Cycle Hub at Teddington Station

cyclehub….was opened by the Deputy Mayor who arrived by bike (although it later transpired that it had been borrowed from her son. )  She talked about encouraging commuters to leave their cars at home ..but the remark about this leaving space for parents returning from driving their children to school suggests that the message has not fully got through. The Network Rail person’s emphasis on planning for future increase in demand was more welcome.

We get : lots of decent cycle parking – and there is space between the double decker racks to pull down the upper and load your bike from the end-  , a pump which doubles as a maintenance stand and a chained set of tools all overlooked by a security camera with info on trains and weather on a monitor.

Now all we need is good routes to cycle to the station !

Quiet Way 1 – Your Chance to See the Detail – NEW DATE

** UPDATE ** There will be another opportunity to see plans and discuss them with officers in Teddington on 26th November at Teddington Baptist Church. Details are here. 

The council is consulting on a substantial new cycling route through the borough, provisionally called ‘Quiet Way 1’.

Riding on the Tamsin Trail.

Riding on the Tamsin Trail.

The consultation is online here. You can read our earlier discussion here.

There’s now a new opportunity to review these plans on Monday. The borough cycling officer is hoping to bring the plans to our monthly meeting at the Old Ship (details here)

Although we think there are things missing in the quiet way plan, we’d really like to see a major project like this, and we need your support and views. We’ll have a response out soon, but if you want to know more, please come along on Monday evening.

Richmond Cycling Monthly Meeting – November 14th

The next monthly meeting is on November 14th, upstairs at the Old Ship at 8pm.  Here is the Agenda

2013.08.09-LB-Hackney-Mowll-St-1-6-Cleveland-House

 

Quiet ways talk with Carole Crankshaw – Richmond’s Cycling Officer

  • We’ll be looking at the proposed quiet way 1 route – consultation is here and our earlier response is here.

Approach to take with the published Cycling Strategy

  • The council’s Cycling Strategy is in consultation. The documents are all here.

Teddington Cycle Hub – can someone represent? 15th November

  • The official opening of Teddington’s new cycle hub is on 15th November, and we’ll agree who will represent us there

Police Transport User Group – 8th December

  • The borough police hold their Transport User Group on 8th December. We’ll be asking them, among other things to act on bad driving.

DHP update

  • An update on where we think things are at the moment on the Royal Park’s closure of Duke’s Head Passage to cycling.
20 mph in Nelson Road – response needed
Fontainebleau ride
  • We’d like to support the ‘Richmond in Europe’ group as they run the twinning week to celebrate, in September 2017, the anniversary of the twinning with Fontainebleau.

Time for Richmond Police to do their bit

It’s good enough for the West Midlands, and it’s good enough for us.

The close pass experienced by the daughter of our borough coordinator.

The close pass experienced by the daughter of our borough coordinator. You can see the full video here.

Richmond Cycling Campaign is calling on local police to follow the example of West Midlands Police, and now Camden Police, and begin actively targeting bad and dangerous driving in the borough.

One WM officer described it like this:

“As a police force we must do our upmost to protect vulnerable road users and show that anyone who puts them in danger through poor driving will be dealt with.

“Cyclists may suddenly need to avoid uneven road surfaces or obstacles like drain covers so it’s important to afford them plenty of room when overtaking.

“We know through our work with the Birmingham Cycle forum that close passing is the single biggest deterrent stopping more people from taking to their bikes.

“Some drivers get tunnel vision; they’re only focus is on getting from A to B as quickly as possible. They don’t pay any attention to vulnerable road users and we’ve attended some horrific scenes where cyclists have been wiped out by drivers who’ve not even seen them.

“Drivers need to consider that a cyclist they are overtaking could be a police officer − and if they don’t pass them safely they could be prosecuted.”

Cycling in Richmond, we receive regular complaints and warnings about some areas, about people being intimidated by close passes and other poor driver behaviour, and we’d like local police to move on from enforcing of Advanced Stop Lines to assertively managing this type of intimidation and illegality.

Tim Lennon, borough coordinator for Richmond Cycling, said this:

People are just asking to be able to cycle around safely. And until things like this are dealt with, our roads will remain unsafe, and the majority of borough residents will carry on choosing to drive, rather than feeling cycling is a safe option.

Rides coordinator Paul Luton, who has led rides throughout the borough for over a decade, said:

Too many routes are unavailable to us because of this type of behaviour. We have all ages and abilities on our rides, and it’s desperately disheartening when new cyclists are terrified to get back on their bikes because of the behaviour of a selfish and dangerous minority.

Justine Langford, who lives in Ham, said

25 years cycling on London’s roads has not diminished my fear of close passing motorists. I completely understand why it would discourage new cyclists including parents who would like to swap the car for bikes on the school run but don’t feel it is safe.  I would really welcome the police asserting what is unacceptable and dangerous driving around cyclists by targeting this behaviour.

Katherine Bousfield, also from Ham, said

I have had so many experiences on my bike like the one in the clip. I think that problematic road design, lack of 20 mph zones and lack of clear training about overtaking bicycles as part of the UK driving test all contribute to this problem. Sometimes I have caught up with drivers at the traffic lights and politely let them know that they overtook far too close and they have been genuinely surprised.

