Love London, Go Dutch

Launched on Thursday 9th February, London Cycling Campaign’s “Love London, Go Dutch” campaign seeks to get the London Mayoral candidates to commit to investing in continental style cycling infrastructure in the capital. LCC’s ‘Go Dutch’ website explains very eloquently the reasons behind the campaign, but this video gives a good overview of what cycling is like for the Dutch.

Simply put, most people are scared to cycle on London’s roads because of the high volumes and speeds of motor traffic. Think about it, while you may be happy to manage the risk, would you let your daughter, son, niece or nephew cycle to school on the borough’s roads? They do in the Netherlands without even a second thought, as this video shows.

Sponsored by Brompton, whose factory is just across the river from us in Brentford, the campaign is aiming to obtain 100,000 signatures for its Go Dutch petition before the London Mayoral election on May 3rd. Our share in Richmond is some 3,000 signatures. This is a formidable task and we need your help! We shall be collecting signatures at cycle parking places at railway stations during the evening peak periods from 5.30pm to 8pm on the following dates:

Twickenham – Thursday 12 April
Mortlake – Tuesday 17 April
Whitton – Wednesday 18 April
Richmond – Monday 23 April
Kew – Wednesday 25 April

If you can help out, even if only for a short period, please email John who’s coordinating the effort at johead@blueyonder.co.uk.

You can also fill in the petition online at this link – ‘Love London, Go Dutch’ Petition – or via the ‘Go Dutch’ link at the side of our website. Make sure you share this with your friends – both those who cycle and those who’d like to.

We shall also be organising a Feeder Ride to LCC’s ‘Big Ride’, the UK’s largest family-friendly traffic-free bike ride in 2012 calling for safer streets, on Saturday 28th April. Leaving Richmond Little Green at 10am to ride to the assembly point in Hyde Park, there will also be a a led ride back to Richmond after the event. More details here.

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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It’s good to talk: Council highway engineering schemes

Update: 12th February Hampton Court roundabout

A big thank you to all the Richmond Veloteers who replied so promptly to the consultation which meant we submitted our response well before the deadline: click here to read it.

Since then we’ve had this back from Highways and Transport:

“Thank you for your comments on the Hampton Court Roundabout and Hampton Court Bridge proposals.  I can confirm that this does incorporate both Schemes 3 & 4 on the Cycling Capital Budget 2011/12.

The improvements include relocating the zebra crossing further away from the roundabout on the north east arm to help reduce the number of accidents attributed to shunts as a result of vehicles stopping for pedestrians at the crossing.  Kerb re-alignments will also increase deflection, reducing vehicle speeds whilst maintaining existing carriageway widths.

By widening the traffic islands at the zebra crossings we hope to improve safety for the large number of pedestrians and in doing so provide sufficient protection for cyclists using the crossings.

Accidents at the roundabout have also been attributed to lack of clear visibility due to the planters on and around the roundabout. We anticipate that by removing the planting on the roundabout we can reduce this number.

The Council are extending the shared use pedestrian and cycle path facility from Hampton Court Bridge to the north-west arm of the roundabout, with a view to further improving and linking to existing cycle facilities as part of future phases.

The Council have worked with TfL in order to provide a new widened Toucan crossing outside Hampton Court Palace and are proposing shared paths to link the roundabout and the bridge with Barge Walk.

The Council have also worked closely with Hampton Court Palace and the scheme complements their proposals for alterations and further improvements to the entrance and exits and to the area in front of the Palace.”

In the meantime the Highways and Transport report to the Cabinet Member has been posted on the Council website [here] together with the plans [here] for the shared use path, linking Barge Walk to the Molesey side of the Bridge, which weren’t posted with the original consultation.

We’ve written back to the Council:

 “Thanks for the detailed response: we’re very pleased to hear about the extension of the cycle path and look forward to seeing details of the proposed work in due course.  Just a couple of outstanding queries:

  • Was replacement of the 2 zebras [north-east and north-west arms] with toucans considered, and if so why was it rejected? [By the way will cycling over the north-west zebra be permitted?]
  • What’s the Council’s current view on creating a shared use path between Bushy Park and Hampton Court Bridge?”

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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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Maybe they are listening…

1. Twickenham

Back in June we asked you to respond to the Council’s consultation on the Twickenham Area Action Plan [click here for the original post] We said then:  

“Unfortunately the 8 page consultation leaflet ”Twickenham Rediscovered, looking back looking forward” available at yesterday’s public meeting and here doesn’t actually use the words “bicycle”, “cycling” or “cyclist”.  “Cycle” does appear, once, on page 3: “Limited widening of eastern footway in London Road through removal of cycle lane.

Well, a report on the consultation for the Council’s Cabinet has been published [click here] together with a summary of all consultation on the options [click here]  If you live, work or spend time in Twickenham you’ll be interested in all of it but as cyclists we’re particularly interested in what it says on page 49 of the Cabinet report under 3.19 Responses to Traffic and Pedestrian Proposals:   

“Separate comments received within the questionnaires and at various meetings included concerns about sufficient provision being made for cyclists.”  

