Midweek ride to West Horsley

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Ashtead Common, with the Poser at the front & his new Bike

Wednesday 17th April, a largely bright Sunny day saw 16 Cyclists leave via the Portsmouth Rd track, with 1 extra ‘late starter’, joining us as we approached Winters Bridge, Long Ditton, Hinchley wood, – with a short delay whilst someone got his stamps !-, Littleworth, Esher, Fairmile, Cobham, Hatchford, Ockham, to West Horsley for lunch at the ‘Barley Mow’, then East Horsley, Effingham, Bookham, Fetcham, Leatherhead, Ashtead Common (Photo), – with a brief explanation of how the ‘Coal Tax’, helped the City of London maintain this & many other Commons & green spaces around the City-, Epsom Common, to the ‘Old Moat Garden Centre’ for refreshments, West Ewell, Tolworth, Berrylands to Kingston. Total 32 Miles, 2 new Faces, thanks to Steve D for back marking, & others for marking corners.

Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/763492

Kingston’s Mini-Holland/Go Cycle programme: What’s happened in 2021 so far

Following our look at Kingston’s Mini-Holland (or Go Cycle) programme’s progress in 2020 at the beginning of the year, what’s happened so far in 2021?

Firstly, after some uncertainty, we were very pleased to find out in February that Transport for London (TfL) had awarded Kingston Council outline funding to complete the last link in the Mini-Holland programme, the Kingston to New Malden Cycleway. The funding from TfL was significantly reduced from that originally budgeted so some of the work has been scaled back but it will still be a significant improvement for cycling compared to the current state of the route. See below for more on how that scheme is getting on now as well as updates on the other schemes that have made further progress this year.

Kingston Station

In April 2021, one of the most visually striking parts of the Mini Holland programme opened with a new four metre wide walking and cycling bridge taking people from Kingston Station the Kingston one-way system towards the river and Ham. This bridge replaces a very narrow bridge and has created a much more pleasant route from Kingston Station towards the Thames, Canbury Gardens and for people heading to Kingston Bridge.

Photos of the new bridge next to Kingston Station and the bridge it replaced

The other big milestone for the Kingston Station Mini-Holland scheme was the opening of the 424 space bike storage hub (official opening date was 25 May 2021). This storage hub has free access to bike tyre pumps, bike maintenance stands with tools, a water fountain, lockers, many CCTV cameras linked to Kingston Council’s CCTV centre, a spacious lift to the first and second floors and space for non-standard bikes too. There is also space for a cafe and bike mechanic on the ground floor. Whilst Kingston Station is not at pre-Pandemic usage levels being used very much at the moment, we’ve already noticed that the bike hub is being used for people visiting the city centre. Whilst we would have been interested in some of the bike spaces being even more secure (for example, only accessed with a swipe card) as well as more signage (which hopefully is to come!), we hope it will be a valuable resource to Kingston’s residents and visitors.

Photos of the new Kingston Station bike hub which has capacity for 424 bikes

Surbiton to Tolworth

The Surbiton to Tolworth Cycleway along Ewell Road started construction at the beginning of 2020 before being delayed due to Covid. Phase 1 (St Mark’s Hill to Browns Road) was completed last year before Phase 2 (Browns Road to Tolworth Broadway) was paused so that the original designs could be re-worked (again, to fit within reduced budgets from TfL). Phase 2 is now under construction and, to fit in around roadworks required for gas main upgrades, started at the Tolworth Broadway end of Ewell Road. The first sections of protected cycleway have now been finished between Tolworth Broadway and the Elgar/Princes Avenue junction on Ewell Road. Work is now taking place on Ewell Road near the junction with King Charles Road and Red Lion Road. Over the next c.6 months, work will continue along Ewell Road, joining up with the completed Phase 1 at Browns Road.

Construction of the Surbiton to Tolworth Cycleway continues with this ‘bus stop bypass’ being built near King Charles Road/Ewell Road junction

When this Cycleway is complete, and combined with the new bridge by Kingston Station (as well as the trial Low Traffic Neighbourhood on Lower Ham Road), there will be a c.7km safer cycling route all the way from Kingston’s border with Richmond upon Thames (at Ham Cross) to its border with Epsom & Ewell (near Tolworth)!

