Richmond Rides for Everone – Bushy Park and the Thames – Saturday 22nd March

Meet at Teddington Station west side. 10.20 am. We head through Bushy Park to Hampton Court for a glimpse of the first daffodils in the wilderness. After coffee we return via the Thames Path. Exact route dependent on how much rain we have had but will focus on paths and quiet roads. All welcome. Back around 12.

No takers !
Please let me know if you are thinking of coming  so that I can contact you in case of any changes. Thanks Paul rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

2014 Local Elections – LCC Space4Cycling Survey Results

On 22 May 2014 the whole of Greater London will go to the polls to elect our local councillors for the next 4 years. As anyone who has followed the work of RCC over the past 4 years since the last election campaign, you will have see how councillors have a significant influence on the safety and liveability of our borough’s streets and town centres.

London Cycling Campaign has set the 2014 local elections as a campaign priority and plans to ask every candidate in every ward across central, inner and outer London to support pro-cycling policies and measures. We have started to collate what the issues are at a ward level and LCC carried out a survey at the end of last year to identify what people felt was important in the ward they lived and cycled in, based on six policy themes.

Well the preliminary results are in from that survey and there was an overwhelming response rate, with replies from every ward in the borough. Have a look at the chart below for the results:

Across the borough, the same policies were identified as being most important:

  1. Protected space on main roads and major junctions
  2. Safer routes for school children
  3. Liveable town Centres

We’ll report back more on the results and how you can get involved in targeting the candidates for your ward to help you select the person who will do the most for your area. LCC have set up a system that will allow you to email each candidate in your ward.

Many of the wards are determined on just a couple of votes, so it is really important you register to vote (deadline appears to be 14 April as registers updated once a month – you can register here or use Richmond council’s form. Richmond Council allows you to check online if you’re registered) and turn out on the day and share with all your friends and family who live in the borough and want it to be an even nicer and safer place to live and cycle in.

One interesting aside from the survey was the % commuters by bike statistics that LCC included. While it is encouraging to see an increase in commuting by bike between the 2001 and 2011 census periods (and Mortlake and Barnes Common leads the way not with nearly 9% commuting by bike), it is a shame to see that in Heathfield ward, the number cycling to work has fallen and is now the lowest in the borough, although South Richmond isn’t far behind.

Cycling to School – The Numbers

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotoinsight/6268383879/

As we reported previously, our analysis of the borough’s school travel plans showed that while many children would like to come to school by bicycle very few chose to do so with some schools actively discouraging it.

It’s interesting therefore to read these statistics from the DfT Cycling to School Report (PDF) which show just how depressingly low the rates are:

DfT School Cycle Rates 06 - 11: Click to view full report

Contrast this to the rest of the world and you can see we have a long way to go:

Source: http://www.ecf.com/

Why are things so different? Well watch these two videos and see which country you would be more likely to allow your children to cycle to school in and also which country has cycle infrastructure that is appropriate for all levels, not the ‘Dual Provision’ nonsense that we have in the UK (see Motion 5 for LCC’s stance on this).


You can read more about how we’ve failed children in the UK in this excellent blog post. (and before anyone launches into ‘it wouldn’t work here’, do read this first)

RCC Newsletter – 12 January 2014

Once a month, we send out an email update on cycling in the Richmond Borough. If you’d like to sign up for these, contact us here to be first to hear the cycling news that affects you across the borough.

We also post the newsletters here on our website the following week. Read below and enjoy! Previous newsletters can be found here.

Hello!

Welcome to 2014 and as ever, many have been dusting down their bicycles and getting out and about as part of their New Year’s resolutions. Let’s home they stay the course. Monday see our annual meeting – a chance to get involved in this important newsletter year (and maybe even take over crafting this newsletter) We have results from LCC’s survey of cyclists’ priorities for Richmond and the usual round up of rides, workshops and consultations. Here’s to 2014 being a year of change for cycling in the borough where it is taken seriously as more than just a leisure activity but a viable means of getting around and making our borough a nicer place to live in.

Annual Meeting
On Monday 12 January it will be time to elect the new RCC Committee for 2014 and outline our priorities for the year ahead. With the upcoming local elections, 2014 will set the council’s approach to cycling for the next four years, so a real opportunity to make a difference. For an outline of the Committee roles and details of the meeting have a look online – http://is.gd/qxFvFl

You don’t have to be on the committee to make a difference, come along to the meeting and find out how you can get involved, particularly in the upcoming elections, or get in touch on info@richmondlcc.co.uk

Rides
On Saturday 18th January there is a ‘Ride for Everyone’ to Chiswick House following tracks and quiet roads with a coffee stop. Meet Mortlake Station 10.30, back about 12ish – http://is.gd/yAbqhm

We aim to organise a long (30-40 mile) day ride on the 1st Sunday and a short-and-easy (6-10 mile) morning ride on the 3rd Saturday of each month. If you have an idea for a ride or even better would like to lead one please contact Paul on rides@richmondlcc.co.uk.

Maintenance Workshops
The maintenance sessions will start back up in February – have a look on our website calendar to find the latest dates closer to the time – http://is.gd/U06HlX

LCC Election Survey
As we highlighted in last month’s newsletter, LCC carried out a survey at a borough ward level to identify the key local issues for the 2014 local elections. Well the results are in and there was an overwhelming response from our borough, with someone from each of the 18 wards responding. Right across the borough, the same priorities were chosen (which aligned very closely with the work we’ve been doing this past few years) with ‘Protected space on main roads and major junctions’ coming first, followed by ‘Safer routes for school children’ and ‘Liveable town centres’ (think Twickenham!).

