Heath Road Consultation … Not Exactly Cycling for 8 to 80 …

Heath Road is up for some cycling improvements (see here), but we’re not sure they’re going to make much difference.  Consultation close 5th July – please fill it in to make cycling’s voice loud!

bus stop cycling

You can see from this image:

  • The lane will be just 1.5m wide at some points
  • You’ll have to wait for the bus, or risk going round it
  • It’s not a mandatory lane, so anyone can drive in it and will probably also stop in it
  • There’s no separation from motor traffic

All of these are problems if the council wants more people to cycle, because they mean that this road will continue to look unpleasant for being on a bike, with neither actual nor perceived protection.

We would like to see ‘floating bus stops’ on this stretch.  Check out this elegant solution on Cycle Superhighway 2.

bus bypass

We think the London Cycle Design Standards (see here) need applying on this road, and we’d like the council to think again:  Please take the time to fill in the consultation, if you like you can use our recommended response below.   It doesn’t take many responses to influence things for the better!!

RCC would like for this scheme to go ahead, it is encouraging to see cyclists being considered on main roads.  However prior to implementation there should be a redesign as described below.   The proposal currently falls well short of modern cycle design standards and will do little to improve cycle safety or encourage those currently not confident enough to cycle onto their bicycles:


  • On roads with this volume of traffic and speeds of 30 mph, cycle lanes should be fully segregated.  RCC would like to see this scheme upgraded to semi segregation with Armadillos or traffic wands.  This should be coupled with a medium term vision to create a fully segregated cycle route on Heath Road.
  • Commingling cyclists with heavy vehicles in bus lanes should not be considered acceptable cycling infrastructure.  On this occasion as an intermediate solution it is acceptable to RCC, however to encourage new cyclists and improve the experience of existing cyclists a plan should be created to segregate those on bikes from buses and other traffic at this location
  • The section where cyclists are expected to pass parked cars should include enough space and road markings to ensure that cyclists are not riding in the ‘dooring’ zone.  Ideally the cycle path would run along the near side of the parked cars, the parked vehicles would provide some protection from the moving traffic, again space for opening doors is imperative.  One of the most common bicycle accidents is through being hit by opening car doors.
  • Careful design consideration must be given to cyclists crossing side roads, cyclists should be treated as main road traffic and be given priority over traffic emerging from the side road.  The cycle lanes should be continuous.
  • More thought needs to be given into the siting and design of bus stops.  Cyclists having to move out into traffic to overtake buses is poor design, bus stop bypasses should be included and bus stops should be relocated where there is not space to provide a bypass.
  • Include generous cycling parking at approximate 50 m intervals along the route.

In summary, it is good that cycling is being considered but note that if we as a borough are to get more people cycling for the ‘utility’ and simple journeys that will make a real difference to congestion and well-being routes like this:

  • need to be complete
  • can’t just give up at junctions
  • need to look attractive and safe


Getting serious about cycling.

it’s a real breakthrough to see schemes from Richmond Council which seriously consider cycling: Although only a short distance, this cycle lane on London Road (consultation here) reflects a step change in ambition and thought for transport that it is a real pleasure to see.



in particular, this design includes a cycle lane which has priority over the roads out crosses, meaning that a journey down here should not be the stop-start unpleasantness of the A316 route.

There are a number of problems with the proposal, however …

It’s going to be narrow – at just 2.5m wide for two lanes of cycling, anyone on the outside of this track could find cycling very tricky if there’s someone coming the other way.

If the cycle lane is on the current pavement, then the outside lane is not going to be completely usable. As well as the edge that no-one will want to cycle too close to,there will be a series of dropped kerbs for access, making the ride even less pleasant.

And the ‘treatment’ of the priority on the side roads could be improved. This is how the Dutch do it. (Picture courtesy of the Alternative Department of Transport and Google Maps.)


Getting to the lane if you’re heading from Twickenham outwards will also be less than convenient, because the main junction with Whitton Road includes no changes to make it easy to get across, with no cycle lane at all from the bridge until the proposed cycle lane.

Note also, on the Dutch design above, they’ve managed to sympathetically put in a cycle lane, walking, and driving, with space for all of them – including a lane on each side of the road, which would answer a lot of the issues we’ve identified.

Perhaps worst for this section, Cole Park Road has a different design to all the other junctions, which is going to be confusing and likely to lead to conflict.
londonrd2And even with the existing design, the lane just gives up, with cycling once again coming into direct conflict with walking. Since the council is already on the receiving end of complaints about cycling on pavements, encouraging this more can only seem a retrograde step.

Great Idea But …

This really is a welcome change, and we applaud the council for the implied change in emphasis and thought. However, routes like this:

  • need to be complete
  • can’t just give up at junctions
  • need to look attractive and safe

if we as a borough are to get more people cycling for the ‘utility’ and simple journeys that will make a real difference to congestion and well-being.

