On 25 June Kingston Councillors unanimously voted to approve the revised proposals for Portsmouth Road. Work will now start on the detailed design stage and construction schedule. The current programme is for construction work to start winter 2015 and be completed Summer 2016. We hope that ambitious timescale can now be adhered to.
Regular cyclists in the Borough will recollect these proposals. The northern part of the route is a two way cycle track on the river side of Portsmouth Road. This has some impressive features; fully protected space, floating bus stops, refuges for turning cyclists, possibly crossings which can detect bicycles and a well thought out link to Surbiton via Palace Road. The southern section of the route is light segregation by plastic ‘armadillos’. We have commented in detail on these proposals below.
We understand there has been some opposition to the use of armadillos from motorcyclists and we need to understand and clarify this. Costs have risen to more than £3m but the scheme is fully funded not by Kingston residents but by Transport for London through the Mayors Outer London Cycling Fund.
Councillor Richard Hudson, Lead Member for Capital, Projects and Contracts, said:
‘Following many months of detailed planning and consultation, I’m pleased that work can now progress on the scheme.’
The many benefits of cycling are widely recognised, but we must do whatever we can to protect cyclists and make them feel safer while recognising the need to share space with other road users. Painting white lines on tarmac is not enough. It is only by delivering innovative highway schemes like the one planned for Portsmouth Road that we will make a real difference. And what’s more, we can do it without significantly impacting on traffic flow.
The improvements to Portsmouth Road will also improve access to one of the jewels in Kingston’s crown, the Queen’s Promenade.”
For our part we are pleased to see this hurdle crossed. We look forward to working with the Council and Officers on detailed implementation and on the remainder of Portsmouth Road and the other Mini Holland schemes. We are optimistic that, with goodwill and good sense, a real step change in the cycling facilities in the Borough can be delivered to the benefit of all.
RBK have produced a video of the scheme;
The more technically minded of you will note it appears to have been shot from a bike with Sora STI shifters !