If you like to ride away from the traffic support this campaign.
If you like to ride away from the traffic support this campaign.
The idea of representing cycle routes like tube lines was developed by cyclists in Bristol and Bath. They show connections clearly by simplifying geography so are not meant for navigation but give an overall idea of the state of the network.
The most accessible routes are drawn in blue and then via cyan, yellow , orange to the most hostile in red. The call is “turn the map blue ! “.
OK ish (mostly thanks to Royal Parks ) apart from around Twickenham and Richmond-Mortlake but the network is only as good as its weakest link and some of the weaknesses have been glossed over in the above picture. From the collision rate shown in the LIP map Twickenham Station-Riverside should be Red as should Upper Richmond Rd.
The A305 / A311 is the direct link between “Village Centres” and so will be used for cycling although it is hardly to be recommended to the inexperienced. I have used a slightly thinner line. The thinnest lines are for routes that avoid traffic at the expense of being very roundabout ; fine for recreational rides.
This is an ongoing project – for the latest version see This Link
Once the routes reach a consistent quality they can be marketed with arbitrary colour coding – just like the London Underground
The “real” map corresponding to this is HERE Again colours are for continuity not standard. The probably sub-standard A305/A311 is shown narrower. The Traffic Light symbols indicate crossing that are NOT present yet.
At a recent meeting with councillors there was acceptance that Richmond needs a long term plan for cycle routes and a willingness to look at these proposals. There was especial interest in Tube Map idea for waymarking.
There is a marked cycle route providing a quiet way from Richmond to Isleworth and on via Sion Park to Brentford. In order to get from Ranelagh Drive to the shared use Isleworth Prom you need to cross the footway. A dropped kerb has been provided but this is unmarked and is usually obstructed by parked vehicles. At a similar location in LB Hounslow the crossover is marked by bollards in the road encouraging motorists to leave a gap here.
I have asked Richmond’s new Cycling Officer about the possibility and she is sympathetic but needs evidence of public demand. Anyone disabled would count double ! Does anyone have experiences here that can be used for persuasion ?
It’s been described by George Monbiot as “the Climate Change Act’s evil twin”. The Infrastructure Bill is entering a crucial stage in Parliament today, and we need your help to get your MP voting for important changes to what it will do. Both the local MPs have Green aspirations so they should be susceptible to public pressure.
With £15 billion being set aside in the Bill for road investment, and a new ‘Strategic Highways Company’ being created, your MP’s vote will be needed to pass a range of vital amendments that will make the company:
Sixteen health, environment and transport charities are also asking for a whole new Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy to be added to the Bill. This will guarantee long-term national investment in cycling and walking, in the same way that rail and roads will be funded if the Bill passes.
Please use our quick and easy tool to write to your MP now and ask them to vote the right way when the Infrastructure Bill comes to the House of Commons in the next few days.
I had had an email from Sustrans in association with other cycling groups :
The Infrastructure Bill has proposed a five year investment plan for strategic roads whilst rail already has such a plan in place. However, there is no similar framework in place for cycling and walking.
We would like MPs to back an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill to guarantee long-term ambition and funding for cycling and walking, including local road maintenance.
We are now at a critical stage as MPs will get the chance to propose amendments and debate the need for such a proposal in December and January.
We need your help. Please write to your MP and ask them to support an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill.
Both our local MPs should be sympathetic but having constituents letters helps their backbones !
Cyclescape is a handy online tool for cataloging issues with cycling infrastructure, born out of work at Cambridge Cycling Campaign. It’s killer feature is being able to easily log an issue on a map – so you can all see exactly where the issue is under discussion. Richmond Cycling Campaign (along with other groups nationwide) are making increasing use of this tool – but because its used to log issues all over the country it can be a little bit hard to find specific items.
All cyclescape posts in the Richmond borough area are reviewed by RCC committee members and categorised by applying a set of “tags” – or labels, depending on the type of issue. This article provides some shortcuts to issues grouped according to themes that are important to RCC.
Themes – click through the links below to see lists of issues logged so far:
Council wards – we also tag by electoral ward; this will enable us to highlight all the issues in an particular area with the councillors who represent that ward. The wards are shown below and a complete list of councillors by ward is maintained by LBRUT.
Issues by ward can be accessed by the links below. Note that some wards do not have any issues logged so far; whilst others have plenty!
East of the river:
Centre of the Borough:
Finally, for further information on how we do this 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/
They’re starting the detailed designs for Twickenham, and it’s not good news.
