RCC Newsletter – 12 January 2014

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 to 2014 and as ever, many have been dusting down their bicycles and getting out and about as part of their New Year’s resolutions. Let’s home they stay the course. Monday see our annual meeting – a chance to get involved in this important newsletter year (and maybe even take over crafting this newsletter) We have results from LCC’s survey of cyclists’ priorities for Richmond and the usual round up of rides, workshops and consultations. Here’s to 2014 being a year of change for cycling in the borough where it is taken seriously as more than just a leisure activity but a viable means of getting around and making our borough a nicer place to live in.

Annual Meeting
On Monday 12 January it will be time to elect the new RCC Committee for 2014 and outline our priorities for the year ahead. With the upcoming local elections, 2014 will set the council’s approach to cycling for the next four years, so a real opportunity to make a difference. For an outline of the Committee roles and details of the meeting have a look online – http://is.gd/qxFvFl

You don’t have to be on the committee to make a difference, come along to the meeting and find out how you can get involved, particularly in the upcoming elections, or get in touch on info@richmondlcc.co.uk

On Saturday 18th January there is a ‘Ride for Everyone’ to Chiswick House following tracks and quiet roads with a coffee stop. Meet Mortlake Station 10.30, back about 12ish – http://is.gd/yAbqhm

We aim to organise a long (30-40 mile) day ride on the 1st Sunday and a short-and-easy (6-10 mile) morning ride on the 3rd Saturday of each month. If you have an idea for a ride or even better would like to lead one please contact Paul on rides@richmondlcc.co.uk.

Maintenance Workshops
The maintenance sessions will start back up in February – have a look on our website calendar to find the latest dates closer to the time – http://is.gd/U06HlX

LCC Election Survey
As we highlighted in last month’s newsletter, LCC carried out a survey at a borough ward level to identify the key local issues for the 2014 local elections. Well the results are in and there was an overwhelming response from our borough, with someone from each of the 18 wards responding. Right across the borough, the same priorities were chosen (which aligned very closely with the work we’ve been doing this past few years) with ‘Protected space on main roads and major junctions’ coming first, followed by ‘Safer routes for school children’ and ‘Liveable town centres’ (think Twickenham!).

We’ll use this information to target our election campaign. We’re going to be asking borough candidates to sign up to specific things we think should get done in their wards. For example, Richmond is plagued with schools which have no safe access for children to arrive by bike, so we may well be asking some candidates to support specific improvements around a school near them, such as clear access, better traffic control, etc. If you have any specific ‘asks’ you want for your ward, then please let us know via the website – http://is.gd/plt0hs – or campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk

Read more about the results and find out which ward in the borough has seen a fall in cycling to work in the past 10 years – http://is.gd/B2LgIM

Do you cycle round Richmond Park? RCC are due to meet the council in a few weeks’ time to talk about the Richmond Gate entrance to Richmond Park (Map link: http://is.gd/TgsOFj) There have been a significant number of incidents at this intersection in recent years, which 80% involving those on bicycles, and we’re hoping to propose substantial improvements to make it a safer junction for everyone concerned. Read more online – http://is.gd/3A96Gy – and get in touch with any comments on campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk

TfL is currently consulting on the London Grid of Quietwayshttp://is.gd/TVusTR. Deadline is 14 February 2014 and responses should be made by email to grid@tfl.gov.uk
LCC has an article about this – http://is.gd/IonMDF – and if you cycle into town – or would like to – you should take a few moments to respond. The LCC article includes a number of items you could use in your response, but the primary concern is that the routes really need to focus on safe provision, rather than just being meaningless meanders through back streets.

You can look up all LBRUT consultations on their Consultation Hub – http://is.gd/YLMmYB – and TfL consultations can be found on their page – http://is.gd/B52rsy – do let us know if you spot one we’ve missed.

Police Meetings
We highlighted this last month but as we continue to see newsletters from local Police Liaison Groups where road safety appears no where on their priority list, inspite of increasing pedestrian and cycle injuries on our roads. Each ward in the borough has a Police Liaison Group, which meets regularly with local residents. Last month we highlighted Twickenham Riverside PLG, where thanks to a group of determined local residents, Road Safety is now listed on their website as a priority – http://is.gd/RcOafy. As only 1 of the borough’s 18 PLGs we need you to check out which PLG covers your patch – http://is.gd/7bnklz – and try and get along to one of their meetings. Let us know on campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk how you get on, or if you’d like us to come along.

