Good Practice and Bad

crane park 001The Cyclists Please Dismount signs that have just appeared are, at least, polite but the London Cycling Design Guide frowns on Cyclists Dismount signs.

In this location it isn’t even desirable behaviour –  a cyclist walking with a bike would fully block the route for some time. A sensible cyclist would ride up to the turn, stop ,wait for any walkers under the bridge, and when clear ride through quickly. There is already a pedestrian priority sign but maybe “Cyclists stop and look out for walkers” would be more explicit.

A pity that unimaginative planers see “Cyclists Dismount” as the solution to all problems – strange that you never see “Drivers push your vehicles”.

On the Good side Hounslow have finally joined the Heath Path to the Hanworth Road

2015-07-16 13.11.00The use of bollards to mark the dropped kerb and keep it free from parking is something that Richmond could adapt in Ranelagh  Rd where the access to Isleworth Prom is usually parked over.

Greening the Infrastructure Bill – Urgent

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:

  • Protect the environment and communities from problems like noise and air pollution
  • Work with local authorities when it makes new plans, so it doesn’t just focus on widening main roads
  • Stop the new ‘watchdog’ only sticking up for motorists and make it stick up for people living near main roads too

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.

Tell your MP to help sort out the Infrastructure Bill

Quiet Routes in Richmond

The borough is hoping for Boris’ cycle funding. To do that it will need to construct a network of quiet routes to the standard of the Mayor’s Vision. The good new is that we are lucky in having some good sections already (eg due to Royal Parks) the bad news is that they are not joined up to each other or to town centres.

I have sketched out my view of the current state of play.

Green = good

Blue = OK ish / some improvements desirable ,

Purple = significant improvements needed (closing rat-runs or improved segregation)

Red = No provision at the moment needs major rethink.

These are a bit broad-brush but I would be interested in other people’s opinions. Are there acceptable alternative routes to the ones I have marked in red ?

Asking for change doesn’t have to be hard!

You might remember the furore a while ago over the Richmond Magazine’s editorial on cycling, and the excellent article on cycling they subsequently published on children cycling (PDF here).

The kind of cycling we might see more of in a 20mph Richmond (Image from -

Well now there’s another excellent article, this time looking at speed limits, and how Surrey and Richmond seem desperate to swim against the 20mph tide.

We’d urge you to read the article, and then vote in their online poll (appears half way down the home page), if you agree that wide-scale adoption of 20mph limits on our borough roads could be a good thing. And if you still need convincing about the merits of the argument, check out the extensive data assembled by “20’s plenty for us” or head straight to their briefing papers on all the basics, like:

  • Why 20mph is good for cycling (PDF)
  • Why 20mph improves residential streets (PDF)
  • Why broad adoption of 20mph is significantly better than lots of specific zones (PDF)
And you can check out the Twitterverse for useful gems like this: “In the same distance a 20mph driver can stop, a 30mph driver is still doing 24mph.” or this:

Image from 'the 20 effect'

So in the first of an occasional series, take the opportunity to check out some of the data, and then vote in the Richmond Magazine’s poll, as a simple thing you can do to tell our councillors of all stripe how much you’d like to see cycling improve in the borough.

Richmond Entries for Cycling Facility of the Month ?

A nice clear logo to show where cyclists should ride

(Staines Rd Twickenham)

Textured paving and sign clearly show the end of shared use of footway. Just turn right to move to carriageway — over the fence !

(Sixth Cross Rd Twickenham.)

Fortunately there’s a convenient warning painted on the ground in case you don’t see the car before you hit it head on!

(Church Road, Richmond)

It is because of poorly implemented facilities like these (which are dangerous, both to cyclists and pedestrians) that we continue to plead with Richmond council to be consulted on future projects, but sadly they refuse to do so. At the end of the day, poor facilities are just a waste of the council tax that we all pay.

There are a lot more amusing examples on this website – Cycle Facility of the Month. It is a real shame, because with some attention to best practice, there is no reason why we couldn’t have facilities a much higher standard in the borough. Here are some examples of better quality cycle infrastructure (taken from so some are better than others).