“It is proposed that further detailed feasibility work and modelling is carried out.  The main areas for further investigative work are:

Station area improvements, including consideration of bus lanes and stops, provision for cyclists and taxis, improved junctions and site access;

King Street/York Street improvements including changes to bus lanes and stops, improvements for pedestrians, cyclists, servicing and consequent environmental improvements;

Water Lane/Church Street/Embankment – further investigation of opportunities to reduce turning movements and through traffic, consequent environmental improvements to public areas.”

So thanks to all of you who responded to the consultation and made sure cycling in Twickenham is on the agenda. 

What we didn’t have in June was the cycle collisions data the Council gave us in September.  This shows clearly clusters of blue squares [serious collisions] and green circles [slight collisions] in Heath Road, King Street and London Road [click on the photo to make it a bit bigger and a bit easier to see]

    

At last night’s meeting of the Cycling Liaison Group we asked the Council if they use the cycle collision data to 1) prioritise highway engineering works and 2) decide what work is appropriate.  They said “yes we do“, the officers discuss it with the Cabinet Member when deciding on the programme of works for the next financial year.  That time is soon so while we work through the CLG we’re asking those of you living in Twickenham to ask your councillors what’s being done to reduce the number and severity of cycle collisions. King Street and London Road south of the railway are in Twickenham Riverside Ward, London Road north of the railway in St Margaret’s and North Twickenham and Heath Road is South Twickenham, according to My Richmond

Depending on the cause of each collision maybe 20mph zones are the way to go in Richmond [including Richmond Bridge] and Twickenham town centres.  

2. A316 Cycle Route

In August we asked you to respond to TfL’s consultation on the proposal to permanently close the junctions on the Chertsey Road at Godfrey Avenue, Redway Drive and Jublilee Avenue [click here for the original post] We’ve received this reply to our response:

TfL considers that this current proposal will reduce illegal rat running through Redway Drive, the proposals will also encourage cyclists to use this adjacent route as an alternative to the shared use footway.

With regard to the bollards at Jubilee Avenue, I can confirm that the bollard on the northern side of the junction between the telecommunications box and the railings will be removed from the proposal and a further bollard will be relocated as per the attached design. TfL considers that the remaining bollards follow the line of the northern timber fence and therefore do not present a significant barrier to cyclists or pedestrians.

TfL is currently investigating renewal of the lighting columns on the A316 and will, subject to feasibility and the availability of funding seek to relocate the lamp columns away from the centre of the footway. Resurfacing of the route will be considered as part of our future maintenance. In the interim we will instruct our maintenance team to trim back the existing foliage to maximise the available width.”

Reasons to be cheerful, 1, 2, 3?

E-mail: campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk with your thoughts about cycling in Twickenham and on the A316 Cycle Route

Cycling Liaison Group Monday 24th October

We’ve not recieved notes yet of September’s CLG meeting, which may be the result of an apparent change in how it’s administered by the Council.

Click here to read our previous post about that meeting and click here to read the questions we’ve asked in advance of the meeting on Monday.

E-mail: campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk if you want an issue raised at the meeting.

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.

“Oi !!!”, “oww !!!” and knee nor, knee nor

The 3 cycling related deaths we know about in our Borough this year prompted us to ask Richmond Council about all accidents, or collisions as they’re called by the responsible authorities, involving cyclists.  At the end of September’s meeting of the Cycling Liaison Group we were given a map for collisions recorded between 1st January 2006 and 31st December 2010.  We’ve only got it on paper at the moment but it looks like this [clicking on it makes it a bit bigger]

Now, whatever the Council, TfL and RCC does to encourage cycling, eliminating, or at the very least minimising, risk of harm to cyclists must be the priority.

Recent research tells us why people don’t cycle. It includes fear of harm stopping adults from allowing their children to cycle to school in significant numbers and a perception of risk of harm among other demographic groups, regardless of the economic and health benefits of cycling to both the individual and society in general.

The London Cycle Network and Cycle Superhighways are 2 examples of responding to the problem of harm, reducing risk by moving cyclists on to roads with less vehicle traffic, creating separation from that traffic and managing conflict with it at high risk locations like road junctions.  And we’ll know more about what London Cycling Campaign means practically by Go Dutch when they tell us in November about their Manifesto for the 2012 Mayoral Elections.  This is what it means to the Dutch. And, if you’re a parent of school age children, have a look at this video of cycling to school and the very different challenges of the school run there.

So, how does the map help us to adopt a problem solving approach to reducing harm?

Remembering mapping is only a first level of analysis, answering the question “where?” but not “who?“, “what?“, “how?” or “why?“, you won’t be surprised to see clusters, concentrations, in certain places like:

East Sheen’s Upper Richmond Road, notably between Clifford Avenue and White Hart Lane:

Richmond Circus, including the southern end of Kew Road and alongside Old Deer Park:

That’s one reason why we took the Green Party Mayoral Candidate, Jenny JONES, there last week. We also took her there because Richmond Town Centre was voted the number 1 priority in our recent e-mail poll.