We think the council should have a cycle track on each side, give it priority over side roads – and give pedestrians priority at the same places – and continue the route all the way to the cycle lanes into Twickenham. If you agree, respond to their consultation here: https://consultation.richmond.gov.uk/community-engagement/proposed-cycling-improvements-in-london-road 




Vigil and Die-In at Bank of England, Bank Junction, City of London, EC4N 8BH

A cyclist has died in a crash with a tipper truck, making her the eighth cyclist to die on London’s roads this year.

The death of the 26-year-old woman on Monday morning came just three days after a 50-year-old cyclist died following a collision with a car in Harrow. Last year a total of 13 cyclists were killed on London’s roads and 14 died in 2013.

In response to the two fatalities in the past few days, LCC will be organising a flash protest at Bank junction on Wednesday morning between 8.30-8.45am.

There will be two rides into Bank if people want to ride in with others. One starting at Finsbury Circus (meet south side) and the other starting from London Bridge (west pavement, northern side). Meet at these locations at 8am, to leave at 8.15am.

More info here. Keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter for news / updates.


There will also be a vigil at the Bank of England, Bank Junction, City of London, EC4N 8BH on Monday 29th June ( Assembly time to be confirmed but likely to be from 5.30pm or 6pm in the evening)

This is a horrendous junction – 7 major and 2 minor roads merge there, meaning no matter how good the driving or cycling, it is a nightmare – with absolutely no sensible provision for cyclists and even pedestrians poorly looked after.

At least 3 of these roads needs to be closed to through traffic and made over for the huge numbers of pedestrians and cyclists using this junction at rush hour every day.

A staggering 33% of the rush hour traffic is already cyclists at this junction.

The City of London opposes provision of physically protected cycle lanes.

They have spent ZERO on protected cycle lanes over last 5 years.

On a positive the City has adopted a 20 mph – but it is unknown how much enforcement by the City of London Police is taking place.

7 out of the 8 kllings have been by Killer Tipper Trucks.

The Mayor of London should call an emergency Killer Tipper Truck summit to ensure all trucks in London carry the full safety technology and not just the safety mirrors which positively are coming in after our campaign in September.



Rides for Explorers – Off Road in Surrey to Norbury Park – 5th July

Meet Twickenham Riverside 10.15.

Norbury 023

We head South via Kingston and Tolworth before heading away from the traffic along the Hogsmill and then through Horton Country Park and Ashstead Common. Emerging in Leatherhead we pass through the Mole gap before climbing to Norbury Park – Southern England’s best approximation to an alpine meadow. A Track takes us to Brockets Farm for lunch and our return journey features a foot/cycle bridge across the Mole , Oxstead Common and Claygate woods. 37 miles with a serious hill. This has been done on a fixer but not-over-narrow tyres would be comfortable.


Just 2 of us again. Ok there had been a sprinkling of rain but we enjoyed decent weather that became sunny by lunch time. With the dry weather the trails were mud-free is a bit bumpy but we certainly got away from traffic and enjoyed lots of greenery.

Sandycombe Road – safety with paint and a bit of tarmac.

The council is consulting on fixing Sandycombe Road (see here), in an attempt to deal with safety and congestion concerns.

Can this fix Sandycombe Road?  Probably not.

Can this fix Sandycombe Road? Probably not.

Sadly the consultation seems mostly to be about painting, making it easier to drive up and down, and ignoring cycling or walking as options. Sandycombe Road is one of three separate routes that can get you from the A316 to Kew Bridge / the South Circular, but it’s also a way for lots of people to access their homes.

We think Sandycombe would benefit from:

  • Filtered permeability (see here). This would prevent people using the road as a rat run, but would allow buses to carry on using it, and maintain access for residents
  • 20mph. Many people don’t travel down here at much more than 20mph, but there are some who do, and this is one of the areas that made it very clear that it wanted speeds cut. We won’t see more people cycling on this road if speeds aren’t cut, especially as these designs will likely increase speeds
  • Enhanced traffic calming measures. The raised tables are a good start at this, but they are only a start – there are all sorts of other ways engineers have in their arsenal to calm traffic in an area like this

Frankly, it would also benefit from losing its designation as a ‘B’ road – no-one should be lead to Sandycombe Road because they think it’s a key arterial route.

The council designs – which add more pavement parking like this, at the expense of people choosing to walk – is likely to cost a lot of money for no benefit to cycling, and precious little to anyone else, we think.

Finally, did you know there are plans to build a primary school at the top of Sandycombe Road, on the Manor Circus roundabout? If this goes ahead, all bets are likely to be off for safe traffic or pleasant walking in this area. 

