On Thursday 7 January on a very wet morning three campaigners from KCC met on site with three traffic engineers from Transport for London (TfL) and the Cycling Officer from Kingston Council. The meeting was in response to our letter to TfL sent in November.
Many of our members will be aware of three major planning proposals near Tolworth railway station. To the north a large scheme involving around 700 homes is proposed. To the south of the railway a new Premier Inn is envisaged and, most recently Lidl are proposing to move their UK headquarters to a site at the junction of Kingston Road and Jubilee Way.
The Kingston Cycling Campaign see this as an opportunity for the existing cycle tracks on this side of the A240 to be joined up. Currently there is a missing link of around 200 metres between the Tolworth Greenway and the off-carriageway cycle track which necessitates cyclists joining the A240 triple carriageway. This effectively closes an otherwise excellent cycling facility to all but experienced, or reckless, people on bicycles.
Completing this missing link would provide a safe route to the Tolworth greenway and, when it is built, the Ewell Road Mini Holland route to Surbiton and Kingston. There is also a current proposal by the Royal Borough of Kingston to build a bidirectional cycle track on the east side of Jubilee Way linking to the Kingston Road/A240 cycle route. If that is completed, it together with this missing link and the Mini Holland scheme could provide a safe cycling route, with protected space, from the south of the Borough (Chessington and Hook) to the north (Kingston and Surbiton). As in so much of suburban outer London no such route exists at present due to severance caused by urban dual or triple carriageways.
We received assurances that Transport for London will work with Kingston Council to try to provide a cycle path connection between the existing facilities. This could mean obtaining funding from the developers or obtaining some of the space for provision of the connection. There are issues to resolve: the carriageway under the railway bridge is narrow and the land in front of the Charrington Bowl is privately owned. Nonetheless there are options to explore and we look forward to TfL’s proposals.