Kingston to Kingston Vale

The longest individual Mini-Holland scheme, at almost 4.5km in length, was completed earlier this year with the final works happening on Kingston Hill at its junction with Galsworthy Road and also Queen’s Road. Changes were also made earlier this year at the Kingston Vale end of the route near the A3.

Named Cycleway 30, we’ve already noticed a large increase in use with a large variety of bikes making an appearance. We’ve seen tandems (including side-by-side tandems!), bikes with trailers, specially made cargo bikes as well as the usual variety of road, hybrid and mountain bikes with people of all ages using the Cycleway to be active, reduce air pollution and best of all, skip the queues of motor vehicles!

All types of bikes can be found using the new Cycleway network in the Borough

We’ve been speaking with the Council to try and get a number of improvements made to the Kingston to Kingston Vale Cycleway to make it even better to use. This includes converting a zebra crossing between Warren Road and Ladderstile Rise to shared use to assist people on bikes with getting to Richmond Park more easily. We’ve also raised issues with some of the signage – particularly around Manorgate Road roundabout, we think some of it is unclear and confusing and we’d like it changed. Whilst budgets are tight, we don’t have any promises that these changes will be made but will continue campaigning to get these (and other) changes made to make the route the best it can be.

In a very recent update, Councillor Olly Wehring has announced that the Council are looking into improving safety at the Birkenhead Avenue/London Road junction on the Kingston to Kingston Vale Cycleway. This busy junction interacts with a 2-way cycleway and we’ve had many reports of near-misses at this junction since it was rebuilt in mid-2020. The danger is caused by Birkenhead Avenue being used by a lot of cars to avoid the one-way system. Keeping cars to the main A-roads (which have 3 to 4 vehicle lanes here and are designed for large volumes of traffic) would make this junction safer. We look forward to seeing further details of what is proposed.

Kingston to New Malden

As per the beginning of this update, funding for the Kingston to New Malden Cycleway was confirmed by Transport for London in February. Kingston Council didn’t take long to start work on the ground with work starting at the Cambridge Road end of the route to join with Cycleway 30 (Kingston to Kingston Vale) at its junction with London Road near Asda.

The first work completed included preparations for a brand new zebra crossing across Cambridge Road making it easier and safer for people to cross the road (this is the 14th new zebra crossing that has been introduced as part of the Mini-Holland programme) as well as resurfacing and kerb works for the two-way Cycleway which will be introduced on Cambridge Road between Hawk’s Road and London Road.

More recently, work has continued at the other end of the route near New Malden with the creation of another new zebra crossing (the 15th!), new ‘bus boarders’, and the installation of poles (or ‘wands’) separating people cycling from cars, buses and lorries.

New bus boarder on the Kingston to New Malden route with ‘wands’ separating people cycling from cars on the opposite side of the road

We were also pleased to see the access to this improved cycle route from Chatham Road amended to make it easier for bikes to pass around an old fire gate (though it’s still not quite wide enough for all types of bikes (e.g. cargo/adapted bikes) so it will stay on our list of improvements we’d like to see).

What’s coming up

As above, Surbiton to Tolworth (Phase 2) and Kingston to New Malden are currently in construction and this will continue for the rest of the year and into the beginning of 2022.

In the meantime, we will also try and get things improved on routes where main construction has ended and in particular, will be asking the Council to get signage improved on routes that have now been completed

We will also continue to campaign for more funding for the Cycleways network to be extended to other parts of the Borough too. Although completion of the Mini-Holland schemes will mean around there’s around 17km of new, safer Cycleways in the Borough, there are still parts of the Borough that will still be a long way from this upgraded network (e.g. Old Malden/Worcester Park and most of Chessington and Hook).

As a very final note, the extremely successful and popular New Malden to Raynes Park Cycleway, starting next to New Malden Station, has been named ‘Beeline Way’ following a public vote.

How you can support us?

If not already a member, why not consider joining London Cycling Campaign and benefit from discounts, 3rd party liability insurance, free legal advice on cycling matters, as well as adding your voice to our campaign for safer cycling throughout London. You can join using this link: https://www.lcc.org.uk/membership/

You can also contact us with any thoughts or comments

If you live locally, you could also contact your Local Councillor with details of any improvements you’d like to be made for cycling in your local neighbourhood.