We’ve tried hard to engage the council, and to push the focus that both LCC and the Mayor’s Office are giving to ‘Going Dutch’. A previous meeting seemed to indicate that things were really starting to look positive, but the new plans (PDF here) are very disappointing indeed. Advisory cycle lanes that share the width of the nearside motor vehicle lane and disappear where they’re needed most. At junctions, where most collisions occur, those on bicycles have to fend for themselves, great if you’re trying to cycle to school with your children. And the newly located bus stops, aside from inconveniencing those who visit Twickenham by bus, add new dangers along Cross Deep.
In the week that saw the first death in London on a hire bike, Richmond Council is again offering us a design based on the discredited and dangerous facilities that bloggers like Twowheelsgood and Citycyclists are directly linking with the continuing maiming and death of cyclists in our city. A painted line will do nothing to protect you from an impatient lorry driver.
Cycling *is* a safe thing to do, and our borough is a pretty safe place to do it, as well. But we know from report after report that the people who aren’t already using a bicycle have probably chosen not to get on a bicycle because they perceive it to be unsafe. And the new Twickenham plan isn’t going to help.
We’ve written to the council to tell them how concerned we are (you can see the full text at the bottom of this post). Perhaps Richmond can win its Mini-Holland bid, because there’s indications that Twickenham might be partially fixed with that, but we can’t risk it: right now the borough is bidding to spend £8m of TfL’s cash on the new Twickenham, but it’s neutral at best for cycling. We think Twickenham is somewhere that should welcome families and visitors by bicycle, whether they’ve come from nearby, or from the station, or are just popping in to get a loaf of bread or a coffee.
The Cycling Liaison Group meets this Thursday – the meeting is open to everyone so join us to ask the council why they’re giving so little priority to persuading people that cycling is a pleasant attraction option for getting around our area.
If you’re planning to come, drop us a note at email@example.com if you need any more info.
Thank you for sending us the detailed plans for Twickenham.
Unfortunately, it is very hard to see how RCC can offer any endorsement for the plans as they stand. As you know, we were very pleased to see Andrew Gilligan and Boris Johnson bring together a real commitment to cycling for everyone. We believe that getting on a bicycle can – and should – be the most obvious travel choice for the majority of journeys in our borough. We also believe that to get people to consider cycling as a transport choice it needs to be safe and feel safe. Survey after survey tells us that people who don’t cycle equate sharing the road with HGVs and buses with a very visceral feeling of danger.
You’ll have seen recently that the local police are finally enforcing the cycle lane across the bridge by the station: the ongoing issues here are a perfect demonstration of why cycling needs its own space in the new Twivckenham, and yet the nearest concession to any new space comprises a couple of advanced stop lines.
These plans give little confidence or succour to mums and dads who want to cycle with their children to school, or indeed anywhere else in Twickenham. Instead they combine all the features which make cycling in the United Kingdom a specialist contact sport. They include; incomplete routes; junctions that require a cyclist to force her way into the main traffic flow; conflict-inducing pinch points, and hair-raising junctions.
RCC members have made a concerted effort to talk to the council about what might make Twickenham a good place for cycling, and it’s worth looking back to some of the meetings and discussions we’ve had, and some of the ideas which don’t seem to have made it out of our minutes of these meetings:
A key point from the Gilligan review is that you can’t have a meaningful cycle route if you do nothing at the junctions. Yet this plan offers virtually no improvement at junctions compared to Twickenham currently. The mayor of London has a compelling vision for cycling for everyone in our city, and it is with huge regret that I have to tell you that I don’t think the plans that we’ve seen do anything to advance that vision.
Richmond Cycling. Campaigns Coordinator.
You can see our minutes and notes about previous meetings at these links:
Back in 2011 we reported on what we thought was the “most dangerous cycle lane in Richmond” where a mum was knocked off her bicycle by a car while cycling with her son. Fortunately the child was not hurt but the mother required medical attention. Serious though it was, they were lucky not to have been knocked onto the dual carriageway and hit by the passing traffic. Located on the A316 at the exit from London Scottish Rugby Club car park between Richmond Circus and Pools on the Park cars often exit as speed without looking for passing cyclists or pedestrians.
The photograph below shows the danger, a lady nearly knocked off her bike by a car exiting the car park.
So what has happened since 2011? Has the source of danger been removed and as we proposed, the exit closed and cars redirected to use the entrance?
The photo below was taken in 2011 from inside the car park. Cars exiting are supposed to Stop or Give Way depending on whether they look at the sign or the road markings. An advisory blue sign says ‘Cycle Track – Look Both Ways’
Fast forward two years to 2013 and the picture below shows the current scene. The exit remains open and a new sign has been added off to the side stating ‘Cycles crossing’. The Stop sign has been replaced by a Give Way sign. No speed bump has been added and we continue to get reports from people cycling along this part of the A316 of close calls with cars pulling out at speed. The sort of person impatient enough to drive out at speed isn’t going to be influenced by the presence of a sign or care that it has changed colour.
