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:

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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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“War: what are we fighting for?”

Safe Cycling on a Cycle Lane in Richmond

Richmond Cycling Campaign, the local group of the London Cycling Campaign, exists to encourage people to cycle.  We do this in different ways:

  • organising two rides a month;
  • running maintenance workshops at different places in the Borough;
  • asking the two relevant highways authorities, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and Transport for London, for safe and convenient routes to cycle in the Borough;
  • asking the Council for sufficient cycle parking to meet the need;
  • asking the police to work on the problem of bike theft.

No one of these activities is more important than another which is why we supported Sky Ride Local this year, funded by the Council in partnership with British Cycling [click here for their review of the 2011 programme] and why we wouldn’t argue with Councillor Harborne, our Borough Cycling Champion, about the value of “promoting an exciting programme of events to get more people cycling, more often, safely and for fun”.

But because no one of these activities is more important than another we think Councillor Harborne should be concerned when cycling is not safe and is not fun on the Borough’s roads.  That’s why we wrote to the Council, after Liverpool City Council and the local Primary Care Trust agreed to jointly fund 20mph schemes, to ask if:

“there are any comparable discussions going on between the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and the Primary Care Trust about the public health benefits of 20mph limits?  Are there any plans to do so?”

We received this reply from our Borough Cycling Champion:

“Did you know that:

There are already 46 20 mph zones in the borough and large parts of the rest of the borough where there is no record of any accidents at all, ever.

We are the 3rd safest LB out of 33. Obviously we should be the safest, but that’s a work in progress.

Sometimes campaigning to improve safety is counter productive. It puts potential new cyclist off. Is that what you want to do?

Particularly when the fear of accidents is not backed up by statistics. Don’t you think?

Can we please have RCC encouraging people to cycle not putting them off.  It would be better for everyone.”

Now, we exist to encourage cycling so being told we’re putting people off is a worry, so we wrote back to our Borough Cycling Champion:

very helpfully we have a map of cycle collisions recorded in the Borough between 2006 and 2010 so we know exactly where they do and don’t happen which is why we’re particularly concerned about the 4 clusters identified below

[Click here for our previous post about where collisions happen in the Borough and here for a searchable map of all collisions for the last 10 years]

As a campaigning group we constantly wrestle with the problem of unintentionally discouraging people from cycling but it’s our view that people make informed decisions about risk when they know the facts, hence our concern about these four clusters.  I am very happy to publicise the fact we are the 3rd safest Borough in London if you tell me the meaning of “safe” and the statistical source.

Do you have a list of the 46 zones in the Borough and do you know how this compares with other Boroughs, say the neighbouring Boroughs of Hounslow and Kingston with whom we share our Assembly Member?  It’s been suggested Richmond has the 2nd lowest number of zones in the country, do you know if that’s the case?

Are you able to answer my original question about talks with the PCT?”

We haven’t received a reply to date.

Early in the New Year LCC will launch “Go Dutch – clear space for cycling on London’s main roads” the single issue campaign to accompany the London Assembly elections.  It’s about safe and convenient cycle journeys not least because of the cyclist fatalties in London this year.

The campaign aims to get 100,000 signatures on a petition and 10,000 cyclists on the road to persuade the candidates for the London Assembly that this important, not just for cyclists, but for everyone who want to improve the quality of life in London, who want people-friendly streets.

Which is what we want in our Borough.  We want Richmond, Teddington and Twickenham town centres to be people-friendly, which is not how you could describe them now.  Was it coincidence that last week’s Richmond and Twickenham Times had “High street havoc” on the front page and Tim Lennon’s excellent letter “Deal with this congestion” inside?

Which is why we’ll go on commenting about the effect of planned highway engineering schemes even though we have to search for them and even though we were told in September we can’t go to the Transport Management Liaison Group.  And thank you to all the Veloteers who replied to our request for comments on these schemes.

[Click here to read what we’ve done this month]

Which is why we’ll go on asking the Council what they’re doing for people who cycle even though few, if any, of our Manifesto requests at the 2010 local government elections have been realised.