With cycle provision of varying quality and continuity, the A316 acts as a significant barrier in a number of areas. Read our post from a local resident about her experience which has already drawn a number of comments – http://is.gd/FRn35W

Cyclescape and 2014 local elections – Cycling Infrastructure Issues by Ward
As mentioned above, with local elections in May 2014, we’re gearing up to make cycle infrastructure an election issue on a ward by ward basis. Through our use of Cyclescape, we have started to build up a picture of the problem areas in the borough by electoral ward. The list of issues is accessible here – http://is.gd/sdzSj5. Please keep up the good work and continue to contribute by logging more issues; or adding your views to any of the items already logged. Our guide to logging issues is here – http://is.gd/Hu5Yd6

Cycling to school
Identified as one of the key campaign priorities for the 2014 elections in the borough, safe routes to schools remains a challenge. We’ve pulled together some statistics on levels of cycling to school in the UK compared to other countries along with some thoughts on why it’s so vastly different – http://is.gd/6COnGd

Liveable Town Centres
So what are these, you may ask, and what does cycling have to offer? In simple terms it is about prioritising people over motor traffic, creating space that can be enjoyed by the local community and that encourages walking and cycling. This creates lively, pleasant places that are economically viable and socially vibrant. Many of our borough’s high streets and town centres have become run down, congested traffic arteries. Instead, they need to be places where people want to spend time, meet friends, enjoy social activity and access a variety of services.

So where does cycling fit in, well a couple of resources to consider. Firstly, fewer people shop by car than shops thinkhttp://is.gd/NZ7FlP – and ‘free car parking’ isn’t really freehttp://is.gd/YihY97. In fact, in many places the majority of traffic congestion is caused by people driving around looking for an available free parking spacehttp://is.gd/Ir6IcP. Instead, the evidence is mounting for the value of quality cycle infrastructure (not the derisory advisory provision planned for Twickenham). Bike lanes have been tied to increased consumer spendinghttp://is.gd/BoWnOq and New York saw a 49% increase in retail sales in streets with cycle lanes – http://is.gd/AhEcW8. TfL themselves found that pedestrians and cyclists were the most frequent visitors to high streets, not cars in their 2011 town centre study – http://is.gd/KNCuTg. Finally, this cycling mum hits the nail on the head about what our high streets needhttp://is.gd/NNjg26

Bikes for Africa Event
Action Bikes are loading their 4th ‘Bikes for Africa’ container on Tuesday 14 January at Twickenham RFC from 9am to 3pm. You can help with the loading and/or bring along any unwanted bikes or bike parts. As an added incentive, they’re offering free lunch if you get there before 10am – http://is.gd/oIdNVZ

Castlenau Changes
Within the last week or so, a new sign on a pole has appeared at the junction of St. Hilda’s and Glentham Roads, indicating a recommended cycle route on the stretch of the latter road approaching the west side of Castelnau, which is reached via a short,steep bonded gravel covered area before reaching the Castelnau pavement (which in this part is somewhat similarly covered, and signed for joint pedestrian/cyclist use). However, for cyclists wishing to use this route in the opposite direction, there is both a tiny “No cycling” sign and a “Shared use” sign facing those wishing to descend from the pavement to the bonded gravel area (as Google Streetview shows, the “No Cycling” sign will helpfully stop you hitting this parked van” – http://goo.gl/maps/Fxy21) How inconsistent can you get?

Licence to Kill
Did you know that driving is the biggest killer of young people in the UK? An interesting report on the visit of one victim of a road incident to Richmond college – http://is.gd/iGOF6l

Keep in touch
Did you make a New Year’s resolution? If not, here’s one that’s easy to keep: did you know that you don’t need to be an LCC member to get the newsletter or help us make cycling in Richmond better? Why not get a friend to sign up for the newsletter (use the website form http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/contact-us/), join us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/RichmondCycling) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/richmondcycling).

And Finally…
This really is my ‘and finally’. Having been involved with RCC for the past seven years, and having responsibility for communications for the past 3 years, life is taking me on and beyond the borough. I’ve really enjoyed my involvement with Richmond Cycling Campaign and particularly those of you who’ve got in touch over the past few years to ask questions, get involved or point out my deliberate mistakes in the newsletter. After years of frustration, the council is now finally starting to take cycling seriously as a means of transport in the borough and we’re now being proactively contacted on consultations to get our input. We could not have achieved this with out the many of you who over the years have responded to consultations, emailed Councillors and council officials and made your voice heard. Going into an election year, there is a real opportunity to make that voice really heard and make what is a lovely borough to live, work and go to school in an even nicer and safer place to cycle.

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