It’s really disappointing that this is the approach to the safety of those cycling or walking along this stretch. People are quick to jump to ban cycling from paths and parks but there is a real reluctance to remove the danger when it is posed by motor vehicles. When was the last time you saw Motorist Dismount signs? Copenhagenize capture this cultural blindspot really well in this post.
As already said, this is a key route in the Borough, and is used by many families cycling to Pools on the Park and the Thames path. We’ll continue to pressurise TfL on this dangerous section – we met with them earlier this month for an audit of the A316 and this issue was highlighted.
You can do your bit to keep the pressure on – raise it via TFL’s online form and email our London Assembly Members – Tony Arbour (GLA Member for the area firstname.lastname@example.org ) and Caroline Pidgeon (GLA Member for Transport – email@example.com) and also the Council’s Cycling Champion, Cllr Harborne (Cllr.KHarborne@richmond.gov.uk), to make the push for this serious safety issue to be resolved (cc us in so we have a record).
There is also an online discussion of the issue at our Cyclescape page complete with more recent photos.
It’s vital that this issue is dealt with, otherwise, next time we may be reporting a more serious incident.
Unbelievably, it is now three years since our last audit of cycle parking provision at the 14 railway stations in the borough. These two quotes from the DfT’s 2009 Better Rail Stations report (PDF) are as applicable now as then:
“Although half the nation owns a bicycle and 60% live within a 15-minute ride of a station, only 2% of passengers currently use their cycle to access the local station.”
Source – Dft
Compare this to the Netherlands where:
“All major stations in Holland provide extensive cycle parking, usually based around a cycle hub which also offers additional secure storage for a fee of about £1 a day, together with repairs and cycle hire for as little as £3 a day. A typical Dutch intercity station would store 4,000 cycles, but at Leiden this rises to 9,000 and the plan is to more than double this to 22,000 in the near future.” Source – Dft
Although a lot has changed since 2010, we are a long way from meeting the aspirations from that report (in fact, when you look at the National Rail website cycle section, it’s more about telling you what you can’t do – cycling and parking isn’t even mentioned under ‘Getting to and from the Station’ – see Kew Gardens example). South West Trains have been rolling out secure compounds with swipe card access at a number of stations and changes to Richmond railway station have removed the railings that were previously used by many. It is therefore a good time to carry out a new audit to update the information we have and to identify where changes are needed. Two recent examples illustrate this:
At Kew Gardens station, we were recently alerted by a local resident that cycle parking demand continues to outstrip supply and it is often impossible to find a space, leading to missed trains. Even two years ago we found this to be the case, with demand outstripping supply by nearly 50%. With parking provision for only 34 bikes, it is well short of the 250 spaces that would be needed to meet the DfT’s only target of 5% of passengers arriving by bicycle. Kew Gardens station is managed by London Underground – we’re asking everyone to raise it via their online form and to contact London Assembly Members – Tony Arbour (GLA Member for the area firstname.lastname@example.org ) and Caroline Pidgeon (GLA Member for Transport – email@example.com) and also the Council’s Cycling Champion, Cllr Harborne (Cllr.KHarborne@richmond.gov.uk), to make the push for additional parking at this and other stations where needed (cc us in so we have a record)
At Hampton station we were notified by a regular user of the station that South West Trains are taking out all existing parking provision and replacing it with a single secure parking compound on one platform only.
The secure parking is welcome and it is great to see SWT extend it to more stations but not everyone wants to use it (particularly if their bike is of low value), nor is it convenient if it is only on one platform and you’re rushing to catch a train on the other one.
Additionally, since the new enclosed racks at the west end of Platform 1 are to be the only racks, then ALL cyclists, on entering the station, will be forced along about 3 or 4 metres of the very narrowest part of the platform, conflicting with passengers standing there and cyclists coming the other way, creating safety problems that currently do not occur.
Cycle parking at Hampton station is currently at over 100% capacity – there is no reason why the existing provision can’t be kept to supplement the secure compound – as is the case at many stations with secure compounds e.g. Twickenham.
We have raised this issue with SWT and we encourage all of you who use this station to email their Customer Relations team: firstname.lastname@example.org
We know there are many more issues out there, so we’re asking for volunteers to review each of the 14 borough stations – counting up current racks and how many are occupied, and noting down any issues, such as poorly installed stands (e.g. too close), poor lighting, poor access. If you would like to join in, email us at email@example.com with which station you’re interested in and we’ll pass on some guidance and a simple one pager to fill in when you carry out your audit (like this example). We plan to complete this by end of June.