Roadworks and Secure Parking

A couple of relevant items in the recent round-up of things Council.

Prioritisation of Highway Works

To quote, “The main purpose of this report is to:-

  • describe proposed new arrangements for the policy approach  to how pavement and roadway works are prioritised and programmed;
  • describe the decisions to be made on the major pavement and roadway programmes for 2011/12.”

Interesting for cyclists using the Borough’s road network, although the words “cycle” and “cyclist” don’t appear in the report and “cycling” only once in the context of “health and well-being”.

Neither do the words appear in a recent newspaper article about Sixth Cross Road Odd, as the slip road Councillor Head talks about is a signed cycle route.  Disappointing, as the draft LIP2 and Cycling Strategy says:

“the road network generally should be regarded as a facility for cyclists as much as for vehicular traffic. It is recognised that cyclists can and will use the highway network for their highly individual trips and to link with the promoted cycle network.” [para 1.11 p16]

“It is acknowledged that cycling specific budgets are unlikely to deliver the step changes in the number of cycling trips that the Borough wishes to achieve. The potential lies in maximising the benefits for cyclists, and vulnerable road users generally, from all traffic management schemes including highway maintenance.” [My italics: para 10.2 p44]

Note the emphasis in the Sixth Cross article and the Prioritisation report is:

“Physical junction improvements…that are designed to increase capacity and thus reduce congestion” [para 3.3 p3]

RCC believes the Council should be actively encouraging other means of transport and cannot engineer a way out of the problem of congestion.  RCC believes LIP2 will not encourage significant numbers out of the car and onto the bike [see RCC LIP2 Response]

Secure Cycle Parking

This is the decision to build a secure shelter at Mortlake station rather than Teddington.  I don’t remember this being mentioned at the Cycling Liaison Group the following day but the notes of the meeting may prove me wrong.  More about this meeting to follow.

Notice of 3 LBRuT cycle schemes

Details of 3 schemes have been posted recently on the Richmond Borough website and the associated reports give an insight on their strategic thinking.  Paragraph 6.3 of the Cross Deep report says “The Council will seek to provide practical facilities for the safe and convenient movement of cyclists” which gives us a standard to test both the credibility of the existing network and planned work.  It goes on to talk about “the development of a local cycle route to complement the London Cycle Network” and “New development must be designed to give high priority to cycle facilities and to link to the cycle route network and include secure parking in accordance with standards.”

I said in previous postings secure cycle parking is a recurring theme in current and future spending plans and this is why:”It will also seek to provide and support the provision of secure parking areas for cycles in shopping and leisure centres, public transport interchanges and other public buildings.” Cycle Parking at Railway Stations lists the net increase of 116 cycle spaces for £105,000 and in Teddington High Street 5 stands as part of a scheme costing £14,000.

Send your thoughts on these schemes to campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk ahead of the next meeting of the Cycling Liaison Group on Monday 24th January.

Audit of Cycle Parking at Railway Stations in Borough of Richmond

“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 Holland 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

There are fourteen railway stations in the Borough of Richmond, each with great potential for increasing the number of people arriving by bicycle. RCC members carried out an audit of all thirteen stations and these audits can be accessed by clicking on the station name in the table below.

Check out your nearest station and the recommendations from the audits. These are live documents so let us know of anything we’ve missed, new issues or things you’d like to see improved at campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk Having accurate information is vital to influence future consultations and any future updgrades of facilities.

Station (Click on station name to see audit)  National Rail Cycles Reported Stolen (1)  Cycle Parking Spaces (2)  % Usage of Parking (3)  Annual Passengers (4)  DfT Target Spaces (1/20 passengers) (5) 
Barnes Station Plan 5 62 TBC 855,109 117
Barnes Bridge Station Plan 1 14 0 233,627 32
Fulwell Station Plan 3 20 40 242,576 33
Hampton Station Plan 3 49 53 610,021 84
Hampton Wick Station Plan 11 82 39 439,060 60
Kew Gardens Station Plan 1 34 141 2,028,668 278
Mortlake Station Plan 6 102 63 992,791 136
North Sheen Station Plan 0 0 n/a 160,160 22
Richmond Station Plan 9 128 125 6,742,049 924
St Margarets Station Plan 1 12 100+ 775,058 106
Strawberry Hill Station Plan 1 16 56 507,697 70
Teddington Station Plan 7 92 52 1,254,146 172
Twickenham Station Plan 14 60 100+ 2,460,099 337
Whitton Station Plan 4 10 100+ 683,975 94

