Monthly Meeting – Monday 13th

Our monthly meeting is tomorrow – at the Old Ship, in Richmond.

On the agenda there’s quite a bit, including the inaugural Cycling Liaison Group for the new administration.

  1. Minutes of the last meeting
  2. Matters arising from the minutes
  3. Report on council cabinet meeting on 20mph consultations in Kew, Hampton Hill and Whitton
  4. Cycling Liaison Group meeting on 14 October
  5. Public meeting on cycling, with emphasis on problems in Richmond Park, on 17 December 2014. Convened by Zac Goldsmith MP for Richmond.
  6. Issues:
    a) Sheen Road crossing consultation
    b) Parking in Advisory Cycle Lanes

If you can’t make it, please let us know (info@richmondlcc.co.uk or http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/contact-us/) , or share anything you want to know about!

 

Rides for Explorers ; January 11th Box Hill

Meet Twickenham Riverside 10.30.

Route

Our traditional post-turkey jaunt. On/off road quiet route to Box Hill then a steady climb to the viewpoint and lunch in NT Cafe at the top (as the pub we used to patronise is now a trendy wine-bar). Enjoy  a switchback descent taking us most of the way home. About 35 miles in total. Better bring lights.

box hill 025

Please get in contact if you are interested in coming – A switchback on ice might be a bit  over exciting so I will cancel if conditions sound too bad..

email Paul  rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

Santa on a Bike Ride – 14th December

Organised by Action Bikes:  www.actionbikes.co.uk  in aid of Bikes for Africa.
Sunday 14th Dec “Santa On A Bike Ride” starting at Action Bikes Whitton leisurely 5~10 Miles (depends on the weather) round the local area dressed as Santa – bringing some Ho ho ho to residents.  Free to take part —-register in advance to claim your free Santa suit.
Tony Yerby
Action Bikes
020 7096 1836

20mph won’t happen in Richmond in a hurry.

20mph is one of London Cycling’s six core ‘asks’ from the recent elections. Six things that we believe would make London’s boroughs better places for cycling.

So it’s a shame that the council is so clearly hell bent on doing virtually nothing about it.

If you want to know what an anti-20mph policy looks like, you just need to read the cabinet papers for the meeting this week. You’ll need item 6 here, and the linked PDF. But to save you the effort, here’s how the conversation will likely go with the officers unfortunate enough to have to deal with this:

You “Hello, a lot of people in my road would like it to be 20mph.”

Council “A majority? Like in more than 50% of all households?”

You “Well, a majority of the people I spoke to.

Council “Look, just because no councillor here has more than about 10% of the people in their area actually vote for them, they still need you to collect a majority of everyone.

“But I’m feeling, nice, so we’ll skip that stage. Did your, haha, majority also understand that 20mph means traffic calming measures, signs, speed humps, etc., will also be needed? Did you know that under council rules, we’re not interested in consultation responses at this stage if you can’t demonstrate you’ve explained just how awful 20mph zones really are? ”

You “Err. No? Department for Transport guidance says you don’t need all that, doesn’t it? I mean, Bristol has a city wide 20mph limit without all that, doesn’t it?”

Council “Does this look like Bristol. If you want 20mph, then the Richmond way is to make it almost impossible, but to over-engineer it if we do go ahead.”

You, some time later  “Ok, they’re happy with all that. Can we have 20mph now?”

Council (guffaws) “No, no, not yet! First we’re going to see whether it’ll affect any other roads nearby. If it does we won’t do it. Then we’ll make something up about whether it can be enforced. If it can’t, or we won’t make the effort to, then we won’t do it either.”

“And then, we’ll check if it’s a conservation area, because we wouldn’t want to clutter a conservation area with cars moving through too slowly.”

You “And then we can have 20mph?”

Council “No. Then we’ll do a traffic survey. If average speeds are over 24mph, then we won’t give you a 20mph zone. And if they’re under, we probably won’t either, because people are already going slow enough, innit?”

Council “Oh, and if you’re still giving us grief, we’ll review the accident data for at least three years to decide if we think it’s appropriate.

“After that, we’ll think about whether we can fund it, and since so few people will get to this stage, each one of these will need signing off by the cabinet member. And then we’ll do a full consultation.”

You “But I’ve already got people to agree, haven’t I?”

Council “Ah yes, but we’ll consult over the whole area, and all the streets around will need to approve your 20mph zone. Did we mention that someone who doesn’t respond is a ‘no’?”

You “What about outside all the schools in the borough, then?”

Council “They’ll all have to go through the process above. Although we might be magnanimous and include a random rule about how we can do it if we want, without any consultation at all.”

Footnote:  You might think we’ve made this up, but it’s all supported by the papers going to council on the 9th. We don’t think Richmond wants to implement 20mph anywhere, based on those papers. And if they do, they’re going to be sure to do it in the most expensive, un-popular fashion possible. Feel free to check the DfT guidance, and see how much of it has been ignored. (PDF link.)

