Ride for Everybody – Feeder Ride to London Freecycle

Saturday 29th July.

FreecycleFeederEnjoy a day in Central London free of motor vehicles.

We meet on Richmond Little Green 10.00 and head off via Putney Riverside, Wandsworth Park and Battersea Gardens and then up through Belgravia to join the Freecycle where Central London roads are traffic free. Leave London for the ride home at 15.00.

Our routes in and out.

About 80 of us met up and enjoyed a good ride up to London and saw some  parts of town that were new to many. The Freecycle route itself was busy, but not impossibly so, and, as usual, it was great to see so many cyclists, some very young, making full use of London streets. With rain starting only about 30 chose to join us for the trip home and we got back to Richmond by 16.30 in a damp but unbowed condition.

As one participant said “there should be a straightforward way of cycling into London” but there isn’t , at least not without battling one’s way through heavy traffic. Our circuitous route meant that we were little affected by traffic until we hit Barnes and Mortlake.

Thanks to Jim, Jean, Ian , Cameron and Tim for looking after everybody.

Cycling Backwards on Twickenham Riverside

In November 2015 we warned that Twickenham’s Riverside development really needs to think seriously about walking and cycling.

But the latest consultation is indeed going backwards for active travel, and indeed for amking the riverside a nice place to be, choosing it for a car park, rather than for people.

One of our members has written this response.

Dear Richmond Council,

The June 2016 New Heart For Twickenham consultation material stated: ‘It became clear during the summer that cycling needs could be more fully integrated into the design. We will ensure that any future development supports and encourages cycling. We would like to hear more about how you think the current circulation for cycling could be improved. We will ensure there is provision for cycle parking and promote the opportunities for leisure cycle hire.’

We have been providing information and proposals on this topic since the Barefoot consultation in 2010. We note that, despite the above request, the actual 2016 consultation included no questions on cycling. We note too that, despite the input to this consultation from our members and other cyclists, the March 2017 Twickenham Rediscovered consultation survey made no mention of cycling.

In the material provided with the current, summer 2017, consultation, reference to including cycling in the scheme is limited to an undertaking to ‘consider cycling requirements including enhancing pedestrian and cycling access to the site, cycle parking and through routes using the riverside.’

Even at this advanced stage there are no concrete proposals regarding cycling and, again, there are no questions regarding cycling in the consultation itself. Since you appear keen to include cycling in the scheme, could you please explain the lack of questions regarding cycling in these consultations and why input from our members and other cyclists has been, and continues to be, ignored.

Kind regards

Richmond Cycling Campiagn

Road signs – getting the council to at least fix the basics

Prompted by this tweet, we’ve complained to the council about the poor approach they seem to be maintaining on dealing with roadworks and cycling …

Here’s the letter we wrote – let us know if you’ve been the victim of more rubbish signage in the borough!

Dear Councillors,
I am writing to officially complain about the ongoing issues with roadworks signage in the borough.
Richmond Cycling Campaign is unhappy not only about the fact that this is still a problem, but the fact that there appears to be no prompt, effective escalation route for it to be dealt with.
There is quite literally no scenario in which someone on a bicycle should ever be instructed to walk, or to wheel their bicycle. The most obvious recent example of this was outside the RFU (see this tweet). The council was told about this on May 31st, but on 6th June, one of our members observed the obstructions still to be in place.
We spoke about this at the last Cycling Liaison Group, and we were given to believe (a) that council rules are clear on this, and (b) that there is a process in place to deal with these problems.
We are therefore asking for a clear response from the council explaining:
1.    What rules and guidelines are issued to people doing roadworks in the borough? By whom?
2.    What is the escalation process for dealing with problems?
3.    Are there any Service Level Agreements (or deadlines)  in the escalation process?
4.    Who has responsibility for roadworks in the borough, and policing and approval thereof?
Sincerely,
Richmond Cycling Campaign

 

Rides for Everyone: Saturday 24th June : Coffee at the Windmill.

Wimbledon Common June 2017At the windmill June 2017Meet Teddington Station East Side 10:10.

We follow the route of the proposed Quietway across Teddington Lock and through Richmond Park to Roehampton from which we cut under the A3 to Wimbledon Common and a coffee stop at the windmill cafe. We return by a slightly rougher path down to Robin Hood Gate and back through Richmond Park.

A bit longer than our usual Rides for Everyone at 14 miles. Anyone having had enough after the break just  has to  freewheel down to Wimbledon Station to catch the train.

