The comedians are back in work at Richmond

Traffic incidents are rising significantly in Richmond, so the proposed ‘crime priorities’ include ‘cycling on pavements and through red lights’. (In the latest consultation.)

So the borough’s proposed priorities – when three people died on our roads in the last 9 months, 43 have been seriously injured, and 424 slightly injured – is to do nothing additional whatsoever to tackle these numbers.

Although, to be fair to the comedian – sorry “Safety Data Analyst” – who prepared this material, he did list anti-social behaviour as a top priority, and lumped cycling on pavements with motor vehicle crime and theft.  You might consider that being alive and having all your limbs in the right place, and not being maimed in some random road traffic incident, might be a top priority for most people. Yet that doesn’t seem to feature too highly in the consultation.

Asking the community

This is meant to be an opportunity to ask the community what its priorities are. Given that we receive a number of reports from Police Liaison Group meetings that speeding and road safety are key priorities for people, it is somewhat baffling as to why these don’t get a mention.

Of course, cycling comes up in Police Liaison Groups (PLGs) a lot, too, which is why they manage to mention cycling on pavements in every single document they produce (include the video). Since guidance on this from the Home Office is very clear (see this article), we will also be asking why this information does not filter down to the PLG meetings.

Data-Led Policing

There’s lots of data in the two documents supplied as part of the consultation (Word doc, PPT summary). For example:

  • speeding incidents have risen from 1,539 to 2,152
  • April-December 2014 saw 130 incidents involving cyclists (up 27%)
  • Annual target for collisions is 421. In 9 months we’ve made it to 469 incidents
  • No-one appears to be recording incidents involving pedestrians

We’re preparing a response this week, but we strongly urge you to tell the Community Safety Partnership (use this link) that safety on our roads – for everyone – really needs to be a priority.

Marksbury Avenue / A316 Consultation.

 

Richmond Cycling Campaign welcomes the removal of the pointless ‘Cyclists Dismount’ signs at the Marksbury Avenue crossing of the A316, but we’d really like to see some other changes in the current TfL Consultation

Planned changes at Marksbury Avenue / A316 junction.

Planned changes at Marksbury Avenue / A316 junction..

The crossing is nicer

The new design improves the crossing, but we think it could be better: why not allow pedestrians to cross the whole road at once, rather than have to wait for up to several minutes to make two separate crossings?

Removal of the guardrails could accompany this change: if we are worried about pedestrian safety on this road, the best way to fix it is with much more rigorous enforcement of the speed limits.

How does It Join Up?

On the south side of this junction is a cycle lane which should be connected to the crossing. Instead of the minor changes in paving, the opportunity should be taken to repeat the design of Elsinore Way. This would mean that the cycle lane would have priority at this minor road, and would become a more attractive, useful place to cycle.

Elsinore Way will get priority for cycling.

Elsinore Way will get priority for cycling.

More Joining Up

Just south of here is Somerton Road, and a network of quieter residential roads. These could all be part of a wider upgrading of routes to allow cycling both ways on the one way street.

Signing It

Despite the welcome removal of the ‘Cyclists Dismount’ signs, the only other sign changes are more ‘no cycling’ signs at precisely the place where most people will prefer to cycle. No opportunity has been take to improve the signing to key local destinations or other cycle routes. (Such as North Sheen station, Kew Gardens station, and into Richmond.)

It is Richmond Cycling’s strong proposal that this should be a straight through crossing for pedestrians with a single light phase, and that serious consideration is offered to the improvement of the connected cycling facilities.

Please respond to the consultation via their email consultations@tfl.gov.uk or using the form on their consultations page

Russell School Consultation

Richmond Council is planning to rebuild and expand the Russell and Strathmore Schools in Petersham, but has no clear plans about the impact on traffic in the surrounding area.

Have you say! Make an objection here. Although the deadline of Wednesday 18th February has passed, it is believed that they submissions will be accepted until March.

Here are some ideas on what you might say to the Council.

Richmond Cycling welcomes the re-building and improving of the school facilities, in order to ensure that it is fit for the 21st Century, and the changing needs faced by schools and their children. But we want to make sure the Council does it right, and considers the surrounding infrastructure.

Richmond Cycling’s view is that:

1. Any re-development needs to include proper, complete provision for active travel. It should be a requirement that it is safe and pleasant to access the school by foot, scooter and bicycle, as the primary modes of transport.

2. The potential expansion of the school needs to take into account the local community: if the area already faces significant traffic issues with the present volume of pupils, this will only get worse with more pupils.

Active travel can significantly reduce the impact of traffic on the local area, by cutting congestion and noise pollution, and making it a safer place through lower traffic volumes.

 

Rides for Explorers – The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

12th April ; meeting Richmond Little Green 10.15.

Some years ago we went to watch the construction. The site has been landscaped and there is a good cafe

Olympic PoolOlympic Velodrome

 

 

 

 

 

 

We ride up through Central London -  quite fun with low Sunday traffic -  and plug into CS2 but turn off before the Bow Roundabout via Victoria Park to the Olympic Park. After lunch and a tour of the traffic-free park we return over the Green Bridge and SC3. About 37 miles.

Route

Twelve of us turned up at Richmond Green thanks to Skyride publicity. As we had a number of out of borough people we threw in the view from Richmond Hill in the sunshine before heading East. Road closures diverted more traffic our way and the strengthening headwind added resistance training to the way home but a good time was had.