So please write to the council using their form (here), the engineer’s email (Lisa Fenn at highwaysandtransport@richmond.gov.uk) or email us your comments and we’ll share them.

Please tell the council:

  1. Traffic volumes need to fall on Sandycombe Road
  2. Speeds need to fall on the road
  3. Through / non-local traffic should be discouraged
  4. More focus needs to be given in the designs to walking and cycling

And let us know your comments, below!


Come for a ride, Mr. Wells

Hello Jason,

We’d like to invite you to come out on a ride with Richmond Cycling. A few years ago, local paper the Richmond Magazine had a very unfortunate editorial. We invited the editor to come for a ride with us to understand cycling in the borough a bit better, and now we’d like to extend the same offer to you.

(Courtesy GB Cycling Embassy http://www.cycling-embassy.org.uk/good-cycling-facility-of-the-week)

How we’d like cycling to be (Courtesy GB Cycling Embassy http://www.cycling-embassy.org.uk/good-cycling-facility-of-the-week)

The cycle lane along Priory Lane is a terrible facility, but we understand why many people wouldn’t see that, so we’d welcome the opportunity to show you why we campaign so hard for proper facilities for cycling in the borough.


Richmond Cycling Campaign


More parking, please!

The council is soliciting ideas for more cycle parking, so we and our members are happy to oblige – though when you see pictures like this, it’s not hard to see where might be good locations!

This one is in central Richmond, just outside Whole Foods, and a number of member have complained of it being constantly full. But to add to this, members have suggested:

  • Homebase on Manor Road
  • Pretty much anywhere in Kew village
  • By the shops on Friars Stile Road
  • High Park Road Kew
  • Medical centre in Richmond
  • Richmond Green
  • Richmond Station
  • Kew Station – both sides
  • Mortlake Station
  • Kew Gardens – Victoria Gate and Elizabeth Gate

Feeder Ride to London Freecycle

Official LCC event

Led ride from Richmond upon Thames to FreeCycle 2015

Join a family-friendly ride  to and from the RideLondon FreeCycle 2015, led by experienced ride leaders from London Cycling Campaign’s Richmond Group.

Route: Richmond to Green Park (Constitution Hill)
Start point: The Little Green, Richmond TW9 1QL
End point: Green Park (Constitution Hill)
Start time: 10:15
Distance: 10 miles
Return ride start point: Green Park (Constitution Hill)
Return ride start time: 15:00  / (15.15 at Hyde Park gates. )

This ride is one of 31 led rides organised by LCC to the 2015 FreeCycle, aimed at giving less confident cyclists the opportunity to ride into the FreeCycle event on a pre-planned route.

To see details of all 31 rides and register to join this ride, please see the Guided Rides Schedule on the FreeCycle website at: http://www.prudentialridelondon.co.uk/The_Events/FreeCycle/Rider_Info/Guided_Rides.htm

The RideLondon FreeCycle offers the chance for all the family to enjoy a traffic-free route on closed roads through central London, passing some of the capital’s most iconic landmarks. Everyone is welcome, no matter what their age or ability. Cyclists may cycle at any pace and as many times round the route as they like, stopping along the way to enjoy a range of free bike-based entertainment and activities at Festival Zones.

We had about 100 cyclists riding into London and nearly 50 riding home. Immediate reaction was positive despite the traffic between Chiswick and Kensington, the awkwardness of turning out of Kensington Gardens and a jam on Hammersmith Bridge.

One way streets – an easy way to improve cycling.

In the City of London, virtually every one way street is two-way for cycling.

And we think it should be the same in Richmond. The addition of one-way cycling in Holly Road in Twickenham has demonstrated that we can do this in our borough, so we’ve put together a list of the roads where we think the council can implement this quickly and inexpensively.

You can see the details on this Cyclescape page, assembled by Richmond Cycling members – full of simple suggestions like “Can we cycle both ways round Richmond Green?”

Richmond Green Cyclescape proposalThe streets we’ve identified so far are:

  • Somerton Avenue @ Clifford
  • South Worple Way East End
  • Kingsway
  • Richmond Hill
  • Ormond Road
  • Paradise Road
  • George Street
  • Eton Street
  • Richmond Green
  • Grove Road
  • Park Road
  • Glebe Way
  • 1st Cross Road
  • Kew Station Approach
  • Wiggins Lane Ham
  • The Vineyard
  • Cumberland Road
  • Leybourne Park
  • Priests Bridge

17 June update

We’ve asked the council about these, and also added the following:

  • Clarence Street in Richmond.
  • Portland Terrace (and Richmond Green generally)
  • Quadrant Road / Duke St
  • King Street, Richmond
  • Nightingale Lane, Richmond

If you want to comment, you can do so on the Cyclescape threads, on this post, email us at info@richmondlcc.co.uk, tell us on Facebook, or tweet us @richmondcycling.