RCC Newsletter – 8 October 2012

Once a month, we send out an email update on cycling in the Richmond Borough. If you’d like to sign up for these, contact us here to be first to hear the cycling news that affects you across the borough.

We also post the newsletters here on our website the following week. Read below and enjoy! Previous newsletters can be found here.


Welcome back. What a month! After last month’s euphoria about the Twickenham consultation, we came down to a bump with reality, so you’ll see just how much happened in a short space of time. Sorry for the longer email, but it is important detail that affects many of you. We’ve details on a new cycle lane in Richmond and a question for the parents of the borough about cycling to school. Enjoy!

Monthly Meeting
Our next meeting is tonight, Monday 8th October in The Old Ship pub in Richmond and high on the agenda will be discussion of the Twickenham cycle lane removal. Location details online – http://is.gd/eahg52

Twickenham Cycle Lane Removal
Last month, we were full of hope after the with the consultation showing that over two thirds had rejected the council’s proposal to remove the London Road cycle lane, the council would now listen. Sadly, it was not to be, and we quickly heard that when the council debated the consultation on Wednesday 19th September they believed that the introduction of a 20mph limit, the removal of the bus lanes and removal of the cycle lanes would safeguard cyclists – going against DfT guidance for roads with this volume of traffic – http://is.gd/VAuIS7

We reacted quickly, as did many local cyclists, to show our dismay. The council took an unprecedented step with a further press release (http://is.gd/OKfOhG), stating that they were “now considering installing advisory cycle lanes throughout the town centre in King St and London Road in both directions” but that these lanes would not operate at peak periods and that they would be part of the width of the nearside motor lane. How that protects parents cycling to school with their kids or those commuting to work is anyone’s guess, and it doesn’t show what happens at junctions, where the most risk is. Sharing a lane with a HGV is no more pleasant at 20mph as it is at 30mph. We made our views clear in this article in the Richmond and Twickenham Times – http://is.gd/JHkWWu

We then turned our attention to the Council’s Cycling Liaison Group meeting on 4th October (you can read here about previous meetings – http://is.gd/8s2pE9) where after several attempts, we managed to get the subject of the Twickenham Cycle lanes on the agenda. An overwhelming number of cyclists turned out to attend the meeting – there was nearly three times the normal attendance. We were told that the council was now listening, which at least is an admission that the initial plans were inadequate, but there didn’t seem to be any move away from the provision of Advisory Off Peak Cycle Lanes. We’ve written up about the meeting here, with a great analysis by local cyclist Tim Lennon – http://is.gd/zq8yhw

Tonight’s RCC meeting is an important step to agree on the next stages. Come along to hear how we plan to take this forward or get in touch by email (info@richmondlcc.co.uk) if you can’t come along tonight but would like to be involved. Here are a few things we’re asking everyone to take a few moments to do – we know many of you have done so already:

– Write to Richmond and Twickenham Times to express your view – lettersrtt@london.newsquest.co.uk
– Write to your local ward Councillor – http://is.gd/dTyGug
– Write to the Council’s Cycling Champion Councillor Katharine Harborne (Cllr.KHarborne@richmond.gov.uk) and chair of the Transportation Committee Councillor Chris Harrison (Cllr.CHarrison@richmond.gov.uk). They have the most influence on whether the views of cyclists are incorporated.
– Come along to the Council cabinet meeting on the 18th October – This is the best chance to get your points put directly to the cabinet members responsible

This is an opportunity for everyone to have their voice heard and make sure that Twickenham town centre becomes somewhere more than a place to drive through.

As previously reported, Teddington Town blog has sent a petition with over a hundred signatures to Tesco on the issue of cycle parking at their store in Teddington (http://is.gd/dLbjF3). Tesco have acknowledged the petition and stated ‘[the] request will be considered’ but that they ‘can’t advise on a time scale’. We’ll keep watching – http://is.gd/HTwlhE

No directly cycling related consultations in Richmond borough this month (let us know if you spot one we’ve missed) but there is one on playgrounds overhaul for the borough. This is an important one to feedback on to highlight the need for cycle parking at local playgrounds, so that mums and dads can cycle with their children there together. Here’s a picture of what happens when it is not done well – http://is.gd/8ZZd2y. Consultation runs until 15th October, details online – http://is.gd/TSxNsX

Outside of the borough, TfL have launched a consultation on the roundabout on the north side of Lambeth Bridge, a route used by many commuting to central London. It is also important as it sets the scene for the review of several TfL managed junctions in our borough. The TfL consultation can be found here – http://is.gd/utESDo (deadline 26th October) and here is an excellent analysis of what they are proposing (and why we should all be interested) – http://is.gd/IW3ocQ. Three TfL managed junctions in the borough have been selected for review (A316-London Road Roundabout; A205-Mortlake Road/Upper Richmond Road and A205-Sheen Lane.) Full details of all 100 locations are available online – http://is.gd/bWOOMO

New Cycle Lane by Richmond Bridge
This month, the council installed an advisory cycle lane on the approach to Richmond Bridge from the East Twickenham Side. This is one consultation we did manage to find out about, and we provided a detailed submission (http://is.gd/RvkbOV) which many of you contributed to, highlighting that the width was below the minimum standard (and well below the recommended standard) and as the lane petered out before Richmond Bridge, it did not address what for many is a daunting bridge to cycle across. We also recommended a 20mph limit for this section and through Richmond town centre. Sadly our comments were not taken on board and we’ve already heard reports of people who’ve been nearly knocked off at the pinch points along the lane. We’ll continue to feedback on these schemes, even when we only hear about them 3rd hand, but we would really like the council to work with us on these, otherwise it is money wasted on expensive paint.