Route

Just 3 of us met up at Teddington. In terms of testing the route for 8-80 we certainly exceeded the upper end. Teddington High Street was unthreatening and our only issues in Ham was about signs hidden behind foliage. Marking on the road surface is most reliable.

We tried the shared use path on Ham Avenue and found the surface bumpy and the rejoining of the road inside the park difficult. (The off-road path up the hill is only suitable for mountain bikers). The rumble strips on the path through Richmond Park are no problem and Danebury Avenue shows what can be achieved by simply closing a road at one end.

This bit of the Quietway should be a useful and attractive route for all ages (e-bike may be helpful for some as it is hilly)

We diverged on a rougher path through Putney Heath / Wimbledon Common including an underpass of the A3. This was closed to all cycling until ?20 years ago. Progress does happen if slowly.

 

Rides for Explorers – Off-road in Surrey : Sunday 11th June

NorburyMeet 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.

Route

5 of us met up on the riverside despite nearly coinciding with a charity run. Apart from a headwind on the way south we enjoyed ideal weather and the paths were dry underwheel. Perhaps a bit early for maximum flowers in Norbury Park. Back in Kingston Market place where we split up at about 3.

Star and Garter – yet another missed opportunity

NB: You can see the discussion on Cyclescape, here.

The junction outside Star and Garter is about to change, but only in the most marginal way possible. This is another disappointment from the council. Faced with an opportunity to make a large junction more pleasant and attractive for cycling, the basic proposal is “Make the lanes wider, and make sure we have parking right beside a roundabout just like … virtually nowhere in London.

Star and Garter proposals

Worse, the plans submitted in the consultation don’t even include key changed. The black arrows in the diagram above show changes thst the diagram proposes, and which aren’t discussed in the consultation (here).

Putting aside the question of why there are three full lanes exiting Richmond Park, this junction is a wide sweep of tarmac from every direction. Although a number of people use it by bicycle, this is yet another place which isn’t going to encourage others to get on their bike. Instead of maintaining the existing configuration of a roundabout people can just drive over, there’s enough space here for clearly marked space for cycling, perhaps in combination with traffic lights or different traffic routing.

Further along (the left hand roundabout on the diafgram above) the design proposes that the pavement bends out into the road, effectively creating a pinch point for cyclists, where they must move further into the lane, and risk contact with cars which can drive straight across.

We’re told that there are safety issues at this junction, but they’re clerarly not that important, because otherwise it’s hard to understand why money is being spent on it in such an appalling fashion. Tell us what you think, but we’re very disappointed.

We need to talk about Chalkers’ Corner!

It’s a massive barrier for cycling in the borough, and indeed for almost everyone else. If only for the sake of the Mortlake Brewery devleopment, Chalkers’ Corner needs fixing.

Our proposal includes a number of significant changes:

  • Cycling continues directly across from the Richmond side towards Chiswick Bridge
  • All modes get long greens
  • Make the exit from the A3006 (Mortlake) much easier, with a single light sequence
  • Better pedestrian crossings on all arms

To achieve this, members have helped put together this model – it’s got a lot on …

Chalkers Corner proposal

The numbers show the light sequences, the red lines show cycling movements, and the dashed lines show pedestraisn movements.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Walking, cycling and driving heading east or west only (straight ahead)  on the A316. This includes crossing the A205 and A3006
  2. The A205 heading north goes ahead, left and right. The A316 from Chiswick Bridge turns left to the A205 and A3006
  3. The A316 from Richmond turns right into the A205 and A3006. Cycling and walking cross the eastern side of the A316.
  4. The A3006 (from Mortlake) goes ahead, left and right.
  5. The A205 from Kew goes ahead and left. Cycling and walking cross the western side of the A316.

This design needs us to reallocate space throughout the junction, but provides clear routes for everyone, and makes it safer: It eliminates left and right hook conflicts, but will rquire a proiperly enforced yellow box.

What do you think? Our borough coordinator has uploaded the slides here.

Help Needed for Freecycle Feeder

Image result for kitchener your country needs you poster

On 29th July central London will be traffic-free to allow everybody to enjoy the delights of cycling past the famous landmarks. The problem is getting there. RCC will , as usual , be escorting  about 100 cyclists of all ages from Richmond up to town but we do need more volunteer marshals to keep people on course. Experience would be wonderful but helpfulness and a willingness to learn the route (or copy to your phone) would be more than welcome. People always say that they enjoyed getting up to London as well as the Freecycle and that they wouldn’t have done it without support.

Your help is needed to allow us to continue to offer this service to the people of the borough. Please contact

rides@richmondlcc.co.uk