While the rest of London is making real efforts to be nicer for cycling, Hampton Court Palace seems to think that cycling is more of a danger to its visitors than driving.
One of our members has asked why it is possible to drive into the palace (to access the car park), and yet if you arrive by bicycle, you’re forced to dismount at the gates. We were very surprised to learn that:
As cars can be heard they are considered less of a risk to the general public than cyclists.
You might be asking ‘It’s not a hardship to push your bike, is it?” and for many people, it’s fine. But if you’re a small child, or if you have any sort of mobility impairment, or if your bike is heavy or unwieldy, then you definitely don’t want to be pushing that bike.
So we also asked why cycling might not be permitted on the paved areas where driving is allowed, they responded:
[that cyclists] could potentially damage the grass and garden areas.
If this were a completely pedestrianised area, with no motor traffic, then we might have some sympathy for the view of Historic Royal Palaces on this one, but they’ve not even put cycle racks anywhere near the entrance, nor made any other particular concessions to encourage people to cycle instead of drive, so we’re asking them to fix this bizarre policy pronouncement.
You can drive a ton of motor car in, but please don’t endanger us with your bicycle.
A big car park … no cycling. Can you see any irony here?
Meet Richmond Little Green by theatre at 10.00am.
We Cross the Thames and pass through the grounds of Sion House before heading up the Grand Union Canal to Norwood Green. A country lane takes us into the wide spaces of Osterley Park where we enjoy coffee in the stables before passing the mansion on the way home. About 10 miles, quiet with some slopes. Should be back around 12 ish.
Six signed up but only two of us met up at Richmond on a cloudy morning. We managed the change of path at Ranelagh Drive and the ride up the canal was pleasant as always – we even got a glimpse of the sun.
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.
No takers – maybe just as well as the towpath would have been muddy after the previous day’s rain. There does seem to be a pattern that easy rides are not attractive ?
Please let me know if you are thinking of coming – all welcome. Paul – email@example.com
Woking Cycle Users Group are petitioning for shared use of the footway on the A245. Normally this is a iffy option but pedestrians along this busy narrow high-speed road are uncommon so this is a useful initiative which we might want to use when venturing south of the Thames.
Support out neighbours : here
Meet Barnes Green by the pond 10.30.
We head over Hammersmith Bridge and make our way to Hyde Park the Mall and probably the Strand to join the updated Cycle Superhighway 2 towards Bow before diverting through Victoria Park to to Olympic Park for lunch – probably in the velodrome.
On the way home we cut across to the improved CSH 3 to Tower Gateway where we get onto the East-West superhighway to Westminster and so back to Barnes.
Just 2 of us met up at Barnes. The Superhigways are now open and reasonably well used on a Sunday – lots of “Boris Bikes”. Pity we don’t get to see one in Richmond. The velodrome cafe does provide sandwiches.
Meet Twickenham riverside 10.15
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.
Six of us met up on a sunny morning. We tried a slightly different route along the Hogsmill (shorter but busier main road section ) and the path into Horton Park was very muddy. The surface improved and the all-weather path across Ashstead Common lived up to its name ( some engineers know what they are about). By public request we stopped for coffee in Leatherhead High Street (pity about the litter of parked cars) which fortified us for the climb to Norbury Park. An efficient lunch service at Brockets farm saw us moving to a table with umbrella to keep off the sun .
After lunch back to mud for a cut-across and then to a delightful footbridge across the Mole , a muddy track into Claygate and a luxury cycle track on the Portsmouth Rd into Kingston. Back in Twickenham at 16.05 after an enjoyable and scenic day mostly well away from traffic.
Meet Twickenham Riverside 10.30. We head up the Crane then some unavoidable suburbia across Shortwood common into Staines. After going through Egham we climb to Englefield Green for lunch at the Sun Inn. We then enjoy the traffic free roads across Windsor Great Park and make our way through Sunningdale and Chobham Common descending to Chertsey to return along the Thames. About 37 hilly but scenic miles.
You can find a route for the ride here – Route
Nine of us turned up on a sunny Twickenham Riverside including one person who had ridden from Slough , a family from New Malden and a rider from Barnes to whom Twickenham Riverside was new. We successfully negotiated the suburbs and the climb up to Englefield Green where we felt we had reached the countryside. The Sun Inn offered a larger menu than last time at the expense of longer waiting times so it was later than we expected that we reached The Great Park – to find the gates closed – a Duathlon was taking place. We tried again at the Saville Gardens entrance where we cycled very slowly on a busy path before diverting back to the usual road. The road down to Blacknest Gate had an impressive display of daffodils under flowering trees.
The road to Sunningdale passed through woodlands with yellow Skunk Cabbages and Chobham Common was bright with Gorse before we headed down through Chertsey to Hampton Court where we split up to our respective homes.
The path from Kneller Gardens to Craneford Way is closed until mid-April due to complications with works by the depot.
Despite the fact that this has been a marked cycle route (access to Crane Park route) for at least 20 years the Parks Dept notice says Footpath Closure.
Improvements are afoot at one of the key gateways into the borough. Please take a moment to respond to tfl’s consultation to show your support. Copy our response below or write your own. In general the proposals look good, but as always there is room to make them better. How it links into our borough has not been fully thought through. CLOSES on 15th March
RICHMOND CYCLING CAMPAIGN
RESPONSE TO THE HAMMERSMITH GYRATORY CONSULTATION
We have read and fully support the erudite comments submitted by John Griffiths on behalf of the Hammersmith & Fulham Cycling Campaign.
In addition, we should like to make the following points :
1 The importance should be recognised of traffic flows over Hammersmith Bridge and the dangers which such flows present to cyclists who, on the south side, can approach the bridge by an officially recommended “Quietway”.
2 Nothing is said about the timing of the implementation of the proposals under consultation, which may be critical in view of the planned closure of Hammersmith Bridge for major repair work later this year, and the resulting changes in traffic flows as drivers are forced to use Putney and Chiswick Bridges instead.
3 While concentration on improving the west to east route for cyclists, along Street and the north side of the gyratory system may have some benefits in terms of cyclists’ speed and safety, if successfully implemented (which is open to some in view of H&F CC’s comments), there are intrinsically greater dangers to cyclists elsewhere in the gyratory system, particularly for those heading south along the eastbound side and then wishing to turn right in order to access Hammersmith Bridge Road. Here they have to thread their way through fastmoving motor traffic both to their right and their left.