(1) Bikes reported stolen by the British Transport Police, (01/06/09 – 07/03/10). Source, BTP
(2) Bike parking spaces as observed as part of 2010 RCC Parking Audit
(3) Based on number of spaces observed full as part of 2010 RCC Parking Audit
(4) Obtained from BTP website, http://stats.btp.police.uk  Accessed October 2010.
(5) DfT Report targets 5% of passengers arriving by bicycle – equates to one space per 20 passengers
(6) In Holland, where up to 40% of passengers arrive by bicycle, there is on average one space per 3 passengers

RCC would like to see improvements in three areas that would help realise the potential for growth in cycling to stations in the Borough – Security, Provision and Access.

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SmarterTravelRichmond launch Campaign to Reduce Cycle Thefts in Richmond

Following our report earlier this year of the 2,296 bikes stolen in the borough since 2007, SmarterTravelRichmond have launched a six month ‘Lock it or Lose it’ campaign in partnership with the Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams and British Transport Police running from October 2010 to February 2011. The partnership is aiming to reduce cycle theft within the Borough of Richmond, and this will be through Education, Enforcement and Events.

Education
Through the campaign, the team want to reduce the chances of cyclists having their bikes stolen and increase the likelihood of recovery in the following key areas:

London Cycling Campaign’s ‘Beat the Thief Campaign’ provides good advice in all these areas – LCC Cycle Security and see the advice on our earlier post.

Enforcement
The police are placing cycle theft high on their priority list and this includes several key actions:

  • Increased high visibility patrols at cycle theft hot spots across the borough
  • The setting up of a central repository for recovered bicycles in the borough at Twickenham Police Station – all the recovered bikes in the borough will be sent to this central point and people who have their bike stolen can call 0300 123 1212 and report it, get an appointment and can view reclaimed bikes to identify theirs within 2 months.

Events
Ten events have been arranged across the borough from October through to February 2011.  The first, held on 12 October at Twickenham station attracted over 100 participants. At these events there will be:

  • Free Cycle Marking
  • Theft Awareness Advice
  • Sign up for Cycle Training and Maintenance Training
  • Dr Bike bicycle checks

Further details of the events can be found here – Bicycle Theft Reduction Events

Continue reading

Are you one of the 2,296?

As part of LCC’s beat the Thief campaign, RCC has obtained, via a Freedom of Information request, information on bicycle theft within the Borough of Richmond from 2007. The numbers are telling – in that period a total of 2,296 bikes were stolen. We’ve uploaded both the FoI response from the Met and an analysis of the numbers so you can look at them for yourself, but here are some key take aways:

  • Across the Borough, there has been an 8% increase in the number of reported thefts since 2007
  • In the first 6 months of this year there have already been 344 thefts, putting 2010 on track to be the worst year
  • The worst wards are South Richmond, Barnes and East Sheen, accounting for nearly a third of all thefts so far in 2010
  • Several wards have shown an improvement – St Margarets and North Twickenham and Twickenham Riverside wards are on track this year to halve the number of bikes stolen in 2007
  • Thefts have increased significantly in several wards over the period, particularly Barnes (+106%),  East Sheen (+200%) and Ham, Petersham & Richmond Riverside (+140%)
  • There has been a marked increase in 2010 in some wards, with Teddington showing almost as many bikes stolen in the first 6 months of 2010 as in the whole of 2009
  • Only 6% of bicycles reported stolen are recovered, in spite of Richmond’s SNT marking over 8000 bikes in the Borough

The chart below shows where the thefts have occurred in 2010 (click on the chart to see a larger version).

We asked the police in Richmond what they were doing to tackle cycle theft in the Borough and they provided the following statement:

“Richmond upon Thames SNT’s regularly perform cycle marking at a variety of community events and locations and currently over 8000 bikes have been marked . The SNT also plan their patrols around the locations of reported crime and indeed in June, significant arrests were made of two individuals which are suspected of being involved in a number of bicycle thefts . The SNT crime priorities are decided by the community and reflect the crime concerns that community has . At the beginning of August 2010 two wards , Ham and North Richmond have theft of pedal cycle as a priority.”

Given the low recovery rate, and the lack of interest in some of the wards to tackling this problem (have a look at the minutes from the Safer Network Teams meetings to see how rarely cycle theft is mentioned), the best approach is prevention, with good guidance from LCC’s Beat the Thief campaign, including this video on how to lock you bike up correctly.

