Rides for Explorers – Norbury Park – 6th July

Meet 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.

This has been done on a fixer but not-over-narrow tyres would be comfortable. Route

Again we had only two riders – Please tell me what would get you to come along.

Paul  rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

‘Ward Asks’ for Council Elections

Do you want Space for Cycling in your area? Email your local election candidates now!  Visit http://action.space4cycling.org/

The 2014 council elections are on 22nd May.  This is a ‘once in 4 years’ chance to challenge the would-be council candidates on their commitment to cycling provision; and to make cycling an important issue on the election agenda.  The local authority (LBRUT) are accountable to our elected councillors; and between them they control the vast majority of roads in the area; and decide what road and cycle improvements are made where (if any!).

This year every borough group has been asked to nominate one cycling infrastructure issue in every ward (a ‘ward ask’) for inclusion in the London-wide Space For Cycling campaign aimed at every election candidate.

Read on below for a summary of the issues local RCC members have raised…

Our Ward Asks are now all on Cyclescape and linked below.

East of the river:

Centre of the Borough:

South West of the Borough:

Don’t forget!  To ensure your voice is added to our campaign, please use the Space for Cycling website to raise these issues with your local election candidates now!  Visit http://action.space4cycling.org/

The ‘ward asks’ are a great way to raise awareness of cycling issues with your local election candidates – but the campaign is limited to just one issue per ward.  In many wards we have plenty of other issues we are tracking – for the full list in each ward visit this page and do please contact us to get involved.

Finally, for further information on how we log these issues,  a detailed guide to how RCC use CycleScape is available here…. and if, like me, you are never quite sure what electoral ward is where – this handy zoomable map shows the boundaries of all wards in London:  http://ukdataexplorer.com/census/london/

Big London Ride – Richmond Feeder – 17th May

LCC has organised a rally in central London to call politicians to commit to Space for Cycling.

We will ride to join the group meeting Richmond Green (by theatre) at 9.15 and aiming to leave by 9.30. We will be going through Barnes so, if convenient, join us by the green there about 9.45. We intend to arrive at Park Lane by 11.00.

We will have closed roads for the Big Ride up Piccadilly through the West End  to Temple.

For the return ,about 14.15 from Temple Place (look for Richmond on lamp post ), we will join the Wandsworth contingent using CS8 and Battersea Park. (may be chance to stop for a bite)

All welcome. Looks likely to be much better weather than 2012.

Good weather.Half a dozen of us met at Richmond and two joined at Barnes. Despite the “be there by 11 notice” nothing started before 12. With the small number of experienced cyclists we got there by 10.45.

Route in

And back out

I know we were going East but...

RIdes for Everyone – 19th April

Meet Strawberry Hill station 10.30. We get  to the Crane via Mill Rd (passing the site of our S Twickenham ask) and head upstream to the borough boundary (and the Heathfield ask)

Then we travel down Hounslow’s new path on the south bank of the Crane to Kneller Gardens and Twickenham where we cut through back streets back to Strawberry Hill.

If weather is good we will have coffee in Kneller Gardens , if less good we will try the Airparks Leisure centre.

Fairly flat, short, low traffic ride. All welcome especially beginning cyclists.

Well three non-beginning cyclists enjoyed the sunshine bluebells and cherry blossom. With the suggested asks the whole route would be ideal for young children who  might be attracted to the playgrounds en-route.

The Cycling Liaison Group – YOU HAVE BEEN CONSULTED!

(What’s the Cycling Liaison Group? It’s a consultative council committee, with sadly no power and no burning urge to meet too often, or actually publicise itself. See the council’s summary, here. )

Tuesday night was the last Cycling Liaison Group in its current form. Our Cycling Champion is moving to Oxford, and there are local elections in May. Since one in three CLG meetings has been cancelled, there probably wouldn’t be one between now and May even if it had been scheduled.

Frankly, it’s been a shameful talking shop for its entire existence. The most consistent themes of the CLG have been hearing about theft of bikes, and the minimal ‘cost-effective’ schemes that have been whizzed up by harassed council officials.

But what did happen? On the positive side, it sounds like substantial funding is finally going to make it to cycling in Richmond. Not the £30m that successful Mini-Holland bids will get, but still there’s going to be millions of pounds over the next few years to try to make the borough a place where we can cycle safely to schools, the shops or to work.

