Burtons Road and connections.

Burtons Road has long been recognised as a generally cycle-friendly alternative to Park Road / Uxbridge Road but is plagued by rat-running at peak hours. Several traffic-removal schemes have been rejected as risking diverting traffic into other narrow roads.

IMG_20180723_114811066_HDR

The map below (based on Open Cycle Map) suggests how two filters (red) one straight across and one diagonal could allow vehicular access whilst blocking rat-running.

Burtons RdSolid blue lines are important road links whilst the hashed lines are tracks used by cyclists with some difficulties.The railway path is narrow and overgrown

Burtons -railway pathwhilst the path at the west end has narrow gates.

Burtons -gateNeither has cycling forbidden  (the railway track is labelled footpath at one end but that doesn’t make cycling illegal). Some improvement would be needed to make them useful for all.

Green circles are existing toucan crossings whilst the orange ones are where a crossing is needed.There is a ramped bridge to cross the A316.

A316 BridgeThe numerous schools are shown by magenta circles whilst Fulwell Station is the nearest railway. ( a segregated track along Wellington Rd would shorten some journeys but that is a future ambition).

Cycle Hub at Teddington Station

cyclehub….was opened by the Deputy Mayor who arrived by bike (although it later transpired that it had been borrowed from her son. )  She talked about encouraging commuters to leave their cars at home ..but the remark about this leaving space for parents returning from driving their children to school suggests that the message has not fully got through. The Network Rail person’s emphasis on planning for future increase in demand was more welcome.

We get : lots of decent cycle parking – and there is space between the double decker racks to pull down the upper and load your bike from the end-  , a pump which doubles as a maintenance stand and a chained set of tools all overlooked by a security camera with info on trains and weather on a monitor.

Now all we need is good routes to cycle to the station !

Review of Cycle Parking at Railway Stations

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:

Lack of cycle parking space at Kew Gardens railway station

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 tony.arbour@london.gov.uk ) and Caroline Pidgeon (GLA Member for Transport – caroline.pidgeon@london.gov.uk) 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)

New secure parking at Hampton station

Existing cycle parking marked for removal at Hampton Station

Narrow access along platform to Hampton secure compound

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: customerrelations@swtrains.co.uk

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 info@richmondlcc.co.uk 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.

What’s happening?

Post Updated 8th March 2012

1. Teddington Railway Station

We now know more about the proposed secure cycle parking at the station following publication of the Council’s report to the Cabinet Member for Highways and Street Scene [click here to read it]:

“It is proposed that 3 existing shelters on platform 1, with parking for up to 30 bicycles, will be enclosed with fencing to form a secure restricted access compound. This will be accessed by a security gate controlled by a swipe card which is provided by SWT upon payment of a returnable deposit.” [para 4.7]

This is also interesting:

“The Transport for London (TfL) Cycle Security Plan highlights that stations in Outer London suffer from a disproportionate level of cycle theft. The Borough has 4 stations in the top 25 stations (in Greater London) suffering the highest levels of cycle theft (2009/10)” [para 4.4]

Twickenham in 12th place, Richmond 14th, Hampton Wick 18th and Teddington 22nd [p18]

2. A305 Richmond Road – Introduction of advisory cycle lanes between Rosslyn Road and Richmond Bridge

We responded to the public consultation on this at the end of last year and we know others did as well. We highlighted that the lane, at 1.3m, did not meet the London Cycle Design Standards which state the minimum should be 1.5m, preferably 2m and that it did nothing to deal with challenges of crossing Richmond Bridge – You can read our submission to the consultation here.

Click here to read the Council’s report to the Cabinet Member for Highways and Street Scene to see which comments made it into print and what the Council Officer has said about them [Annex B]. On the subject of narrow cycle lanes, their comment was telling on their attitudes to cyclists:

“There are many examples where advisory cycle lanes of less than 1.50 metres provide a safe and convenient facility for cyclists, particularly when vehicular traffic is stationary or slow moving” (item h in this report). Have a look at this video by a local cyclist and see if you think the lanes are safe and convenient:

Continue reading

Twickenham Town Centre

Update: 12th February 2012

Twickenham Area Action Plan public consultation

Thanks again to the Richmond Veloteers who helped us submit our written response to LDF Consultation before the deadline on 10th February [click here to read it] as well as the two background reports, written in 2009 and 2012, we sent in to inform the content of the “detailed Traffic Scheme” the Action Plan refers to.