Eliza Shaw, a Richmond resident, said

This is a cycling issue but it is also a human issue. It’s a shame that one of London’s leafiest boroughs cannot be enjoyed to its fullest by those on foot or bicycle because of reckless driving. More needs to be done to protect vulnerable road users and the police must play a role in this.”

You can read the West Midland Police traffic blog here: https://trafficwmp.wordpress.com/category/traffic-blog/

And you can read about Camden doing this, here: http://londonroadsafetycouncil.org.uk/camden-police-go-undercover-to-catch-close-passing-motorists/

And Cambridge police considering it: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/watch-terrifying-footage-cars-passing-12114509

Duke’s Head Passage – “We’ve made the right decision”

Richmond Cycling Campaign attended the Royal Parks’ Walking and Cycling Consultative Group on Wednesday, and got the bad news on Bushy Park’s Duke’s Head Passage.

We’r waiting for the official record of the meeting, but the rough summary on cycling in the Duke’s Head Passage is:

  • It’s too narrow for cycling
  • The right decision was taken to ban cycling – people only have to walk 450m with their bike
  • There are other routes into the park
  • ‘This is an area of conflict, not an accident area’

The next steps seem to be being driven by the borough cycling officer, who is trying to get a proper study done to assess what would make the path Ok for cycling. We were told that the path would need to be to London Cycling Design Standards (LCDS) for the parks to approve it. Given the constricted nature of the path, though, this seems like a planned excuse for doing nothing.

The point was made by the Royal Parks that it’s actually possible to cycle virtually everywhere in Bushy Park, and we thoroughly encourage people to respect this privilege and to cycle carefully and considerately. However, the enormous utility and safety benefits of using DHP don’t seem to weigh heavily for Parks management, sadly.

Rides for Explorers – Burnham Beeches -Sunday 13th November

P1010957aMoved to the second Sunday because of train issues.

Meet Twickenham Station before 10.05 to catch the 10.15 to Staines.(arr 10.30) We cycle through Staines Moor then via Colnbrook , through Langley Park and past Black Park to  the woodlands of Burnham Beeches in their autumnal splendour. After lunch in a woodland cafe  we head down to the Jubilee River path which takes us to Datchet and so back to Staines. About 30 miles mostly tarmac with some smooth gravel paths. Quite scenic / hilly.

Route

Just 2 of us met at Twickenham but were joined by another 7 at Staines. A sunny but fresh day showed off the autumn colours. 3 lots of fly-tipping on the bridle-path north from Staines and one burnt-out car made the start a little messy. Lunch was a little slow despite the cafe being less busy than last year and things were still wet after the preceding day’s rain. Good ride back alongside the Jubilee River with continuing sunshine. Back to Staines by 3.

 

Towpaths – Which Would You Improve First?

The council is going to be looking at the borough’s towpaths, and has asked us for input on which ones should be the priority. We’ve listed them all below – which ones would you like to see dealt with first?

The list uses the council’s format – grouping sections. Different sections are in different states, hence some of the grouping.

If you have any comments, or if you want to suggest a priority, please tell us below in the comments or at info@richmondlcc.co.uk

1. Richmond Bridge to Kew Bridge

Ferry Lane to Thistleworth Marine:  This section of the towpath is a combination of broken up asphalt, concrete and gravel. It is uncomfortable to walk let alone to cycle. Total length is 3,000m with an average width of approx. 2.5m
Thistleworth Marine to Richmond Bridge: This section of the towpath is laid in asphalt and/or clearmac. The overall condition is good with no current maintenance issues.

2. Ham (Surrey side) towards Richmond Bridge

Richmond Bridge to south of Richmond canoe club: Asphalt laid towpath. Isolated patches of asphalt are required to eliminate existing potholes and towpath troughs
Buccleuch Gardens (south boundary) to River Lane: Towpath is laid in a mixture of brocken up concrete, asphalt and gravel. Upgrade to a hard surface is most desirable as this section is prone to flooding.

3. Ham vicinity to Teddington Lock

Ham Street (riverside car park) to Teddington Lock: This section of the towpath is a combination of broken up asphalt, concrete and gravel. Towpath upgrade will definitely be beneficial.

4. Teddington Lock to Kingston borough boundary

There is a footpath and a cyclepath that run parallel to each other. The footpath is made of gravel ground and is in good condition. The cyclepath is laid in clearmac and requires isolated patches to eliminate potholes and cracked surface.

5. Kingston Bridge to Hampton Court Bridge

Barge Walk (Horse Fair) to Palace Road: Access road to premises that acts as footpath/cyclepath laid in ashpalt. The current condition is good. Isolated minor patching to potholes.
Barge Walk (Palace Road) to Pavilion Terrace: Cyclepath is laid in gravel and is in very good condition. A few minor scattered potholes but not in need of immediate maintenance.
Barge Walk (Pavilion Terrace) to south boundary of the Great Fountain Garden: Access road to Pavilion Terrace that acts as footpath/cyclepath laid in ashpalt. Requires isolated patches to eliminate potholes and cracked surface.
Barge Walk (south boundary of the Great Fountain Garden) to Hampton Court Bridge: Access road to Pavilion Terace that acts as footpath/cyclepath laid in concrete. Good Condition no action needed.
Barge Walk footpath (south boundary of the Great Fountain Garden) to Stewart Marine Footpath is a mixture of gravel and natural ground. Majority of its length is in good condition however isolated grading re-levelling will be required to eliminate uneven ground conditions.