An officer from the local Safer Transport Command discussed the Operation Safeway figures. This saw officers stalking a number of junctions in the area, and handing out an awful lot of tickets, both to drivers and cyclists. We’ve asked for a full copy of the figures, but inspection on the night suggested that proper enforcement had a significant impact on behaviour, with tickets issued falling significantly as the weeks went on. We’re delighted that enforcement activity does seem to be taken more seriously now, but since this operation is now over, we’ll be watching carefully to see how long this change lasts.

Everyone involved in the Mini Holland bid seemed genuinely surprised and disappointed by the borough’s failure to secure the funding. We think that parts of the bid were very strong, and we’d really like to see them implement the proposed changes in Twickenham. Officials think we’ll hear about the next round of funding in around four weeks’ time, so we’ll see what comes out then.

There’s also confirmation of £60,000 a year for cycle parking, and officials indicated they’re prepared to consider paying for residential parking for bikes as well. We’d love to see bike hangars popping up all over the borough, to make it easy and simple to store and access your bike, so please let us know if this is something you’d like!

Will things change after May? That’s up to you. We’re preparing to ask all the candidates to tell us what they’ll be offering to make the borough a great place for everyone by improving it for cycling, so watch this space!

 

 

Rides for Explorers – Olympic Park – 11th May

Meet Richmond Little Green, by Richmond Theatre, 10.00am.

We will cycle into London and then take CSH 2 to the newly opened Olympic Park. After lunch on site we return using CSH 3.

Please let me know if you intend coming in case of last minute changes.

Paul :    rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

 No one has expressed an interest so ride postponed.

 

Getting on a bike is just the best thing.

(Written as a quick response to Rachel Aldred’s excellent ‘the bicycle is human scale‘) 

This morning my daughter and I went to her class. She wanted to cycle, so we sent most of the journey on the pavements.

And it was great. We wobbled across the level crossing, said thank you to the man delivering papers who’d moved across for us, and smiled at the other Dad who was out cycling with his son.

The lady at the bus stop smiled at my daughter as she went by, and the drivers approaching the zebra crossing saw her standing there and waited patiently as she crossed all four lanes. And the Dad with a small baby strapped to him said ‘That’s brilliant’, as he let her make her way past.

While we were cycling along Manor Road, Zoe asked me what the beeping had been, and I could tell her she and I had crossed the level crossing just as it started beeping. When we got to the Carrington Road junction she told me, excitedly, “Daddy! My school is down there!”

Then, along North Road, we saw another local family and they shouted ‘Hello Zoe!’ as she cycled past and we waved.

Cycling with your children is just the best thing ever!

Zoe on North Road, using the area marked for parking …

Here’s our approximate route (Google Maps link). We left home at 9:30 and cycled over 4 miles.

Time for 20mph in Richmond

(Updated below – see the local 20′s plenty group, here.)

We think 20mph is plenty for our borough. Richmond has few roads where you ever really want to be doing 30mph, and the national (and international) evidence is mounting up.

You don’t think Three filmed this on a 30mph street, do you?

More and more, we’re hearing from other London boroughs, other areas of the UK, and from throughout Europe, about how slower speeds in residential and populous areas is a good thing for everyone involved.

But the council aren’t keen at all. Despite the Twickenham Action Plan including a 20mph limit, they’ve rejected a number of attempts to have specific roads go 20mph. Until recently, what you needed to do was this:

  1. Ask all the people in your road if they wanted a 20mph zone.
  2. Show the council that you had a majority – bearing in mind that anyone not answering is obviously a ‘no’.
  3. Have the council come round and consult again.
  4. And then get everyone to respond. And I mean everyone - because again, if they don’t reply, then the council will count that as a ‘no’.

So, you’d either need 51% of the voters to turn out, and every single person to vote for you, or if they all turned out, you’d need 51% of the voters.

Compare that to the council’s Heathrow referendum in 2013. On a 41% turnout, they had 72% against a third runway. If that had been a 20mph consultation, it would have failed. but here Lord True said “The people have spoken”. (Have a look at the lengthy discussion at the time on Twickerati, if you want to celebrate just how hard they made it.)

We think cycling needs somewhere safe, pleasant and calm, and if you read London Cycling Campaign’s ‘Space 4 Cycling’ pages, you’ll see how 20mph zones are a key component of this.

So take a moment and tell the council that you want 20mph using one of the consultations going on:

Want to know more about 20mph? Try the 20’s Plenty site, read a paper from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, find out why Bristol is going 20mph, and Camden, and Islington

Oh, and here’s what Transport for London says:

 And an update: pop along to Richmond’s local 20′s Plenty group, and sign their petition.