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Continue reading

Maybe they are listening…

1. Twickenham

Back in June we asked you to respond to the Council’s consultation on the Twickenham Area Action Plan [click here for the original post] We said then:  

“Unfortunately the 8 page consultation leaflet ”Twickenham Rediscovered, looking back looking forward” available at yesterday’s public meeting and here doesn’t actually use the words “bicycle”, “cycling” or “cyclist”.  “Cycle” does appear, once, on page 3: “Limited widening of eastern footway in London Road through removal of cycle lane.

Well, a report on the consultation for the Council’s Cabinet has been published [click here] together with a summary of all consultation on the options [click here]  If you live, work or spend time in Twickenham you’ll be interested in all of it but as cyclists we’re particularly interested in what it says on page 49 of the Cabinet report under 3.19 Responses to Traffic and Pedestrian Proposals:   

“Separate comments received within the questionnaires and at various meetings included concerns about sufficient provision being made for cyclists.”  

“It is proposed that further detailed feasibility work and modelling is carried out.  The main areas for further investigative work are:

Station area improvements, including consideration of bus lanes and stops, provision for cyclists and taxis, improved junctions and site access;

King Street/York Street improvements including changes to bus lanes and stops, improvements for pedestrians, cyclists, servicing and consequent environmental improvements;

Water Lane/Church Street/Embankment – further investigation of opportunities to reduce turning movements and through traffic, consequent environmental improvements to public areas.”

So thanks to all of you who responded to the consultation and made sure cycling in Twickenham is on the agenda. 

What we didn’t have in June was the cycle collisions data the Council gave us in September.  This shows clearly clusters of blue squares [serious collisions] and green circles [slight collisions] in Heath Road, King Street and London Road [click on the photo to make it a bit bigger and a bit easier to see]

    

At last night’s meeting of the Cycling Liaison Group we asked the Council if they use the cycle collision data to 1) prioritise highway engineering works and 2) decide what work is appropriate.  They said “yes we do“, the officers discuss it with the Cabinet Member when deciding on the programme of works for the next financial year.  That time is soon so while we work through the CLG we’re asking those of you living in Twickenham to ask your councillors what’s being done to reduce the number and severity of cycle collisions. King Street and London Road south of the railway are in Twickenham Riverside Ward, London Road north of the railway in St Margaret’s and North Twickenham and Heath Road is South Twickenham, according to My Richmond

Depending on the cause of each collision maybe 20mph zones are the way to go in Richmond [including Richmond Bridge] and Twickenham town centres.  

2. A316 Cycle Route

In August we asked you to respond to TfL’s consultation on the proposal to permanently close the junctions on the Chertsey Road at Godfrey Avenue, Redway Drive and Jublilee Avenue [click here for the original post] We’ve received this reply to our response:

TfL considers that this current proposal will reduce illegal rat running through Redway Drive, the proposals will also encourage cyclists to use this adjacent route as an alternative to the shared use footway.

With regard to the bollards at Jubilee Avenue, I can confirm that the bollard on the northern side of the junction between the telecommunications box and the railings will be removed from the proposal and a further bollard will be relocated as per the attached design. TfL considers that the remaining bollards follow the line of the northern timber fence and therefore do not present a significant barrier to cyclists or pedestrians.

TfL is currently investigating renewal of the lighting columns on the A316 and will, subject to feasibility and the availability of funding seek to relocate the lamp columns away from the centre of the footway. Resurfacing of the route will be considered as part of our future maintenance. In the interim we will instruct our maintenance team to trim back the existing foliage to maximise the available width.”

Reasons to be cheerful, 1, 2, 3?

E-mail: campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk with your thoughts about cycling in Twickenham and on the A316 Cycle Route

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike…

If you cycle in, or through, Twickenham, then please click here to go to the Twickenham Area Action Plan consultation page on the Council website.

If you cycle then some of the words on the page are encouraging, like “improvements to the environment, traffic management, public transport and pedestrian and cycle links will be required”

Unfortunately the 8 page consultation leaflet “Twickenham Rediscovered, looking back looking forward” available at yesterday’s public meeting and here doesn’t actually use the words “bicycle”, “cycling” or “cyclist”.  “Cycle” does appear, once, on page 3:

Limited widening of eastern footway in London Road through removal of cycle lane

In the document you’re either traffic or pedestrian and if you’re pedestrian then you’ll be pleased to know the impact of traffic is being reduced, mainly by widening pavements. 

