Teddington Waldegrave Road/High Street Roundabout Consultation

Post Updated – 8 February
The council has reported that the proposals have been accepted and improvements shall proceed to make this roundabout safer for cyclists using it. This has not been a popular decision and many have objected, including some who have said there is no safety issue, but the statistics clearly show something needs to be done. Having ten times the borough average incident rate for mini roundabouts and a percentage of cycle incidents of 88% compared to the 33% borough average for a mini roundabouts is not acceptable.

LBRuT Council Decision
Richmond and Twickenham Times Coverage

Post Updated – 22 December
A big thank you to everyone who took the time to feedback to us about this roundabout. A large number of you shared your stories of near misses and many of you were so intimidated by the current layout it stopped you cycling into Teddington town centre. You can read our submission to the council below:
Teddington Waldegrave Road/High Street Roundabout Consultation – RCC Submission

Original Post – 15 December 2012

Another LBRUT consultation (not on their website).

Teddington Waldegrave Road/Hight Street Roundabout Consultation – Deadline Friday 21 December

Proposed changes - click for full plan

The Waldegrave/High Street mini roundabout in Teddington (Map Link) is one of the most hazardous in the whole borough. The council reports that there have been 16 injury incidents during the last five years, 14 of which involved cyclists. Of these, 12 involved the same manoeuvre – travelling over the railway bridge on High Street, colliding with a right turning vehicle exiting Waldegrave Road. This average (3/year) is ten times the borough average 0.3/year for mini roundabouts. The percentage of cycle incidents at 88% is substantially greater than the 33% borough average for a mini roundabout (which in itself is unacceptable given only 5% of all journeys in the borough are made by cyclists).

Looking from railway bridge side (High Street). Click to see in Streetview

The current arrangement on the bridge is a two lane vehicle approach with a central cycle lane for straight ahead cyclists. The council lists the following as key factors in the incidents:

  • Vehicles misjudging cyclists’ speed
  • Cyclists masked by left turning vehicles into Waldegrave Road

The main physical changes proposed are:

  • Reduce High Street approach to one lane
  • Additional kerb build outs
  • Removal of pedestrian guardrails
  • Changes to traffic islands

We commend the council in addressing the dangers and we support the proposals with the improvements we’ve listed below. Significantly, the removal of pedestrian guard rails (which have been phased out across London partly due to crush injuries to cyclists from turning lorries) and the reduction to a single traffic lane (which will reduce traffic speeds and SMIDSY incidents) will significantly improve safety for cyclists.

We would like the council to also consider the following:

  • Review proposed traffic island layout which result in narrowed lanes creating pinch points for cyclists (better use of available space is possible)
  • Rearrangement of kerb lines to increase deflection and to prevent direct ‘tangential’ access onto the roundabout (which reduces vehicle speeds on the roundabout – more on roundabout design)
  • Review of cycle lane provision to and from the roundabout (both on and off-road) and linkage with adjacent Park Road/High Street roundabout and beyond

Space is available to address the first two with little cost impact. The 3rd is vital if parents are going to be willing to cycle across this roundabout with their kids to school. As stated above, this roundabout is a serious hazard with ten times the average incident rate of mini roundabouts in the borough.

A diagram is available showing the proposals – Teddington Proposal Diagram

We would ask you to take 2 minutes to contact the council to support their plans and highlight the additional considerations we’ve listed above along with any concerns of your own. Contact is via email at highwaysandtransport@richmond.gov.uk (quote Reference Number 2293_CL_121112_LF) and copy us on info@richmondlcc.co.uk so we can have an idea of how many people have contacted the council. We will also be sending a submission from RCC. Deadline is Friday 21 December.

Richmond/Sheen (Upper Richmond Road West) Consultation

Post Updated – 24 Dec 2012
The timing of the consultation couldn’t be worse, but if you need some inspiration to ponder over after your Christmas pud, this great summary put together by a local parent who cycles in this area with his children should help – Upper Richmond Road West Consultation Comments.

Don’t forget, deadline for the tick box online form for the consultation is 28 December – details at the bottom of this post.

Original Post – 11 Dec 2012

We spotted another LBRUT consultation on their website this month.

Richmond to Sheen Consultation – Deadline 28 December

Feeling the pinch?

This affects Upper Richmond Road West from the junction of Manor Road to the junction of Clifford Avenue (the South Circular) (Map Link). This is a busy and dangerous section of road with a shocking 29.38 collisions per kilometre in the past 5 years. Have a look at this shocking map of incidents from 2000 to 2010.

The main physical changes are:

  • Realignment and widening in parts of the existing cycle lane
  • Narrowing of the overall carriageway in sections by use of kerb build outs
  • Relocation of bus stops
  • Addition of pedestrian islands in the centre of the road

The consultation states that they “have discussed this scheme with cycle group representatives” but we have had no involvement in the plans in recent times.

We commend the council in addressing the dangers on a road that is an important link for cyclists going from Richmond to Sheen and beyond, but we don’t believe the proposals address the key problems:

  • Several pinch points exist on this route, in particular at the pedestrian crossing near Sheen Common Drive. These often result in cyclists being hit by motorists who don’t give them space with tragic results as this fatality showed
  • The danger at the main junctions with Manor Road and Clifford Avenue is not addressed
  • At Clifford Avenue end, cyclists going straight on have to go into the middle lane. An ASL is provided but no safe way of getting to it. Imagine cycling to school with your kids through that junction
  • Conflict with bus stops is not dealt with
  • Conflict with parked cars still exists – ‘Dooring’ incidents result in many fatalities
  • Proposed cycle lane width does not meet the London Cycling Design Standards in a number of areas. They should be 2m wide and certainly no narrower than 1.5m
  • Narrowing the road to slow traffic is in effect using cyclists as mobile traffic calming measures. I’m sure a cyclist doesn’t want to be thought of as a moving sleeping policeman

Going straight on with your kids to school? Brave the outside lane.

