and dangerously to get a space, rather than encouraging people to use the mainly empty car park behind Tesco. I also couldn’t see anything about bringing in parking charges for on street parking or the car park by Bushy Park.

I was extremely disappointed to see that the very narrow pavement outside the row of shops (by Snellers) is not being widened – currently it is not possible for someone with a buggy or young child on a scooter/ bike to safely pass another person as the lanes are so narrow,with wing mirrors over hanging the pavement. I can’t understand why you haven’t proposed a single carriage way with a bike lane and wider pavement. By having the traffic lights phased for individual streams of traffic (4-way) would stop any issues with people turning right and would likely make the traffic flow through faster. In addition to vastly increasing the quality of life for those of us trying to encourage our families to travel actively.

You will also continue to perpetuate the issues with the right turn onto park road where cars/delivery trucks park on the yellow lines back to the lights so buses etc can’t get through – if you also made that section of park road where there is on road parking single carriage way (with the traffic light phased as a 4way) then buses and the many HGVs could get through without backing traffic up the High Street.

I would like to bring my daughter up in a community where I am happy with her cycling/walking/scooting to school, the shops and around the community, which I am not at the moment. When I talk to other families that is what they would like to. They drive because it is easy, convenient and because they are afraid to let their families cycle etc. It is so disappointing that the council isn’t proactivelylooking to change this behaviour by making it easier and safer for families to travel actively.

Studies show that changing design to change transport modes towards cycling and walking increases local retail custom rather than decreasing it. In additional to the overwhelming evidence that it is being better for community cohesion and health.

Also you don’t appear to have considered the impact on local roads – Burtons, Park, Windmill and others all need to be 20mph, have better crossings (Park in particular) and have residential parking to prevent people parking on road ends and making it more dangerous for people walking cycling.

Working in public health nationally this short sightedness makes me so cross. It’s contrary to all the evidence of what needs to happen.

I hope very much that you will take these issues on pavement width and the need for making it safer for cycling on the road (currently teenagers are cycling on the pavement even the very narrow ones to and from school to avoid the roads.)

I look forward to seeing updated plans and your response. I hope that the council is able to maximise this opportunity for our families’ future.

Our stance on Richmond Park

We had a lively meeting in November to discuss where RCC stand on Richmond Park.  This is the output which represents RCC’s desires for the Park.  RCC will campaign for this since we believe it will improve the park for all vulnerable users.

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  • Recognise park users should have priority as follows.  Pedestrians, horse riders, cyclists, motor vehicles.
  • Encourage all to respect wildlife.
  • Promote responsible cycling, whether as a mode of transport or for leisure.
  • Campaign for the reduction of through motor traffic with the aim of creating safer and more comfortable conditions for pedestrians and bicycles.
  • Recognise that there is adequate space for cycling with current park infrastructure if it were shared more equitably.  (reduce through motor traffic)
  • Campaign for pedestrian and cyclist priority at all points where the Tamsin trail crosses roads.
  • Campaign for more dedicated space for cycling across borough roads, recognising that this will reduce pressure on the Park’s resources.