Bicycle thefts continue Over the last 4 weeks 105 individual bicycles have been stolen, worth a total value of £63,820. The peak area for thefts is Teddington with a mixture of bikes stolen from the street and the garden (mainly sheds overnight) with other locations including Twickenham town centre, Sandycoombe Road, St Margaret’s, Kew Road, Richmond and Second Avenue to Barnes High Street. Suspects include white males between 15-20 either alone or with 1 other. 55% offences took place overnight with offences during the day mainly being from the street between 12:00 to 19:59. Specialized was the most popular type of bike stolen. Tracker bikes have been deployed to various locations.
Clarendon school has been running a bicycle maintenance scheme since September 2010, teaching young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN), to refurbish second hand bikes. One hundred percent of profits from the resale of these bikes are reinvested into providing additional opportunities for young people with SEN. Students gain an AQA Unit Award in Cycle Mechanics as part of their experience.
Earlier this year they beat 58 applicants to win the borough’s ’Richmond’s Den’ competition for social enterprises. Now they have been nominated for The Richmond Business Awards and we’re encouraging everyone to take 2 minutes to show their support to this very worthy enterprise.
Here’s how you can register your support for ‘Bespoke Be Heard’, but be quick, the deadline is Friday 20 September:
- Go to http://www.richmondbusinessawards.com/nominate/
- Look for the ‘The People’s Choice’ Box (in red on the left side of the page) and fill in:
- Company Name: ‘Bespoke Be Heard’
- Enter your email address (just to stop multiple entries!)
- Category: ‘Best Charity or Social Enterprise’
- Click on ‘Vote’
A new school year has begun – and anyone who has been out on the roads this week will have noticed the rise in traffic. For many kids, the new year means a new school. Amongst the nerves, the fussing over the new uniform, the worries about making new friends; there’s the big question of travel – how can my child get to the new school safely?
Some may be thinking of cycling to the new school – if that’s you then check out our cycle route planner – CycleStreets - at http://richmond.cyclestreets.net (there’s also an app too for iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows mobile devices). All the schools in the borough are now on CycleStreets, as are most of those in the surrounding boroughs. This means you can just search for the school by its name, pop in your home post code as the start point, and CycleStreets will give you a choice of three routes: ”Fast” (which will tend to use the main roads); “Quiet” (which will seek to use quiet streets and segregated paths wherever possible) and ”Balanced” (which is mid way between the two). The routing logic takes into account many data sources and generally comes up with pretty good routes. The “Quiet” routes are particularly good – I have been cycling round this area for nearly 20 years and think I know all the back-routes; but am still often surprised and impressed by the quiet routes that CycleStreets suggests.
Richmond has a wealth of pleasant leisure routes; but all too often potential quiet routes to places people really want to get to – such as schools – are cut off by busy roads with poor or no provision for cycling, turning a journey that should be simple into a stressful, unpleasant and inconvenient experience. We think this is one of the main blockers to increasing cycling rates in the borough. We are cataloging them on CycleScape – at http://richmondlcc.cyclescape.org/ - and you can too. So if there is particular road or junction that stops you choosing to cycle to school – please take a moment to map it on there and add it to our knowledge base. Alternatively just let us know via our website or on twitter - @RichmondCycling.
As a parent, letting a child out on our streets on a bike is not an easy decision, and for many the lack of subjective safety is enough to stop kids cycling to school. This is evidenced in school travel plans – for example at the Richmond primary school my children attend, a whole school travel survey found that 23% of kids arrived by car and 7.5% by bike; but when asked how they would LIKE to come to school only only 16% answered “by car” – and 25% said they wanted to cycle.
David Hembrow’s recent analysis of TFL travel data suggests that London households with children make up to 60% more trips per day by car than the average household – which goes a long way to explaining that big rise in term-time traffic; and will resonate with many local parents who are shuttling their charges from schools to all those after-school clubs and then back home again. But is this lifestyle providing a subtle cocoon around our children, that stunts the growth of their independence and turns them into couch potatoes? On a recent holiday to Norway I was struck with how kids as young as 6 and 7 took themselves to school; many by bicycle – and it’s a similar story in Holland, Sweden, Denmark and Finland – all of which sit at the top of the international index for Childhood Wellbeing and all of which also have high cycling rates.
It doesn’t have to be this way in the UK. Many other cities around the world are waking up to the benefits of providing better cycling infrastructure; and are implementing improvements. Meanwhile, many fine words are being spoken in Parliament, the London Assembly and elsewhere about how we should improve things – and in places such as Brighton, Camden, and Bristol, some progress is being made on the ground.