Now I’m sure when the word pedestrian is used the author had cyclists in their mind’s eye, after all there’s a bike in the drawing on page 6, parked in the middle of an imagined King Street, just like they do in Kensington High Street.  But it doesn’t say that and cyclists aren’t pedestrians, except when we’re required to dismount and push our bikes. 

There again maybe I’m wrong because our aspirations for the Crane Valley Route providing a traffic free journey through Twickenham and Moor Meads Park is undermined by repeated reference to the “River Crane walkway”.

Please take the opportunity to comment by completing the questionnaire here pointing out the lack of any explicit reference to the needs of cyclists, including secure cycle parking spaces. 

The closing date is 22nd July 

Talking of which you may want to keep an eye here on the planning application for re-development of Twickenham Railway Station that includes

250 covered cycle spaces for commuters, 208 covered cycle spaces for residents and provision of a river walkway

Click here for what we’ve said before about cycle parking at railway stations, including Twickenham.

Some interesting numbers from yesterday’s meeting included:

2000 vehicles an hour through Twickenham during the peak, dropping to 80% of that, still 1600 vehicles, off-peak. 

For the imagined King Street to work the off-peak figure needs to drop to 65%, 1300 vehicles.  So 300 drivers need to get out of their vehicles and use another way to get around: maybe cycle? 

If King Street is pedestrianised off-peak traffic will be diverted to London Road via Arragon Road.

Note it says on page 5 “Transport proposals will be subject to further detailed testing to ensure they do not have an unacceptable impact on the highway network.”

Barnes Common, again

Not for the first time Barnes Common was discussed at the Cycling Liaison Group The minutes say:

A Public Inquiry held in year 2000 found in the Council’s favour regarding the widening of existing paths across Barnes Common (Public Rights of Way FP10&16) under the Greater London Parks & Open Spaces Act 1967. However, they still require conversion using the Cycle Tracks Act before the paths can be widened and cycling formally allowed along them. If there were objections to the Cycle Tracks Act this could potentially lead to another Public Inquiry. The Cabinet Member has instructed officers to undertake a feasibility study in 2011-12 to consider several alternative options that may be easier to introduce than the previously agreed alignment across the middle of the Common.”

It’s listed under Scheme 4 Greenways in the Council’s latest Draft Cycling Budget 2011-12 £10k is allocated to “Cycle route feasibility study of options with costings/timescales” and fits with “Substantial completion of the Borough’s Greenways Network” in the Cycling Action Plan, Priority Area 1 “Cycle Friendly Road Network”  [2nd Borough Local Implementation Plan for Transport, Section 11 Draft Cycling Strategy]

A map of part of Barnes Common was handed out with various routes shown in different colours. You may remember a scheme in last year’s plan to cross the Common on the Putney side of Rocks Lane that was dropped after oppostion from the Conservators and the money returned to TfL. This time it’s the Barnes side and while RCC wants to look at the whole Common we welcome an opportunity to sort out difficult bits on the existing route [black line on the map] that are not safe or convenient, like the requirement to dismount at the end of Laurel Road

the narrow bridge over Beverley Brook

the dangerous right turn out of Cedars Road on to Mill Hill Road and the double level crossing in Vine Road. Proposed options include:

widening of the footway on west side of Rocks Lane and designation to shared cycle and pedestrian use [thin red line] This would include the provision of a Toucan crossing at Mill Hill Road/Rocks Lane junction (West side);

north east-south west route across Barnes Common between the existing Rocks Lane/Ranelagh Avenue Toucan crossing and the Mill Hill Road/Cedars Road junction [blue line] This would require an informal crossing point of Mill Hill Road before continuing across the Common to the junction of Station Road/Vine Road. It would also require conversion of existing public rights of way footpaths being converted using the Cycle Tracks Act.”

The thick pink line looks like the intended London Cycle Network&LCN+ route.

The options don’t deal with crossing the railway so we propose:

  • Installing wheeling channels on the footbridges at Barnes railway station, which are all around 2.5metres wide like Barnes Bridge station which already has them

  • Designating shared use on at least one of the paths off Vine Road, either opposite Woodlands Road because that leads over Beverley Brook into Rosslyn Avenue and on to White Hart Lane and Mortlake

and/or the junction with Upper Richmond Road where the existing path is already 1.5 metres wide and links to Priory Road and Richmond Park, a key route for visitors to the Olympic Road Race in 2012.

The RCC Priority List identifies barriers to the cycle journey from Richmond to Putney through Barnes and these proposals provide some alternatives.

Share your thoughts on cycling through Barnes and the proposed options campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk

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.