Which is why we’ll keep going to the Cycling Liaison Group and ask the Council questions about cycling in the Borough.

[Click here for the issues we’ve raised ahead of the next meeting on Monday 9th January 2012]

E-mail your comments to: campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk

“On your bike” – Proposed Highway Engineering Works

This post has been updated on: 15th December 2011

Thank you to all the RCC Veloteers who responded to our request for comments on these 3 schemes.  Click on the locations to read our submissions:

Hanworth Road Whitton, Stanley Road Teddington and Terrace Yard Petersham.

It’s worth noting we have been consulted about a proposed Advisory Cycle Lane in Richmond Road, East Twickenham, but this may be the result of a long-standing working relationship with the Highway Engineer: click here to read our response.

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Since the Council told us earlier this year that we couldn’t go to the Traffic Management Liaison Group anymore, and while we wait to hear how they will consult us about the potential impact of proposed highway engineering works on people who cycle, we’ve been picking up proposed work through Richmond Council’s Digest, an e-mail list of Council activity [click here if you want them to tell you what they’re doing]

There are 3 this week, all relating to proposals to spend Section 106 Town and Country Planning Act money on highway improvements at:

1. Terrace Yard, Petersham Road, Richmond

2. Stanley Road, Teddington

3. Hanworth Road, Whitton

1. Terrace Yard, Petersham Road, Richmond

3.2 The new layout of the development and the new crossover access to the site has impacted on the existing pelican crossing. To ensure that the crossing is safe for pedestrians it is essential that the crossing is relocated away from the vehicle crossover. Associated footway and surfacing works are considered necessary to ensure that the approaches to the relocated crossing are to an appropriate standard.

3.3 This project will comprise two main elements:

  • A slight relocation of the existing pelican crossing to ensure that it is mid way between the two vehicle crossovers and not partly over one as is the current position;
  • Improvements to the footways and road surfacing in conjunction with the changes to the pelican crossing, with the addition of anti-skid surfacing to improve road safety.”

2. Stanley Road, Teddington

3.2 Residents have reported ongoing issues with vehicles parking on the zig-zag markings on the approaches to the Stanley Road Zebra Crossing and illegal manoeuvres associated with the one way restrictions at the junction of Fulwell Road/Stanley Road. The development site is opposite the junction of Fulwell Road/Stanley Road and just north of the Stanley Road Zebra Crossing.

3.3 This project will have two main elements:

  • Footway widening at the junction of Fulwell Road/Stanley Road to improve the start of the one way working;
  • The introduction of a central refuge on the zebra crossing outside the parade of shops, just south of the development to shorten the crossing distance and discourage parking on the zig-zag markings.”

3. Hanworth Road, Whitton

“3.2 The junction of Hanworth Road/Powder Mill Lane has a history of Personal Injury Collisions.  The junction is currently controlled with a mini-roundabout and has a Puffin Crossing in close proximity to the mini-roundabout.

3.3 The project comprises:

  • Relocation of the existing crossing and the possible provision of a new crossing facility or signalised junction (subject to feasibility/design)
  • Realignment of the mini-roundabout to increase deflection and alterations to the existing parking arrangements.”

E-mail: campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk if you know any of these locations and think there’s an opportunity to make things more safe and more convenient for people who cycle, or you think that what’s proposed could make it unsafe and inconvenient.

And why not e-mail the Council as well: HighwaysAndTransport@Richmond.gov.uk

Patchwork – put wheels under the Big Society

We’re moving fast towards the end of the campaigning year with RCC’s annual meeting on Monday 14th November and LCC AGM on 16th, so we’ve been thinking about doing things next year, with the London Assembly elections on 3rd May and the associated LCC 2012 campaign “Go Dutch“.

We think we can strengthen what we already do by continuing to develop the veloteer idea used so effectively for the railway station cycle parking audits and the reports on Hammersmith Bridge and London Road roundabout.