For the London Borough of Richmond, the latest steps forward are pinned to the council’s “mini-holland” bid - which has made it through to the next round of the bid process. However, the bid as it stands is woefully short on detail of how it might make everyday cycling – like the school run – appealing to the parents of Richmond borough; and we think it needs significant work in this area.
On the evening of Monday 2 September, London Cycling Campaign are organising a ‘Space for Cycling’ protest ride to coincide with the Parliamentary debate on the Get Britain Cycling report that evening. This is an important event, coming after several fatalities on our streets and several previous protest rides this summer.
We’ll be cycling into central London from the borough to join the ride – come along and show your support. We’ll be leaving Richmond Little Green at 4.50pm sharp and going from there to Barnes railway station where you can also join us at 5.15pm. From there we’ll cycle to the ride meet point at Jubilee Gardens in Waterloo where people are gathering from 6pm for a 6.30pm ride start. You can also get the train to Waterloo and meet us there, or if you work in central London, come and say hello and join us for the ride back to Richmond. And do please make sure you have working lights on your bike – it will be starting to get dark on the way back.
After the ride, we’ll meet on the small plaza area on Belvedere Road (Map link) at 7.30pm. From there, we’ll cross Westminister Bridge, turn left and follow NCN 4 back to the borough and we’ll probably stop off at a pub once we reach the borough (should be back around 8.30pm) for those that don’t have to rush off home. Again, please bring lights – it is September and sunset is 7.45pm – summer is over
Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re joining in so we know to look out for you or if you want to find out more details.
“Every year, large numbers of people have been dying unnecessarily on Britain’s roads, and will continue to die, simply because our roads have not been made as safe as they could be.
“It’s not an issue for individuals to manage. It’s an issue for the politicians and the transport authorities at every level. This is why Londoners should support the LCC’s protest ride to demand safer streets.”
In association with Ham United Group.
We start from Ham Library at 10.00 and ride past our unique 17th Century house before going off-road in the magnificent avenues set out by the Duke and Duchess of Lauderdale. A trip through the splendour of Petersham Village takes us into Richmond Park where we follow the newish path to Kingston Gate. We then head down to the Thames for coffee at the Hawker Centre and so back to Ham library. 7 miles with some gentle hills.
Seven of us met up thanks to some HUG posters and enjoyed good weather on the ride. Out of consideration for the youngest member of the group who made a gallant effort we shortened the ride by exiting through Ham Gate and reached the Hawker Centre via Ham Common.
On Saturday 3rd August there will be an opportunity to cycle thorough traffic free streets in central London past those iconic landmarks from Buckingham Palace to St Paul’s and the Tower of London.
We are having a Feeder Ride leaving Richmond Green at 9.30 and returning from Buckingham Palace at 3.30.
We had about 40 participants on the ride in and more than half of those to take home – aided by ideal weather.
special thanks to our marshals for looking after everybody.
Post Updated – 13 October 2013
We reported in our 6 August update below that despite overwhelming support for closure of this notorious rat run, TfL had decided to proceed with a partial closure. We were aghast, and many of you joined us in writing to TfL to share your feelings. Well, we can now happily report that TfL have decided to go back to the original proposal and implement a full closure. A great result and in no small part down to the many of you who emailed TfL.
Dear sir or madam,
We wrote to you on 17 July and 5 August about this proposed closure and the consultation we have conducted. Generally there was strong support in the consultation for some action to prevent rat-running along Cole Park Road (backed by almost ninety percent of responses), but opinion was divided on whether a full or partial closure would be preferable.
Since August we have assessed options for a partial closure. Compared with full closure, this would have significant safety disadvantages for pedestrians and cyclists on Chertsey Road. We have also looked into the possibility of testing a temporary closure before making permanent changes to the road layout. However, this would cause problems for large vehicles such as refuse collection, which would have to reverse for a considerable distance.
We have discussed these findings with the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames, and the Cabinet Member for Highways and Streetscene has agreed with the other Ward Councillors that we should close the junction completely on a permanent basis.
We are now continuing with the detailed design of the scheme and preparation of the necessary traffic orders, and aim to start implementation of the scheme in Spring 2014.