Teddington, in particular the High Street junctions with Waldegrave Road, Broad Street and Park, but also Ferry Road junction with Kingston Road:

Twickenham, with Heath Road, King Street junction with Cross Deep and then London Road up to A316, standing out:

It’s also interesting to note where collisions, or at least reported collisions, don’t happen, like Hampton [A1] and parts of Whitton [A16]

While the map is only “where?” what all these locations suggest, most clearly the line of blue squares [serious collisions] and green circles [slight collisions] along Upper Richmond Road, is the role junctions play in the “how?” and “why?”  Knowing this should drive 2 things. First, and foremost, a priority list for highway engineering works in the Borough. Second, the test that work at a location does something about the problem there. Will TfL’s work on Upper Richmond Road reduce collisions?

In our view neither Richmond’s Second Local Implementation Plan for Transport or its associated Draft Cycling Strategy make harm reduction a priority or adopt a problem solving approach. Click here to see how our neighbours in the London Borough of Hounslow are encouraged to report problems.

Back in June we pointed out the consultation document for Twickenham Town Centre didn’t actually use the words “bicycle”, ”cycling” or “cyclist” and “cycle” appears only once, on page 3: “Limited widening of eastern footway in London Road through removal of cycle lane”. This is very disappointing when you see the number of blue squares and green circles:

We also said back in May the apparent enthusiasm police showed for issuing fixed penalty notices for cycling on the pavement in Heath Road was likely to mask a problem with cycling on the road; borne out again by the blue squares and green circles.

We said at the beginning this is a map of recorded collisions so reporting them in the first place is important and the Metropolitan Police Service explains when and how to do that here.  They also invite you to report drivers here.  Note they say they are happy to hear about “Road layouts that you think may be dangerous or can be improved.

Finally, you may be interested in: http://www.crashmap.co.uk/

E-mail campaign@richmondlcc.co.uk with your thoughts on taking a harm reduction approach to cycling in Richmond.

Phew, Kew cycle lane lives on…

We said in our recent post on September’s meeting of the Cycling Liaison Group the Council were removing the cycle lane in Kew Road.  It seems they were mistaken and have now clarified their position.   

This is what we wrote to the Council after the meeting:

“We were surprised to hear…the cycle lane in Kew Road is to be removed.  We were also surprised to hear consultation had taken place “some years ago.”  Do you know:

  1. When the lane will be removed?
  2. When the decision was taken to remove it, who took it, who was consulted and did that include Richmond Cycling Campaign?
  3. What figures for cycle journeys along Kew Road were used in making the decision?

Removal of the lane was justified because there is a recommended route along Ennerdale Road.  We’re concerned about the credibility of that route because its safety is threatened by use as a rat run and parking makes it impossible for cars and cyclists to share space. Signage also needs to be improved.  

Given a Cycle Superhighway will run past the north side of Kew Bridge, RCC takes the view the Kew Road cycle lane is an invaluable on-road link between it and the A316 Cycle Route and removal of it is unnecessary and short-sighted.

We also note the written response of the Mayor of London to the following cycling related question:

“Will you ask Transport for London to reject any local transport plan produced by a borough which includes the systematic removal of all existing cycle lanes in a 20mph zone when the road is being resurfaced?”

“The Guidance on Local Implementation Plans (LIPs), published in May 2010, makes it absolutely clear that any borough must get written consent from Transport for London prior to removal or substantial alteration of works carried out to infrastructure installed with the benefit of TfL funding. Where a borough breaches the above conditions, TfL may require repayment of any funding already provided and/or withhold provision of further funding.

Accordingly, any LIP proposal to remove cycle lanes will be subject to review and approval by TfL.  However, it may be that in locations where other mitigating measures are being installed, which assist in reducing traffic speeds and volumes, there is no longer a requirement for previously installed cycle facilities.”

Is the answer applicable to Kew Road?”

This is the Council’s reply:

“…apologies for any misunderstanding regarding the part-time mandatory lanes on the A307 Kew Road.

It was always envisaged that once the cycle route using Ennerdale Road as the alternative was completed then the possible removal of the 2 hour route on the west side of Kew Road would be the subject of a feasibility study.  It had been suggested that a two way route on the east side of Kew Road on a widened footway could be investigated or the Ennerdale Road route would be the alternative cycle route to Kew Road northbound.

Since the Ennerdale Road route was completed the removal of the Kew Road west side has not been seen as a priority for removal, so no feasibility study has been carried out.  It is not programmed for investigation in the near future and would be subject to extensive public and statutory traffic management order consultation prior to any decision being made.

In terms of TfL funding, these cycle facilities were put in prior to TfL’s existence so there would probably not be an opportunity for TfL to withdraw/claw back funding on this scheme even if there were plans to remove the cycle lanes.”

Good news then and thank you to members who contacted Councillors to express their concern about the proposal.