Why do we think that?  Because as a local cyclist you know the routes, what works and what doesn’t.  You know the problems and because you know the problems you’re likely to know how to solve them.  So you’ll know whether the works proposed by the Council, and TfL, will actually make your cycle journey better, or worse, or make no difference at all. Living locally means you can use your democratic right to ask your local  councillor what’s going on.  And because the Council’s highway officers have a geographic responsiblity we can develop a working relationship at a practical level.

We think there may be 9 patches in the Borough and if you live in one of them we’re asking you to get involved (and that involvement can be as simple as the occasional email or more involved if you want, the level of commitment is up to you):

1. Barnes, Beverley Brook, Barnes Bridge, Vine Road, Upper Richmond Road

2. Mortlake and East Sheen, Barnes Bridge, Chiswick Bridge, Manor Road, Richmond Park

3. Kew, North A316, Chiswick Bridge, Kew Bridge,

4. Richmond, South A316, Manor Road, Richmond Bridge, Petersham Road, St Margaret’s including north A316

5. Ham and Petersham

6. Whitton, North A316 from Marlow Crescent

7. Twickenham, Twickenham Bridge, Richmond Bridge, Fulwell and Strawberry Hill golf courses, St. Mary’s

8. Teddington, Bushy Park, Kingston Bridge, Hampton Court Bridge

9. Hampton

We also think the A316 Cycle Route should be have its own veloteers because it runs through so many of the patches and is such an important route.

E-mail: campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk to make a difference to cycling in Richmond Borough, we know many of you already do.

Round and round and round we go…

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, crossing the London Road at the junction with Chertsey Road is difficult and dangerous.  So we were pleased to hear in March that Transport for London was consulting on a plan to make it easier.  We weren’t pleased when we saw it. Why? Because it doesn’t do anything to make crossing less difficult or less dangerous.  Here’s an example of what TfL say:

“In terms of the width of the traffic islands, the Department for Transport has issued guidance which suggests that a cycle with a trailer is 2.75m long, and that the recommended minimum depth of a traffic island (in order to accommodate a cycle with a trailer) should be 3m.  The proposed pedestrian refuge on the southern arm of London Road is 3.5m wide at its widest point, and at the northern arm is 3.7m wide at the widest point.  We are confident therefore that parents using cycles with trailers can be accommodated.”

Forget, for a moment, the relevance of the widest point on an island that’s a tear drop shape and is not designed to be crossed at its widest point anyway: much, much, more important is how do you get on it when traffic is nose to tail and moving at different speeds?

And how do you get off it when vehicles are accelerating into the exit lanes like it’s a race track?

We say people need protected space to cross in and narrowing entrance and exit lanes creates that space.  TfL says:

“Increasing the size of the islands any further would prevent the owners of [properties in] London Road from entering/exiting…  The same issue prevents us from installing zebra crossings – there are a number of dropped kerbs on the north and south sections of London Road and these would prevent the installation of a crossing.  The only available space is approximately 30m from the roundabout (on each arm), which would be too distant from the natural pedestrian desire line to make their provision worthwhile.”

Why can’t TfL install toucan crossings, like the all junctions before and after London Road and like the one that is so well-used on the Richmond side of the roundabout ?

We think it’s disgraceful that people, cyclists and pedestrians, are brought to the edge of a busy road and given no help to cross by TfL: why not?

What do you think?  E-mail campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk Remember TfL have been invited to the next meeting of the Cycling Liaison Group on 11th July.

And thanks to Caroline Pidgeon, Chair of the Transport Committee at the Greater London Assembly, for her continuing support, including repeatedly asking the Mayor of London when and what TfL is planning at the junction.

UPDATE: Getting TfL to prioritise the safety of pedestrians and cyclists is not just an issue here in Richmond, over in the City of London, Transport for London won’t release information about whether or not it included cyclists or pedestrians in the models for Blackfriars junction.