Post Updated – 6 August 2013
After feeling good that after significant support a notorious rat run that cuts across the A316 cycle lane and causes many near misses would be closed off, we were brought down to earth when TfL announced that after consulting with LBRUT they would only implement a partial closure, leaving those cycling along the path at risk to left hooks from vehicles exiting the A316 into Cole Park Road at speed.
You can see the TfL letter and our responses below, we’re asking everyone who cares about this important route for mums and dads to cycle to school with their children to email TfL to object as soon as you can STEngagement@tfl.gov.uk
Email from TfL
Dear sir or madam,
I wrote to you on 17 July to report on the consultation on this proposed closure.
Following the consultation, discussions with the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames and further investigatory work, we propose to implement a partial closure of the junction, with a left turn in (entry only) permitted for eastbound vehicles on the A316. This was proposed by 24 respondents to the consultation. The detailed designs are being finalised in preparation for a safety audit, with a view to implementation of the scheme in Spring 2014.
Transport for London, Palestra, 197 Blackfriars Road, London, SE1 8NJ
Response from Paul, local CTC representative and RCC Committee member
Dear Mr Howard
I would protest in the strongest terms at this design however detailed. A “left hook” is known to be a major cause of cycle casualties and an eastbound vehicle travelling at speed along the A316 swinging across the cycle track here, probably coming from behind an unsuspecting cyclist, is the worst manoeuvre that you could allow to happen. Counting respondents does not guarantee a safe choice – the original proposal showed more evidence for professional judgement.
CTC Representative for Richmond
Response from Tim, RCC Campaigns Coordinator
Dear Mr. Howard,
I write concerning your recent letter about the Cole Park Road consultation, and the apparent decision – in consultation with LBRUT – to abandon the decision to make this a safer junction for pedestrians and cyclists, and a more pleasant road for residents.
The original proposal, as per page 9 here – http://is.gd/WsWt9e – would have provided:
1. A safe place for cyclists to continue their journey, after the still very sub-standard London Road roundabout
2. A safe place for pedestrians to continue their journey – they and cyclists would not need to play chicken with cars taking the current apex at the high speeds usually seen on this road.
3. A quieter road for residents.
Over half of the respondents gave at least partial support for full closure, and the vast majority sought action on rat-running. Yet you’ve now cooked up an idea with LBRUT which would effectively render the scheme pointless There’s really no reason for this road to egress onto the A316 at all, because only in the very worst of peak periods traffic would people need to take this as an exit to the main road.
It’s a matter of very great disappointment to Richmond Cycling that TfL and LBRUT are once again prioritising the movement of motor traffic – and often high speed motor traffic – over the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. To be honest, it also renders this entire consultation process an expensive and pointless exercise if you’re going to ask for views and then mostly ignore them, don’t you think?
Campaigns Coordinator, Richmond Cycling.
Email from Twickenham resident Aniello
Dear sir or madam,
My name is Aniello and I commute to work every morning on my bike.
I do not see myself as a cyclist. I see myself for what I am: a person on a means of transport. Same way as people driving a car or a motorbike. I don’t drive, I ride and that’s where all differences stop.
Still, I feel, no, I correct myself, I am SURE that you are
prioritizing and making the road safer ONLY to people who are already safe in their car, surrounded by huge amounts of steel and loads of research to help them make safe while using an unsafe means of transportation.
Even when TfL and the Mayor of London are pushing for safer means of sharing the roads among ALL the users (people walking, driving, riding) you clearly are still aiming at making the roads unsafe to everyone just for the sake of “smoothing traffic” (which, however, you are totally failing to do).
Last morning I was riding my bike to work, I was 1 minute away from my destination, and yet I was close to NOT making it to the office or even back home alive due to a person driving her car thinking (as you suggested her) that the road is all her. She sped past me on the right (despite me riding fast in a primary position, i.e. at the center of the lane so to discourage drivers from passing in that particular stretch of road in Chiswick), with her “left” light blinking and as soon as she passed me, she cut me on the left to make a “left” turn on a road (which, moreover, was busy due to a vehicle maneuvering). I had to force my brakes to avoid hitting her or, worse, being caught up under her car.
Now I hear that there was a consultation for closing Cole Park Road to left turning vehicles from the A316 and that lots of people were happy with the solution, but still you dropped it following consultation with the LBRUT council.
I am, again and again and again, disappointed. Hugely disappointed. You keep claiming you are making our roads safer, and yet at every opportunity you create the ideal conditions for motor traffic to speed and you are actually encouraging people driving their cars into making dangerous actions that could potentially (and are actually) killing people walking or riding. You are clearly aware that the major reason people die on bike is because of left turning vehicle. And yet, you favor it. While still claiming that that is safer for all of us.