Cycle Theft
We had a lot of feedback from you all on the story from last month that on average 4.5 bikes per day are stolen per day in the borough (http://is.gd/bwIabj), a mixture of shock and dejection. We’d encourage you to read our cycle theft prevention page (http://is.gd/rujlqn) and if you haven’t already, go along to a Police bike marking event.

Only one upcoming bike marking date that we’re aware of – have a look at the Richmond Police site to spot one near you – http://is.gd/pcJi9W
Pools on the Park, Richmond, Saturday 13th October, 5pm to 6pm

And here’s an interesting article on where all the stolen bikes go to (in the US at least) – http://is.gd/NRnX8r

Cycling to School
Do you cycle to school with your children? Would you like to but don’t feel there is a safe route or the school is not supportive? We’re pulling together feedback from the parents of the borough as to what would allow them to take their kids by bike to school. We know many of you already do and we’d like to hear of your experiences as well. Send your thoughts to info@richmondlcc.co.uk

Cycle Safety
A lot of coverage of road safety again this month. Interesting articles from the Telegraph (http://is.gd/pY9ZYM) and the Spectator (http://is.gd/l1L00G) as well as a Transport Minister admiting people are put off cycling because they are too scared of the roads – http://is.gd/cg8eZV

This blog post on London cycling fatalities from Mark of the ‘ibikelondon’ blog includes a moving interview with Debbie Dorling, the wife of local cyclist Brian Dorling who was killed last October at Bow Roundabout while cycling to work at the Olympic Park – http://is.gd/iil1Dq

Maintenance Workshops
The regular maintenance workshops continue as we go into the darker nights, and are a good opportunity if you need some help fitting a new set of lights or getting some mudguards fitted for those wetter days. Everyone and all bike types are welcome and no appointment is necessary. It’s all free but donations welcome to cover our costs:

Mortlake – The Old Bakery – 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month 19:00-21:00
Location – http://wp.me/pSDFw-4X
Next dates are 11th and 25th October

Twickenham – All Hallows Church, – 4th Wednesday of the month 19:00-21:00
Location – http://wp.me/pSDFw-4U
Next date is 24th October

Ham – Ham Youth Centre – every other Saturday 10:00-12:00
Location – http://wp.me/pSDFw-14t
Next dates are 13th and 27th October

Bushy Park – Hampton Wick, KCafe, Church Grove – every other Saturday 15:00-17:00
Location – http://wp.me/pSDFw-1mH
Next dates are 13th and 27th October

Our next ride is a ‘Ride for Explorers’ on Sunday 4th November, takes us out by train to Staines (meet at Twickenham station or at Staines) taking in Staines Moor, Pinewood Studios and the woodlands of Burnham Beeches. A perfect ride to see those autumnal colours. Meet at Twickenham Railway Station before 10am to catch the 10.05am train to Staines. More details here – http://is.gd/2A4Co6

Send Paul, our Rides Coordinator, an email if you’re going to join us on the ride or for more information at rides@richmondlcc.co.uk and have a look at our general information page on our rides (http://is.gd/IxqE3S)

Better by Bike – Turning Old into New
Got a new bike and you’ve no room for the old one. Or maybe you’ve a few unused bikes lying around your garden shed. Rather than throw them in the skip, here are some local places that will give them a new lease of life.

Twickenham Cycling Club
The long established club have just launched a new website – http://www.twickenhamcc.co.uk. In addition to their normal club runs, they run a series of women only rides which are regularly posted on their website or on their Facebook page – http://is.gd/G521zQ

Belong to a local cycle club in the borough? Let us know and we’ll give you a mention and add you to our Cycling Links Page – http://is.gd/by8jrK

And Finally…
Continuing the theme of turning old into new, how about this piece of sculpture as a means to reuse a certain bike component? Might need to clean them before bringing them into the house – http://is.gd/Kbd5ny

Thanks for reading and keep cycling. Feel free to pass this email on to anyone who may benefit and don’t hesitate to get in touch through info@richmondlcc.co.uk to help make the borough a nicer and safer place to live and cycle. You can see our list of cycling events in the borough on our online calendar: http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/category/events/ and if you’ve missed any of our newsletters, they are all online – http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/category/newsletters/

Richmond Cycling Campaign
web – http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk
twitter – http://twitter.com/richmondcycling
facebook – http://facebook.com/richmondcycling