6. Richmond Bridge to Orlean Gardens 

Richmond Bridge to Denton Road Towpath in asphalt, condition is very good, no need for any improvements
Denton Road to Orleans Road Towpath in asphalt, requires isolated patches to elliminate potholes and cracked surface.

 

Richmond Park Quiet Way Response.

Dear Royal Parks,

Please find below the official response from Richmond Cycling Campaign to the consultation on the Richmond Park quiet way section.

RCC represents over 1,000 local members of London Cycling Campaign, as well as thousands of others who cycle in our borough, and this response has been arrived at in discussion with a number of these stakeholders.

Kind regards,

Borough Coordinator, Richmond Cycling.

RCC recognises that extensive effort has gone into this consultation, and we welcome the clear interest, in Royal Parks staff we have engaged with, in making the parks better for walking and cycling. We also welcome the interest Royal Parks shows in supporting the idea of a proper, attractive quiet way through Richmond Park. However, we have a number of concerns with the proposal as it stands, and these are elaborated below.

Overall Summary:
In general, this proposal seems somewhat nuclear on a number of major issues:

1. There’s already a nice clear tarmac network through the park, but it is not suitable for use for the quietway because of the high volume of motor traffic.

2. This seems to have resulted in proposals which imply that the central section of the proposed quiet way should be accessed via the Tamsin Trail / partly made paths from the gates.

3. These paths are not appropriate for cycling, because of their width, their shared nature, and their surfacing. The introduce conflict with pedestrians and provide uncomfortable riding conditions.

4. The central part of the route is too narrow – not only is the path of variable quality all along the sides, rendering the effective width less, but in this part of the route, it is virtually impossible for any volume of walking and cycling to interact comfortably.

5. The proposed route is already a signed cycle route. None of the changes proposed – using cycling money – are actually going to provide any material improvements to cycling in the park. It might even be argued that they are increasing the chance of conflict with pedestrians.

6. A wide range of parties have made it very clear that the most effective single change in Richmond Park, both for cycling and for the park itself, would be to curtail the volumes of motor traffic. Yet nothing is proposed for this.

7. Richmond Park could immediately be made better for walking and cycling by the limiting of through motor traffic, yet this proposal seems not to mention it. Most of the things discussed here are unlikely ever to be needed, if only we could make cycling attractive on the perfectly appropriate main ring.

Taking the consultation points in order:

Sheen Cross.
If this is a pedestrian and cyclist crossing, it implies that cycling should be using the Tamsin Trail / walkways here to access the park.This should not be the case: there is a perfectly good road, and the Royal Parks should not be proposing a ‘dual provision’ solution.

Ham Cross.
The proposal about surface texture is worrying – we know that poor and jarring surfaces are not pleasant for riders with disabilities, handcycles, etc. There’s no defined reason why this needs to be here. All sightlines are clear and unobstructed, so it isn’t clear how someone could be unaware of potential conflict.

Again, the crossing and design implies that cycling is being asked to use the pedestrian path / shared use path here. This really needs to be made very clear, because it is not a suitable surface for cycling, nor is it suitable for the volume, either. As with other sections like this, the priority should be to calm motor traffic in order to make cycling better.

Ham Gate
Again, this design seems to focus on cyclists using the paths and not the road. The paths are not of a standard – width or surface – to usefully accommodate cycling, meaning that it’s another attempt at dual provision.

If, in fact, the crossing is about making it nicer to walk across this crossing, with the assumption that cyclists will be on the road, then the question becomes: “Why are we spending cycling money on something that isn’t for cycling?” Because if this crossing is a problem, it’s hard to believe that the problem is caused by cycling …”

Middle path
This is altogether too narrow, and is effectively designed conflict with pedestrians because it is so narrow. This route is unlikely to work unless it is widened, how ever much we spend on ‘pedestrian priority’ warnings.

Pen Ponds entrance
This appears to be more money being spent for a problem that hasn’t been shown. This route has hundreds of pedestrian and cycling interactions a day, yet doesn’t seem to be a problem at the moment.

Horseride crossing
If this is pedestrian priority, why is there no signage for horse riding?

Isabella Plantation
Again, it isn’t clear what the problem is here with cycling: it looks like more signage with little value, and little effort to actually make this – as proposed – a proper quiet way.

Signage
It is somewhat perplexing that the pathways under discussion apparently need extensive signage and design in order to ‘educate’ those on bicycles. Yet on the roads through the park, where almost every single KSI incident happens, there is no change at all. The clear implication is that Royal Parks believe park users (and animals) to be more at risk from people on bicycles than people in cars, despite all the countervailing evidence.