Continue reading

Richmond wants to fix getting safely to the park …

The council is looking to re-design the roundabout which leads on to the Richmond gate entrance to Richmond Park (streetmap view here), and RCC committee members are hoping to talk to council officials in the next couple of weeks about this, so we’d like your input!

Richmond Gate (from Google Streetview)

The roundabout has seen a number of incidents in the last few years (LBRuT have reported 10 collisions in the proximity of the gate with 8 of them involving cyclists – you can use  http://www.cyclestreets.net/collisions/ to see some of them), and they’re considering a number of options.

Our view is that this is a typically poor bit of infrastructure for cycling: there’s no way to access the park or leave the park on a bicycle without potential conflict with traffic that can be sometimes very heavy or very fast-moving,

If Richmond Park is to be a destination for everyone who wants to cycle, then it’s great news the council is looking to improve this crucial junction. Our hope is that changes made here can set a template for making our borough much friendlier for people seeking to access key facilities by foot and bicycle.  Options under investigation include moving the traffic island, and resurfacing, among others. What would you like to see happen here? Let us know via our email campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk or contact form.

Richmond Rides for Everone – Bushy Park and the Thames – Saturday 15th February

SORRY – RIDE POSTPONED

With heavy rain predicted into tonight and areas on flood alert this is looking like extreme sport rather than a ride for everyone.

 

Meet at Teddington Station west side. 10.20 am. We head through Bushy Park to Hampton Court for a glimpse of the first daffodils in the wilderness. After coffee we return via the Thames Path. Exact route dependent on how much rain we have had but will focus on paths and quiet roads. All welcome. Back around 12.

Hamton Court will witness both the Olympic Road Race and the Time Trial

Rides for Explorers – 2nd February – Kenwood House

Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath was bequeathed to the nation for free public access to an outstanding art collection. It has just re-opened after restoration.

Meet on Richmond Little Green (by the theatre) 10.00. I am working on a route via Holland Park and taking in Regents Park and Hyde Park on the return. Lunch at a cafe at Kenwood. About 37 miles.

Route here

Just the two of us did this ride despite the sunny weather. It gave us a chance to see other parts of London and enjoy a really excellent art collection (Scores of Gainsborough’s ) The promising looking cycle lane in Ladbrooke Grove turned out to be right up against parked cars and a signed cycle route in Hampstead was short of signing and involved some very muddy tracks. A bi-directional cycle track alongside the Heath suddenly stopped whilst the cycleable tracks over the Heath were too busy with pedestrians for comfort. So the grass isn’t much greener even in Highgate. Note to English Heritage about the lack of cycle parking has been sent

The A316 – a correspondent writes …

A local member wrote to us recently, to ask about what’s happening with the A316. The short answer is nothing, although it now features heavily in the mini-Holland bid. Here’s what she said:

Wonder if you can help me? I am a cyclist using 316 to commute to and from work.Most of the times I use cycling lines but I find it very difficult to do that  just after Richmond roundabout when the cycling line moves to the right side of the road, when cycling towards central London. The stretch between the two roundabouts has 10 junctions with extremely poor visibility for cyclists and drivers. I had had 3 accidents there in the past year and have witnessed at least 10 accidents. Since I cycle on the pavement on the left knowing that I commit an offence. What I find very frustrating is the fact that that in the widest and most cycle friendly part of that pavement where hardly ever there are as many pedestrians as on the other side of the road,  the cycling is prohibited but in the narrower bit where there are shops and junctions the cyclist can share the pavement with pedestrians. Have you ever made any attempts to increase the cycling lane on both sides of 316 post Richmond roundabout? Can you also advise me who should I contact to express my views. Also do you know when we will know if the Mini-Holland bid was successful?

We’re aware of a number of issues with the A316, and we’ve endeavoured to highlight some of them on Cyclescape – see http://richmondlcc.cyclescape.org/tags/a316. Sadly, there’s nothing happening right now: it’s a feature which is very frustrating, because while it’s great to have a clearly built, off-road cycle lane along such a busy road, it’s rendered very annoying because of the choice to require cycling to give way to cars at every junction. As our correspondent writes, this makes it both feel unsafe, and be unsafe.

The stretch identified is especially problematic for cycling. We hear regularly of Police Liaison Groups fielding complaints about cycling on the north side of the A316 between Richmond Circus and Manor Circus. And yes, cycling along here is not allowed. Yet people continue to do so. And why? Because this is not an easy road to cross, with just two controlled crossings throughout this entire section, and traffic routinely passing through at more than the 30mph limit. In terms of relative risk and actual danger, a check of the road statistics for this section indicate pretty clearly from whom pedestrians are at risk along these roads, and it isn’t someone on a bicycle.

More and more people are using this facility, so it’s to be hoped that something’s going to happen soon – if we win the mini-Holland bid (http://www.richmond.gov.uk/mini_holland_bid), then the A316 is going to get a very substantial upgrade that could address almost all of these concerns.

Rides for Everyone : 18thJanuary : Chiswick House and the Thames.

Meet at Mortlake Green by the station 10.30. We make use of the off road track over Chiswick Bridge and cycle along the riverside before cutting through to Chiswick House Gardens for coffee. We then follow quiet roads to Kew Bridge from where the towpath takes us back to Mortlake. An easy 6 miles for a winter day.

Just 2 of us this year. Dampish under-wheel but some brightness so an enjoyable ride. The chicanes on the towpath seem to contribute to the formation of puddles as turning cyclists wear away the surface.