Could you please tell me why is that? Why you think that NOT closing access to Cole Park road would make it safer for people living in the area, for people walking in the area, for people riding in the area or even for people driving in the area? And could you please tell me why you dropped the original proposal EVEN IF people LIVING in the area (and thus clearly those who KNOW more about that junction than everyone else) were in favor?
At least that would be appreciated.
Aniello, a guy on his bike.
Original Post – 1 August 2013
We reported back in our May newsletter that TfL were proposing to shut off a notorious rat run on the A316, near to London Road roundabout. Cutting across a well used off road cycle lane, it was the scene of many near misses.
TfL have now published the findings of the consultation, and we’re happy to report that aan overwhelming proportion were in favour of removing the rat run (85%). TfL will now work with the local ward councillors to decide on how the change will be implemented. Thank you to everyone who responded to the consultation.
The report from TfL is worth a read, if only to see the response from the Alliance of British Motorists! Cole Park Road Consultation Report
We continue to push for improvements to the A316 cycle lane, including getting priority for cyclists across junctions, improving Chalkers Corner and sorting out the London Scottish car park exit.
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.
This newsletter covers both July and August so we can have a month off crafting a newsletter and enjoy cycling in the good weather instead!
So summer arrived and went again, but we had a lovely few weeks of long days cycling in the sun. This month it’s a double newsletter covering July and August and we’ve made it a bumper consultation edition to capture all those issues that will impact your cycle across the borough (and beyond). It’s your chance to make your voice heard. There’s also news of this Saturday’s Feeder ride to London Freecycle – we hope to see many of you there to join in the fun.
A raft of consultations affecting cycling both directly and indirectly across the borough. Please, please, we really need everyone who reads this newsletter to take 2 minutes to reply to these consultations. Every response counts as you can see further down on the responses to recent consultations.
First up is Twickenham town centre, and if you only do one campaigny thing for cycling this year, then take 1 minute to fill in the simple tick box online consultation. Proposals include a 20mph zone in Twickenham town centre and opening up Holly Road as a cycling contraflow to avoid the busy and dangerous London Road/King Street intersection. Both are big steps forward and need as much support as possible to demonstrate the support for improvements for cycling and for wider demand for 20mph zones across the borough. They’re not the full picture (see below for our update on the Twickenham town centre) but a big positive response sends a strong message and is needed to counter certain people set against cycling who are out to scupper anything that benefits cycling.
Deadline Monday 12 August 5pm – http://is.gd/cbqczP
A special guest post from Walton on Thames cyclist Parimal highlighting an important consultation for anyone who cycles in through that town, or in fact anywhere within Surrey CC’s remit.
Surrey County Council are, at the time of writing, consulting on implementing some cycling facilities in Walton-on-Thames to act as a link to the shiny new bridge that has been installed.
The full consultation including plans can be found here (deadline to respond Monday 19 August). In summary, the proposals being consulted upon involve:
- Widening certain pavements to between 2.5-3m along roads that link to Walton Bridge
- Marking these widened pavements for shared use between cyclists and pedestrians
- A limited portion of these shared pavements will be painted to show a separate bicycle lane
- Plans stop shortly before the road turns into a 40 mph zone
- At all junctions with side roads, motor vehicles have priority
On superficial analysis the plans appear to be very good in separating cyclists from motorised traffic, providing a subjectively safe space for existing and would be cyclists to go about their business. But that would be superficial analysis indeed.
From the overview of the plans we can see that the shared paths run through the shopping areas of Walton-on-Thames, pavements that are heavily used by pedestrians to go shopping. These plans deliberately put cyclists in conflict with pedestrians because they fail to recognise that shared paths only ever work when there are very few users of vastly different speeds. In these plans at each junction along the main road, cyclists do not have right of way posing a further danger to them and pedestrians.
The plans appear to have been designed to get cyclists out of the way of motorists and put them into direct conflict with pedestrians in an area heavily used by pedestrians.
This excellent video by WokingTrafficSafety shows a walkthrough of the pavements in Walton-on-Thames that these plans are for.
Surrey County Council are willing to take away some road space in an attempt to widen the pavements. However, the use of shared pavements in this area is completely inappropriate. There is enough room on the roads in question to have pavements, wide separated cycle lanes, which have same priority as adjacent roadway, and two way roadway for motor traffic. However, it requires the will to reallocate space properly.