RCC Newsletter – 12 November 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.


Yes, the clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in, summer is over, but it doesn’t mean your bike should go into hibernation. This month, the saga of the Twickenham cycle lanes continues. We’ve a cycling cinema in Whitton, bike boxes needing planning permission and an unexpected beneficiary of cycling. Enjoy!

Monthly Meeting Tonight and Council Meeting Thursday
Our next meeting is tonight, Monday 12th November in The Old Ship pub in Richmond at 8pm and high on the agenda will be discussion of the Twickenham cycle lane removal ahead of Thursday’s council meeting. Location details online – http://is.gd/eahg52 If you can’t make it tonight, please come along to Thursday’s council meeting to make your voice heard, details here – http://is.gd/qa3sKs – send us an email at info@richmondlcc.co.uk to let us know you can make it and we’ll fill you in on our plans.

Twickenham Cycle Lane Removal
It has been a painful month with many of you sharing the emails that you’ve received back from the council and the council’s Cycling Champion. It seems that despite all the evidence we’ve shown them to the contrary, they still insist the introduction of a 20mph limit and the removal of the bus lanes and cycle lanes would safeguard cyclists. Not only does this go against DfT guidance for roads with this volume of traffic (http://is.gd/VAuIS7) it turns out the average speed of traffic in Twickenham is already below 20mph! What hope is there when the council’s own safety audit states that the changes are likely to lead to “an increase in cyclist/vehicular collisions or cyclist/pedestrian collisions” (http://is.gd/qdO8T9)

With the concerted effort of everyone, the council issued a further press release on 11th October, the third they have now released since we started highlighting our concerns, announcing a delay on ratifying the changes to Twickenham Town Centre, originally planned for the Council Cabinet meeting on 18th October. The plan is to debate them at the next Council Cabinet meeting on 15th November, stating that they intended to use the time to “enable … more clear communication from the Council regarding cycle lanes”

Sadly, our offer to provide input into improving the plans has been ignored, but we continue to work behind the scenes to ensure our voice is heard at the Cabinet Meeting on 15th November. Please come along and have your voice heard. Details here – http://is.gd/qa3sKs

Local resident Paul James has put together an excellent analysis of what could be done with Twickenham – http://is.gd/IvA7Pm This has been a long struggle over the past two years. We’ve tried to capture the latest info on this post (http://is.gd/FOCcmW) and Tim Lennon has done a great job of capturing the many documents we have been pouring over, including several Freedom of Information requests, on his blog – http://is.gd/k9oGlj

The focus at our meeting tonight will be 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. Again, 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:

– Come along to the Council cabinet meeting on the 15th November – This is the best chance to get your points put directly to the cabinet members responsible – http://is.gd/qa3sKs
– 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.

For the sake of parents cycling to school with their kids or those commuting to work, we will continue to campaign on this issue. Sharing a lane with an HGV is no more pleasant at 20mph as it is at 30mph. We thank you for all your emails of support on this issue, they really do raise our spirits when faced with everything the council has thrown at us. As we’ve said all along, we want Twickenham town centre to be a destination, not just a place to drive through.

Two local consultations pointed out to us literally as we ‘went to press’ (again, we don’t get consulted by LBRUT directly so we’re reliant on everyone keeping a look out for these)

First one is in Barnes and affects the junction of Castelnau/Rocks Lane/Elm Grove Road/Church Road and Queen Elizabeth Walk (Map link – http://goo.gl/maps/PxZ7r). Main concern is that the priority is to smooth traffic flow at the expense of pedestrians and cyclists. Full details are here – http://is.gd/P56wx3 There is an online survey you can complete – http://is.gd/F2bYF7 Deadline is 26 November

Second one is in Whitton and the words cycling, cyclist or bicycle don’t even get a mention (let’s be honest, we would have all died of shock if they had been mentioned!). Again, main priority is retention of car parking and smoothing traffic flow. Full details are here – http://is.gd/tDFmWx There is an online survey to complete – http://is.gd/Bz1iZA Deadline is 30 November

Outside of the borough, the TfL consultation on dangerous junctions continues with three junctions currently out for consultation. 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) later in the program. Full details of all 100 locations are available online – http://is.gd/bWOOMO You can sign up for email alerts to be alerted when each consultation starts – http://is.gd/1pV7xX Sadly, preliminary thoughts on the proposals for the junctions out for consultation so far hasn’t been good (http://is.gd/F6WFTr)

Cycle Theft
With an average of 4.5 bikes per day stolen per day in the borough (http://is.gd/bwIabj), you’d think the council would be keen to tackle the problem. Unfortunately, one local borough resident has received notice from the council to remove the bike storage box in his front garden. Here’s a picture of the box (http://is.gd/fEL0W9) and here’s the notice the council gave (http://is.gd/yFmPct). We’re following up on this, but be aware that you may be at risk of receiving one of these letters in the post if you have one of these boxes without planning permission.