Rides for Explorers – Sunday 2nd November – Burnham Beeches

NO TAKERS and it looks to be the wettest day for a while so Cancelled.

A good route to try if you have a fine day free in the next week or so.

Modified route to avoid a busy road.

Burnham 005Meet Twickenham Station before 10.05 to catch the 10.16 to Staines.(arr 10.30) We cycle through Staines Moor then via Colnbrook , through Langley Park and past Black Park to quiet Fulmer and finally 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

Please get in contact if you are interested in coming – the cafe is not roofed so I will cancel if it is going to be wet.  email Paul  rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

Another cycle lane getting trashed ?

The council are consulting on replacing a zebra in Sheen Road with a pelican. One of the suggestions is widening the footways. (to reduce delays to traffic).

The cycle lane by the crossing is currently suspended as you can’t  combine a cycle lane with zig-zag markings. However this problem is being resolved by a change in regulations so we could get a continuous cycle lane but only as long as the road isn’t narrowed. Please respond to the consultation arguing against the road narrowing.

RCC response to Hampton / A308 Consultation.

Our response is briefer and less specific than we would normally choose, but we’ve captured the key issues that we and other members identified. 

Dear Richmond Council,

I am afraid Richmond Cycling is unable to support the plans proposed for Hampton (https://consultation.richmond.gov.uk/environment/proposed-improvements-to-cycling-facilities-safety/consult_view),

A number of members have shared comments with us, and one of your staff has also been kind enough to make the effort to offer explanations on a number of points.

We understand that there are severe financial constraints on the borough at the moment, and it has also been made clear that this proposal uses a number of different ‘pots’ of money to attempt to achieve its goal. It is very heartening to hear that engineers are seriously considering properly segregated, attractive routes for cycling , but this only makes it even more heartbreaking to look at the current proposals.

We’d like to question how much these proposals have been shared with Historic Royal Palaces, as Hampton Court Palace is the obvious destination yet the provision designed here essentially creates conflict between walking and cycling at key pinch points.

It is our view that, if money is to be spent on providing cycling facilities, then it needs to be spent on facilities which will actively support cycling by a wide range of people. TfL’s new proposals for the north/south and east/west routes have shown just what we should be aspiring to in London – and why.

To be clear, there are elements of re-design which we think are well-advised. For example, removing the hatched area from the centre of the road will serve to reduce traffic speeds. Similarly, the effort to provide a substantial section of off-road route is to be applauded.

So although RCC welcomes the council’s new attempts to improve provision for cycling we regret to say that this isn’t it. We don’t believe that very few of the changes here will make any real difference to the perception of safety which is so key to encouraging new people to the practicality and simplicity of cycling as a way to get around.

Sincerely,

Richmond Cycling Campaign

Help us ask for Russell School to be the best of the best!

Another school in the borough is up for expansion, and goes to planning soon. We don’t think the council does enough to support schools to get children walking and cycling to school, so this Friday we’re doing a petition at the Russell School in Ham.

The Russell is potentially moving to two form entry – another 120 children when it’s full – and is being extensively remodeled to support this, including the sale of up to 17% of the school’s land. We think that what the council has done at two other schools recently to support additional children shows clearly just how little they’re really prepared to do to support active travel.

For example, the Vineyard School has recently started its build to add an additional form of entry, bringing it to a peak of over 600 children and dozens of staff. When the school appeared in front of the planning committee, their key concern was around the effects that school drop off will have on traffic in the area, and they therefore required school staff to spend valuable time supervising drop-offs and pick-ups.

And more recently at Stanley School – also significantly expanded – the council removed the cycle lane altogether, forcing children to walk and cycle in the same small space at peak times. Whilst the old cycle lane at Stanley might have been less than ideal, it didn’t create conflict by having children cycle past buggies and families.

When schools do expansion, the council seems not to think about how it might improve the environment around the schools to make active travel a nicer option.

We think schools in the morning should look more like this

Cycling to school, Dutch style (from “A view from the cycle path”)

and less like this:

Perhaps not the most typical school run …

We think that council officials need to see this all a bit more holistically: when you’re re-modelling the school, you should think carefully about how to make the school an easy place to get to, and what needs to be done to the environment around the school. A school has a huge part to play in trying to persuade children and families to choose options like walking and cycling. But we can’t ask primary staff to encourage cycling to school when that means asking children to share busy roads with large vehicles. It isn’t the school’s responsibility to design its own roads and transport! 

So in Friday we’re going to be asking current parents at Russell School to sign a petition to Richmond Council to make sure that the new school site is a great place to walk to and to cycle to, and not just build yet another school site that people only cycle to because they’re prepared to try to shepherd their loved ones on a busy road.

Come along and join us, or drop us an email 

We amended this article on September 26th to include corrected details on how the school is changing.