Further reading

The Council’s Go Cycle website

Our map of Mini Holland routes open, in construction and proposed

Our guide to new cycle infrastructure in Kingston

Bread pudding ride to Pimlico

Sunday 24th October. With 1 late cancellation, & 1 unannounced guest, a rather Cloudy Morning, & a Sunny Afternoon, saw 20 Cyclists split into 2 groups, leave New Malden, via the Beeline (C31), Raynes park, South Wimbledon, a stretch of the Wandle trail- with 1 more joining group 1-, Wandsworth Common, Clapham Common, -with 1 member of group 2 suffering a Saddle Malfunction, manage to find a Bike shop, get a new Saddler fitted & rejoin the ride before the end of lunch, quite impressive-, Vauxhall (Q5), Vauxhall Bridge CS5), to Pimlico for lunch at the ‘White Swan’ (McMullens), Westminster (Photo group 2), Victoria Embankment (CS3), to Southwark Bridge CS7), Borough, Walworth (C17), Burgess Park, Loughborough, Brockwell Park, Tulse Hill, Streatham, To Tooting Bec Common, for Tea & Bread pudding, Tooting, Mitcham, Morden Hall Park, Morden, Morden Park, Lower Morden, Motspur park, to finish back at New Malden. Special thanks to Bai for leading group 2, thanks to Steve D & Mike F for back marking each group, thanks to John D for the BP. It was good to see Tom again after the incident earlier in the Summer.

Group 1 with the London Eye
Group 2 at Westminster Abbey: Bai Kamara

Note: The various Cycle track, Quietways, Cycle super highways, etc, are gradually in the process of being renumbered by TfL, all as Cycleways, this should make route’s a bit easier to follow in the future

Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/747539

16 new Secure Cycle Hangars being installed across Kingston and Surbiton

16 new Secure Cycle Hangars are now appearing in streets across Kingston and Surbiton after Kingston Council obtained funding for their installation from Transport for London.

Each of these Cycle Hangars allows six bikes to be securely stored on the street with the hangar taking about half the amount of space a car would take. Each person who hires one of these spaces will receive secure access to the Hangar and can store their bike there for as long as they keep hiring the space. Cycle Hangars have been in place for many years on some of Kingston Council’s housing estates so it is great to see Hangars now being installed on the borough’s streets.

Find out where the Cycle Hangars are being installed, their likely cost and how to register for them below.

Four of the new Bike Hangars installed in the Borough

Why are Cycle Hangars so useful?

  • Many people do not have space in their home (including lots of those who live in flat conversions) so these new Cycle Hangars will allow many residents the opportunity to store a bike securely for the first time. This will support an increase in bike ownership in the Borough and therefore help more people to cycle.
  • Encouraging more cycle use is essential to help the Borough’s air quality problems, reduce congestion and assist the Borough’s residents with becoming more active.
  • The Cycle Hangars are very efficient use of street space as six bikes can fit in less than the space needed for a single car.

Where are the Cycle Hangars being installed?

The Cycle Hangars are being installed on the following roads:

  • Adelaide Road, Surbiton (installed)
  • Anglesea Road, Kingston (to be installed Nov 2021)
  • Berrylands, Surbiton (to be installed Nov 2021)
  • Cadogan Road, Surbiton (to be installed Nov 2021)
  • Claremont Road, Surbiton (installed)
  • Elm Road, Kingston (to be installed Nov 2021)
  • Grayham Road, New Malden (to be installed Nov 2021)
  • King Charles Road, Surbiton (installed)
  • Lovelace Road, Surbiton (installed)
  • Maple Road, Surbiton (installed)
  • Oakhill Crescent, Surbiton (installed)
  • Princes Road, Kingston (to be installed Nov 2021)
  • St Andrew’s Square, Surbiton (installed)
  • St Mark’s Hill, Surbiton (installed)
  • Surbiton Hill Park, Surbiton (to be installed Nov 2021)
  • The Avenue, Surbiton (to be installed Nov 2021)
  • Windmill Rise, Kingston (to be installed Nov 2021)

A map produced by Kingston Council of all the new cycle hangars is below:

How much will the Cycle Hangars cost?

If the Council do not subsidise the cost of renting a space in the hangars, we understand that the annual charge will be about £70 for the hire of one space in a Cycle Hanger. This will cover the maintenance and administration of the Hangars.

How do I get a space in the Cycle Hangars?