TfL Consultation to Improve Safety on the A316 London Road Roundabout

After a lot of hard campaigning by a local cyclist, TfL have opened a consultation to improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists crossing the southern and northern exits of the London Road Roundabout on the A316. Read the details below and pass your feedback to the email at the end. The deadline is Friday 1st April. A big word of thanks to Tim for pursuing this – check him out on Twitter at https://twitter.com/treesandweeds

Transport for London (TfL), is currently developing a proposal to improve crossing facilities on the roundabout at the junction of the A316 Chertsey Road and A310 London Road.

The scheme will provide safer crossing points on the northern and southern arms of the A316 Chertsey Road / A310 London Road roundabout junction in the London Borough of Richmond and in addition will remove the current gap in the London Cycling Network route 169 which runs east / west across the roundabout.

Shared footway use will be extended for both pedestrians and cyclists at the proposed crossing points which will provide continuation of route for cyclists. In summary, the proposed measures include the following:

  • Provision of crossing points on the northern & southern London Road for pedestrians/cyclists
  • Provision of new tactile paving at crossing points
  • Shared use footway areas for pedestrians and cyclists extended to the proposed crossing points
  • Provision of re-aligned & widened footpath on the north-eastern footway section of the roundabout junction
  • Chertsey Road eastern approach reduced from three lanes to two lanes

If you have any comments with regard to this proposal please contact us at STEngagement@tfl.gov.uk by Friday 1 April 2011

LBRuT Proposed Cycle Map

At the latest CLG Meeting in January, the council announced that they were going to produce a cycle map for the borough, which maps existing cycle infrastructure and routes. This is your opportunity to provide feedback on the draft that we were provided with.

Questions to ask yourself are:

  • Are your routes covered?
  • Do you have issues with any of the proposed routes
  • What concerns do you have with routes within the borough e.g. hazardous crossings, gaps in cycle infrastructure, pinch points (e.g. due to traffic islands), poor cycle lanes (on or off road)
  • Where would you like to see investment in better cycle infrastructure e.g. to allow your children to cycle to school
  • What else would you like to see on the map e.g. location of libraries

The full map can be accessed via the link below:

LBRuT Draft Cycle Map

Please feed back to our Campaign’s Coordinator, Nick, at campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk, before the 11th February. If there’s a bit of your route that you feel particularly passionate about, why note provide some feedback like our previous Veloteers.

Another ‘Veloteer’ Review – Hammersmith Bridge

UPDATE – 6 December 2011

There is still no movement in improving this crossing to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians alike – with cyclists still expected to hop onto a very narrow shared use footpath, which itself is often strewn with road works. The barriers themselves are often broken, with a number of bus drivers having been caught on CCTV removing them when they haven’t opened.
Local cyclist, Mathieu Davy, has shot an excellent video which illustrates the problem very well. We continue to raise this issue with the local authorities and will keep you updated of any progress.

Hammersmith bridge cycle lane from Mathieu Davy on Vimeo.

Original Post – 8 November 2010

In addition to the review of the London Road Roundabout on the A316, we’ve also had a local cyclist carry out an audit of Hammersmith Bridge, in particular the new bus lane barriers and the diversion of cyclists onto a shared footpath, installed earlier this year. The audit also incorporates feedback from other cyclists who’ve told us about intimidation on the bridge.

Hammersmith Bridge is a key transport route, being part of the London Cycle Network. A survey in 2008 showed that in the morning peak hour,  a third of the total northbound traffic were cyclists.

Cycle Audit of Hammersmith Bridge

Two key issues highlighted in the audit:

  • The new layout routes cyclists onto a busy narrow shared footpath on both sides of bridge causing conflict with pedestrians
  • Cyclists being intimidated on crossing the bridge by motorists passing in an unsafe manner

Hammersmith and Fulham council were responsible for the recent works and the council believe the current layout is ok and no further improvement is justified. Hammersmith and Fulham Cyclists have launched a survey to obtain feedback from cyclists as to whether this is actually the case. You can fill it out by clicking on the link below, the deadline is Friday 12 November. We shall also be providing a copy of our audit as input.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LRP7N2Y

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