Rides for Explorers – Windsor Great Park

Meet Twickenham Riverside , by Eel Pie Bridge , 10.30. 3rd May

We cut across to Hampton then roughly follow the Thames upstream using NCR4 from Chertsey to Staines. A steep climb to Englefield Green is rewarded by lunch at the Sun Inn then we enjoy the practically traffic free Windsor Great Park and track into Windsor. We than return more directly to Twickenham with more mixed surroundings but finishing with our local Crane Park trail.  38 miles with one big hill.

Please let me know if you are thinking of coming, Paul : rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

Route

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RIdes for Everyone – Crane River to Marble Hill

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MarbleHill

 

 

 

 

Saturday 18th April : Meet Strawberry Hill Station 10.15

We head across to the Crane River which we follow on a shared use path upstream through woodland as far as the Hounslow Boundary then back down again on the other bank. Continuing downriver we have a coffee break in Kneller Gardens then thread the backstreets of Twickenham to pass Turner’s House  to reach Marble Hill and the Thames. We go upstream along Twickenham Riverside to pass Strawberry Hill house on the way back to the station.  8.5 miles, fairly flat and mostly traffic free. Scenic and historic too.

Route

Six of us enjoyed good sunny if a chilly breeze conditions on this ride.

 

Rides for Everyone – Coffee at the Palace -Saturday 21st March

Meet Mortlake Green by the Station 10.15

We cycle by the Thames all the way down to Putney Bridge which we cross to Bishop’s Park and a break at the cafe in Fulham Palace. Return via the Wetland Centre and a glimpse at the “Arab tent” tomb of the explorer Richard Burton. 8 miles and flat so definitely a ride for everyone. – back about 12.

Route

Putting our routes onto Skyride does seem to attract more interest. We had 8 riders of a wide range of ages despite a chilly wind. The Drawing Room Cafe at the Palace provided welcome refreshment and we emerged into (short lived) sunshine.

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Route: Richmond Park Gate to Richmond Bridge

A perennial complaint has been about cyclists using the footway to descend Richmond Hill against the one-way system. We have argued that the legitimate route which has the benefit of filtered permeability P1010453a

has lost many of its signposts so cyclists are using the obvious route for fear of getting lost. Many of the signs have now been restored (Thank you Richmond Council)

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However, in the process, the Castle Yard cut through has been deleted so that cyclists are sent right down to congested Paradise Rd which we are not happy about. The RCC rides rep had a meeting with a council engineer discussing where signing is still not clear and we came up with a route using a contra-flow in Ormond Rd. To avoid head-to-head confrontations the engineer suggested that the carriageway should be raised level with the footway allowing cyclists to move to the side should they meet a (rare) vehicle coming the other way. NIce to get imaginative ideas from the other side – we are so used to “can’t do that”.

Can Zac help fix Richmond Park?

Dear Mr. Goldsmith,

(Image by “The Cycling Dutchman”) http://thecyclingdutchman.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/london-by-bike-in-three-days-east-west.html

Thank you for organising the meeting about Richmond Park, before Christmas. Richmond Cycling Campaign is really keen to help make the park a great place for everyone, so we’d like to share some thoughts and feedback.

The park is for everyone

This was a big theme at the meeting, although there seemed to be some element of consensus that Richmond Park is not merely a through-route for people moving around different parts of the borough. But we’d like to emphasise something else, here. Perhaps because the most visible cycling in the park is club or competitive or sport cycling, little thought was given to other forms of cycling. Whenever you talk to the Royal Parks, or indeed your working group, we’d like to remind you that not only is there an off-road trail which is consistent source of conflict, but that the park also needs to be accessible to everyone on a bike. This means that children need to be able to ride round, as does anyone else who is powering themselves – handcycles, trikes, people with shopping, etc.

Codes of conduct

Much was made by some panelists about having a code of conduct for park users, and indeed there’s one that was circulated at the meeting. Aside from the basic point that there’s already a perfectly usable set of legislation to govern use of the park, we would be concerned about issuing a code of conduct unless strenuous efforts were made to ensure that it is circulated to all users in the park, and not just those on cycles.

Some Data would be good

As Andrew Gilligan and a number of people observed, the whole conversation needs some actual data. The only data we’ve seen – the STATS19 data, and the Friends’ traffic survey – show that cycling is the most vulnerable thing to do in the park, yet can also provide a very significant majority of traffic at some points during the week. Unfortunately, as Gilligan also noted, cycling attracts a large volume of complaints despite causing virtually no danger to cars, and significantly less danger to pedestrians. We aren’t arguing for cycling to be treated differently, but just to be treated fairly.

Let’s try some things

In the last few years, New York has been very successful with ‘trying things out’ – using low cost trials which can be easily reversed. Recently, the borough of Camden has done the same. The outcome of these experiments is that for small investments, it is possible to get a good idea of what possible solutions might actually work. We think the same could be done in Richmond Park – your advisory panel could consider simple, limited ideas which run for a short period, in order to establish what longer term solutions could be good for the park.

Finally, cycling needs to be safe, and feel safe

Our biggest message though, is that thousands of people in the borough don’t cycle or cycle rarely, because they don’t think it’s safe to do so. And the Space for Cycling guidelines – which echo best Dutch practice – make it very clear that Richmond Park’s roads are simply not of a sufficient standard to make getting on a bicycle of any type an attractive option for many of the people who should – by rights – see the park as a great place to visit by bike, or to use as a safe way to get from Richmond to Kingston, Roehampton, etc. So if you believe that cycling is a good thing which benefits not just those who cycle but society generally – as we do – then you’ll support the Royal Parks in trying to make Richmond Park a place for everyone.

We welcome the opportunity to engage with your working group on the Park.

 

Yours sincerely,

Richmond Cycling Campaign.