No upcoming bike marking events that we’re aware of – have a look at the Richmond Police site to spot one near you – http://is.gd/pcJi9W

Lorry Danger
With a disproportionate number of cyclist incidents involving lorries, LCC have relaunched their lorry campaign – http://is.gd/LTgfpT We’ve put up a post about the local situation – http://is.gd/wfmFaa – we’d like LBRUT to offer cycle training to its drivers and also to register them in TfL’s Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS). Going on this photo they could definitely benefit from it! http://is.gd/qhFLAN

Richmond Park
A young local cyclist has raised a petition asking for Richmond Park to be closed to cars on a Sunday as an Olympic Legacy (http://is.gd/4wDCAI) We’d definitely agree that cars detract from the park, particularly those who use it as a rat run. Wouldn’t it be great though if they kept the Winter Opening hours all year round – a car free park in daylight through the summer! We can but dream.

Cycling to School
A big word of thanks to the many of you who got in touch about cycling to school with kids, a lot of similar comments about lack of safe routes and push back from schools. We’re still collecting feedback, so do let us know what would allow you as a parent to take your kids by bike to school. We know many of you already do and we’d like to hear of your experiences as well. Wouldn’t it be great if this was our local school run? http://is.gd/M4ZcO2 Share your thoughts with us: info@richmondlcc.co.uk We will also hopefully be able to report soon about our follow up with Richard Nye, editor of The Richmond Magazine, after the outrage over his insensitive comments earlier this year – http://is.gd/IRnBjq

Cycle Safety
Cycle safety is again in the headlines with the Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and the Sky Cycling Team coach Shane Sutton both knocked off their bikes in separate incidents (http://is.gd/dBkzWv). Given that as of today 105 cyclists have been killed on our roads this year (http://is.gd/7M1AvV), it could have been even more serious. Cycling to work or to school shouldn’t involve putting your life at risk in the way it often does. The Times have a survey at the moment for cyclists to share their experiences – http://is.gd/weUwxC This will form part of a submission to a parliamentary review – http://is.gd/G5fQsG

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 – http://is.gd/oKpKQW:

Mortlake – The Old Bakery – 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month 19:00-21:00
Location – http://wp.me/pSDFw-4X
Next date is 22nd November

Twickenham – All Hallows Church, – 4th Wednesday of the month 19:00-21:00
Location – http://wp.me/pSDFw-4U
Next date is 28th November

Ham – Ham Youth Centre – every other Saturday 10:00-12:00
Location – http://wp.me/pSDFw-14t
Next dates are 24th November and 8th December

Bushy Park – Hampton Wick, KCafe, Church Grove – every other Saturday 15:00-17:00
Location – http://wp.me/pSDFw-1mH
Next dates are 24th November and 8th December

Our 2012 ride program has come to an end and we hope everyone who came along to one of the rides enjoyed it. Sadly the weather could have been kinder this year, but do read our ride reports from the year – http://is.gd/mqQzSg If you’d like to help out in next year’s program, send Paul, our Rides Coordinator, an email at rides@richmondlcc.co.uk.

Better by Bike
We’ve been so busy with the Twickenham saga we haven’t had a chance to update the website with the latest Better by Bike stories – two to come next month. If you would like to do a guest article on something local and cycling related send us an email at the usual address. Have a look at some of the previous articles for inspiration (they’re some of the most popular posts on our website) – http://is.gd/q9QfyG

We’ve updated the website to hopefully make it easier to read and also to read on the go on your mobile phone. We’ve also opened the postings up to comments, the post on the Twickenham changes has received a lot of interesting feedback on people’s thoughts on the matter – http://is.gd/FOCcmW

Cycling Cinema
Yes, you read that correct. Action Bikes in Whitton are running another of their Cycling Cinemas (this time indoors) to raise money for Bike for Africa at St Philip & St James Church in Whitton on Thursday 20th & Friday 21st Dec. More details on the event online – http://is.gd/OgOZ9I You can read more about what they do in our previous post on reusing old bikes – http://is.gd/FxwEOe

And Finally…
We know what benefits cycling can have for the local economy (http://is.gd/QKZT5D) but who would have thought that it would benefit this industry!

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
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