If your bike is stolen, it is most likely to end up on eBay or Gumtree – a London cyclist recently created a website which scours both these sites and you may be able to spot your bike using it – http://bikeshd.co.uk/. A quick look at the site illustrates how many of the bikes are blantantly stolen (limited information on the bike for sale, use of pictures from catalogues rather than actual photos of the bike for sale) and LCC is working to try and crack down on this practice.

We shall report back soon on the the audit of cycle parking at railway stations within the Borough, but in the interim don’t hesitate to contact on this or any cycling related concerns in the Borough.

Cycle Parking Audit at Railway Stations

Following the earlier post about the new cycle parking at Richmond Railway Station, we can report back that after our feedback South West Trains visited the station to review the parking and recognised that additional signage is required. The council are also looking at the opportunity to provide additional signage to complement that provided by South West Trains. We were also told that the cycle parking is covered by CCTV which is monitored on a 24 hour basis from Waterloo.

To coincide with the new cycle parking at Richmond, the members of RCC have undertaken an audit of the other 13 stations in the Borough, which we will report back on next month. In the meantime, the table below lists the stations, with plans of them along with the number of reported bike thefts over the last 9 months, a period which saw a total of 66 bikes reported stolen by BTP. The figures make interesting reading, particularly the disproportionate number stolen from Hampton Wick, in relation to the number of passengers using it.

Station Location National Rail Stolen Bikes (01/06/09 – 07/03/10) Source – BTP Bike Parking Spaces Source – National Rail Passengers Per Year Source – BTP
Barnes Map Link Cycle Parking 5 38 855,109
Barnes Bridge Map Link Cycle Parking 1 10 233,627
Fulwell Map Link Cycle Parking 3 20 242,576
Hampton Map Link Cycle Parking 3 64 610,021
Hampton Wick Map Link Cycle Parking 11 50 439,060
Kew Gardens Map Link Cycle Parking 1 12 2,028,668
Mortlake Map Link Cycle Parking 6 54 992,791
North Sheen Map Link Cycle Parking 0 0 160,160
Richmond Map Link Cycle Parking 9 128 6,742,049
St Margarets Map Link Cycle Parking 1 0 775,058
Strawberry Hill Map Link Cycle Parking 1 8 507,697
Teddington Map Link Cycle Parking 7 98 1,254,146
Twickenham Map Link Cycle Parking 14 60 2,460,099
Whitton Map Link Cycle Parking 4 10 683,975

This review coincides with London Cycle Campaign’s recently launched “Beat the Thief Campaign“, which includes a video and some tips on how to lock your bike as well as an ‘8 Point Beat the Theif Manifesto’.

Closer to home, local Twickenham cyclists are setting up a website called Bike Revolution, which will allow you to register your bike details for free and offer help in finding your bike if it’s stolen. There is also the national Immobilise Website already established. Also in the Borough, several of the Met Police Safer Neighbourhood Police Teams are increasing the priority of countering the theft of cycles. The North Richmond Team have offered to provide free security marking to anyone who contacts them.

There is a lot you can do to reduce the chances of having your bike stolen and increase the chances of having it recovered:
1. Take down the details of your bike (particularly the frame number) and take a photo of it – Bike details template
2. Get it security marked by the Police and register it – Immobilise
3. Choose your locks wisely, lock it up correctly and select where you lock it carefully – Follow LCC’s advice and see Camden’s Bike Security Pamphlet

New Cycle Parking at Richmond Railway Station

South West Trains have just installed a new cycle parking facility in the car park of Richmond Railway Station. There are spaces for up to 96 bikes, it is covered and well lit at night. It is also alongside the well frequented pathway from the rear of the station to Church Road  so should improve security.

 

Unfortunately, at present there is not a great awareness of the new facility as there is little signage of its existence, other than this little sign by the station entrance. 

We intend to raise this with SWT and hope to see improved signage installed.

Going forward, we are going to do a survey of cycle parking at all the railway (and underground) stations in the Borough of Richmond. Anyone guess how many there are? Answer in a later post. In the meantime, if there is a particular station you would like us to focus on, send us an email at campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk and we’ll ensure it gets done.

Cycle security remains an issue throughout London, and is an area that London Cycle Campaign is focusing on. It is a very current issue in the Borough of Richmond, as this report from British Transport Police shows – 16 bikes stolen from stations in the first quarter of 2010 (taken from Community and Police Partnership, March Meeting). 

For more information on cycle security and how to lock your bike, this pamphlet by Camden Council is highly recommended.