Given the space available, there is an opportunity to introduce a safe, separated cycle lane on both sides of the road, with a width of 2m and priority over side roads – something you would be happy to cycle with your kids to school along. Camden Council have recently proposed a similar scheme (some background here) and the same could be achieved here, though it needs to be of a high quality and continuous. As a minimum, the pinch points and Clifford Road junction need to be dealt with, otherwise the proposals will have little effect in reducing incidents on this stretch.

Full consultation details online – http://is.gd/JfvqTN
Maps showing the changes – Map 1 and Map 2

Please take a couple of minutes to complete the tick box online consultation, to highlight that more needs to be done to improve safety for cyclists on this route – http://is.gd/OAkARq

Some useful resources to consider:
If you don’t design for cycling, conflict is the outcome – Hush Magazine and Copenhagenize
“Pedestrians and cyclists should be considered before other user groups in the design process [not] as an afterthought” – Recent NICE Guidelines
Businesses overestimate how important car parking is – Sustrans
Financial benefits of investing in cycle infrastructure – New York City and Bristol reports

Whitton Town Centre and Barnes (Castlenau/Church Road Jn) Consultations

Post Updated – 1 August 2013
An update on both these consultations. Barnes was rejected after overwhelming opposition to the proposals.

Whitton Town Centre plans went ahead with no consideration for cycling and no consideration for a 20mph limit, despite the council’s (welcome) enthusiasm for one in Twickenham. We suspect in the latter case it was an easy way to pretend they were doing something for cycling. We struggle to find the outcome to LBRUT consultations (compare with TfL where the situation is much different) but we did eventually manage to track down the consultation report. Frankly, it makes depressing reading, the council actually argues that pinch points which squeeze cyclists into the path of motorists are a safety feature. We don’t know about you, but we would rather not be mobile traffic calming.

You can read the full report here and make your own mind up – is LBRUT interested in cycling as their Mini Holland bid purports to be or is the reality on the ground somewhat different.

We used to say that the council planners, engineers and councillors should have to cycle the road designs they come up with and approve. (do Apple engineers design the iPhone without having ever used a mobile phone?) We’ve now changed our minds – they should not have to cycle the streets they design themselves, they should have to cycle along them with their son, daughter, nephew or niece, and then stand up and say they’re acceptable.

Original Post – 13 November 2012
We spotted two LBRUT consultations affecting cyclists that have come out this month.

Barnes Consultation – Deadline 26 November

This affects the junction of Castelnau, Rocks Lane, Elm Grove Road, Church Road and Queen Elizabeth Walk in Barnes (Map Link)

The main physical changes are:

  • Make Elm Grove Road one way in the southbound direction
  • Remove the existing banned left turn from Elm Grove Road to Ranelagh Avenue

There is no mention of cycling in any of the documentation, another missed opportunity as we receive frequent emails from local cyclists who are fearful of this busy junction. The main objective of the proposals is to smooth motorised traffic, but this will just shift it to the two following junctions in Rocks Lane ((i) with Mill Hill Road and (ii) with the Upper Richmond Road. This is key junction, used by many cycling towards Hammersmith Bridge or going to visit Barnes Wetland Centre and it is also part of Sustrans National Cycle Network Route 4, again not mentioned in the consultation documentation.

Full consultation details online – http://is.gd/P56wx3
Map showing the changes – http://is.gd/s1PoCn

Please take a couple of minutes to complete the tick box online consultation, even if just to say “please improve junction for cyclists” – http://is.gd/F2bYF7

Whitton Town Centre – Deadline 30 November

The main physical changes are:

  • Replacement the pavements on both sides of Whitton High Street and resurfacing the road
  • Provide kerb build-outs for on-street parking bays
  • Raised road at existing pedestrian crossings
  • Raised entries at the side road junctions off the High Street
  • Reduce the width of the road at and upgrade existing pedestrian crossings
  • Possible gateway features could be placed at each end of the High Street
  • Reduce the amount of street furniture and signs and planting new trees

The words cycling, cyclist or bicycle are not mentioned once in the document – similar to what we found 2 years ago at the start of the Twickenham consultation. Introduction of 20mph limits, consideration of cycle routes, cycle parking, increased risk from pinch points for cyclists at pedestrian crossings – none of these things are mentioned. As pointed out in the comments below, it looks like cycle parking is actually being taken out!

As with Twickenham, this is a real missed opportunity to attract more business to the town by encouraging people to come by bike to shop (as many studies have shown the financial benefits of this – here and here). As this site shows, a lot could be achieved in the space available. It should also be noted that Whitton High Street forms part of the London Cycle Network Route 174 (have a look on this map), the main route from Twickenham to Hounslow, again something the consultation does not mention.

Full consultation details online – http://is.gd/tDFmWx
Map showing the changes – http://is.gd/efQkqz

Please take a couple of minutes to complete the tick box online consultation even if just to say “please take into account cycling in redesign” – http://is.gd/Bz1iZA

Some useful resources to consider:
If you don’t design for cycling, conflict is the outcome – Hush Magazine and Copenhagenize

“Pedestrians and cyclists should be considered before other user groups in the design process [not] as an afterthought” – Recent NICE Guidelines

Businesses overestimate how important car parking is – Sustrans

Financial benefits of investing in cycle infrastructure – New York City and Bristol reports