The Council has published this web page with details of how to register an interest in a Cycle Hangar space. We understand that they will be available to use from December 2021. We will update this page once we know more.

Why isn’t there a Cycle Hangar on my road?

If you would like a Cycle Hangar on your street but your road isn’t on the list above, why not contact your Local Councillor or the Sustainable Transport team to ask when Kingston Council will be installing more? Ask your neighbours if they would be interested as well and get them to contact the Council or Councillors too. The greater demand that is shown for the Cycle Hangars on your street, the higher likelihood that more will be installed!

Though it is great that Kingston Council is installing these new hangars, nearby Wandsworth are installing 111 Cycle Hangars over the next year whilst Waltham Forest now has around 500 Cycle Hangars. New Malden is only receiving one Cycle Hangar of the 16 new ones being installed with none due to be installed in Tolworth or South of the A3. Kingston Cycling Campaign will therefore continue to campaign for more Cycle Hangars to be installed in the Borough as well as making sure other types of cycle parking are improved.

Midweek ride to Ripley

Wednesday 13th October, A mostly bright sunny day, with 1 cancellation due to a visit from the ‘P fairy’, saw 19 Cyclists (I think this is a record for a Midweek ride), left via Portsmouth Rd track, Thames Ditton, Molesey, Walton on Thames, Weybridge, Brooklands Park, Byfleet, West Byfleet, Pyrford, Newark Priory (Photo)- whilst Group 1 stopped for the Photo, group 2 took the lead, never to return it, cheeky or what ;-)-,

Group 1, with Newark Priory: Lindsay

Send Marsh, to Ripley, for lunch at the Jovial Sailor, with the Garden mostly closed off for repairs, space was somewhat restricted, but all got Fed & Watered, then Ockham, Hatchford, Cobham, Fairmile, to Claremont lakes Cafe for Tea & refreshments, Esher, Littleworth, Hinchley wood, Long Ditton, Surbiton, to finish back in Kingston. 32 Miles, 2 new faces, special thanks to Pete M for leading group 2, thanks to Mike F & Dave P for back marking each group.

Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/1559849

Challenge ride to Harrow Weald

Sunday 10th October, An overcast Morning, with 3 late cancellations, 18 Cyclists, split into 2 groups, wait 1 late arrival for group 1, left via Skerne Rd, Latchmere, Ham gate Richmond Park, Sheen gate, congested Mortlake ? Chiswick Bridge, Chiswick, Acton- to find the Level crossing closed, A what detour to take, B how to let group 2 know, retrace our route, to the Junction, who should be approaching, hence, stay as 1 large group for a short section-, West Acton, Park Royal, Stonebridge park, Wembley- with a visit from the ‘P fairy’ for group 2- ,

Screwy !

Preston park, Kenton, Kenton Park, Belmont, to Harrow Weald for lunch at the Duck in the Pond, with the Sun emerging from its hiding place, a Sunny Afternoon, Harrow Weald Common (Photo’s), Hatch end- with 1 of group 1 suffering a small tumble, swiftly remounted-, Headstone Manor Rec, West Harrow Rec, South Harrow, Northolt, Northala Field, Southall, Norwood Green, to Osterley Park for Tea & Bread pudding, Osterley, Hounslow, Whitton- with 1 member of group 1 needing a short rest after an ‘SVT episode’, Twickenham, Strawberry hill, Teddington, Hampton Wick Kingston Bridge to finish. Total 42 Miles, 1 new face, Special thanks to Carl for leading group 2, thanks to Toni & John E for back marking each group.

Map:-www.plotaroute.com/route/1717345

Group 1 Harrow Weald Common
Group 2 Harrow Weald Common

Train assisted ride to Horley

With the Ancient Yew tree, St Georges Church, Crowhurst

Sunday 26th September. A mostly Cloudy morning, with some Afternoon Sun saw 11 Cyclists gather at Clapham Junction, for the Train to Hurst Green collecting 2 more en route, so a Bakers Dozen (13) Cyclists in 1 group with a surprising turn, Bai took the lead, via Merle Common, Crowhurst with a brief chat on the Yew tree (Photo), Blindley Heath, Horne, Smallfield, to Horley for lunch at the very homely ‘Farmhouse Pub’, then a poorly surfaced stretch of NCN 21, Whitebushes, Woodhatch, Flanchford, to Brockham for Tea & Bread pudding at the Church hall, Coach Rd, Pixham, A24 track, Leatherhead, to finish at the Station. Total 31 Miles, very special thanks to Bai for leading, thanks to Mike for back marking, thanks to the Apprentice Corner marker (he does show propmise, he may prove useful in the future), thanks to John D for the BP.

Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/1606022

Car free day ride to Epsom

At the start, Kingston Market place: Hilary G

Wednesday 22nd September, in a new departure for KCC, a jointly organised ride with Kingston Council, to celebrate International Car free day. A warm Sunny Afternoon, saw 9 Cyclists leave via Lower Marsh, Berrylands, Tolworth & the Greenway, Kingston Rd Track, West Ewell, St Ebba’s path, Long grove Park, Manor park, to the Old Moat Garden centre Cafe for Tea & Refreshments, then Horton Country Park, Chessington, Tolworth, Surbiton to finish back at the Market place. Total 14 Miles, 4 new faces, special thanks to Helen for acting as Back marker, thanks to Peter for help with organising the ride.

Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/1693919

Midweek ride to Maida Vale

Carlton Tavern, Maida Vale: Lindsay

Wednesday 15th September, A mostly overcast morning, with a brighter afternoon, after 1 cancellation, saw 12 Cyclists leave via Skerne Rd, Latchmere, Ham gate Richmond Park, White Lodge, Roehampton gate, Barnes Common, Putney, Putney Bridge- with 1 extra ready to join us, now a Bakers Dozen-, Parsons Green, EEl Brook Common, Brompton Cemetery, Kensington, Hyde Park, Marylebone, to Maida Vale for lunch at the newly rebuilt & very hospitable Carlton Tavern, –quite a story-, Kilburn, North Kensington, Shepherds bush, Hammersmith, Hammersmith Bridge, Barnes, – with a very long wait for a Train to appear on Line 1 at the dual Level crossing 😦 -, East Sheen to Palewell Common Cafe, for Tea & refreshments, with some home made Cookies, Sheen gate, Richmond Park, Kingston gate, the Station Bridge to finish back at the Market place. Total 29 Miles, thanks to John E for back marking, thanks to Janet for the Cookies.

Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/1691708

2 part ride to Molesey & Epsom

Sunday 12th September Part 1. A largely Sunny Morning, with 1 late cancellation & 1 unannounced visitor, saw 16 Cyclists leave via Lower Marsh, Berrylands – with 1 extra joining group 2-, Surbiton, Long Ditton, Hinchley wood, Littleworth Common (Photo group 1), Esher to Molesey (somewhat too early), for lunch at ‘the Bell’ (Greene King), then Thames Ditton, Portsmouth Rd to finish back in Kingston. Sub-total 13 Miles, Special thanks to Carl for leading group 2, thanks to Toni & Mike for back marking each group, 1 new face. Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/1684206.

Part 1, Group 1 Littleworth Common

Part 2 With cloudier skies,we said farewell to 7, & welcomed 5 fresh faces, plus 1 more late arrival, just missing departure of group 1 so 16 Cyclists, in 2 groups, left via Fairfield, Norbiton, New Malden, Worcester park, Stoneleigh, Ewell, to Epsom for Tea & Bread pudding at ‘Old Moat Garden centre Cafe’, West Ewell, Tolworth, Surbiton, to finish back in Kingston. Sub total 16 Miles, Total 29 Miles. Special thanks to Bai for leading group 2, thanks to John E & Andrea for back marking each group, 2 new faces. Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/1684604

Part 2, Group 2, Hogsmill open space, Ewell: Bai

Evening ride to Wimbledon

Wednesday 6th September. A warm Sultry evening saw 10 Cyclists, in 1 group leave via Lower Marsh, Berrylands, New Malden, Motspur park- with an inordinantly long wait at the Level crossing-, Cannon Hill, South Wimbledon to Wimbledon for refreshments at the Wibbas Down Inn (Wetherspoons), with Rain & Thunder forecast 1 member made an early departure, 2 others also headed in other directions, the main group, with steady rain soon turning to light Drizzle, continued via Wimbledon Chase, Raynes park, New Malden, Norbiton to finish back in Kingston. Total 14 Miles, thanks to Ellie for back marking.

Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/879155