Bread Pudding ride to Harlesden

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Gunnersbury Park

Sunday 3rd March, a Blustery Wind, with some light Showers, saw 8 Cyclists, with 1 deciding not to continue, so 7 left via Skerne Rd, Latchmere, Ham Gate Richmond Park, via White Lodge, to Roehampton Gate, Barnes, Hammersmith Bridge, Fulham, Barons court, North Kensington, then the ‘Paddington Arm’ of the ‘Grand Union Canal’ towpath, to Harlesden for lunch at the Grand Junction Arms’- with fresh Paint still in evidence-, more Towpath to Park Royal, West Acton, Ealing Common, Gunnersbury Park, (Photo), Carville Hall Park, Brentford, to Syon Park Cafe for Tea & Bread pudding, with a slightly stronger Head wind, & some heavier Showers, (but not as dramatic as had been Forecast, 😉) Isleworth, Twickenham, Strawberry Hill, Teddington, Hampton Wick & Kingston Bridge. Total 29 Miles, 2 new Faces, thanks to Derek for Back marking, thanks to John for the BP.

Map :-www.plotaroute.com/route/342703

Note: Please do have a look at Matt’s post regarding Kings Rd, if you are at all familiar with the area near Kingston gate, it is increasingly apparent that action is needed to address the traffic issues in that area.

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King’s Road area consultation – improvements needed…

This consultation closed on 8 March 2019

Kingston Council recently published a consultation for changes to King’s Road; New Road and Tudor Road in North Kingston close to the Kingston gate access into Richmond Park. This consultation follows concerns raised over a number of years about the amount of through traffic using these roads and the number of collisions which have resulted in a large number of injuries to people walking and people on bikes.

Despite Kingston Cycling Campaign agreeing with the Council and local residents that there is a significant issue of too much through motor traffic using these roads, we do not support the Council’s plans to deal with this issue.

The Council’s plans

The Council plan to change King’s Road; New Road and Tudor Road so that they are one-way for motor vehicles rather than two way. This would be done through changes to signage and paint markings on the roads and minor changes to the kerbs on King’s Road. Cycling will continue to be allowed in both directions on these roads. You can access a plan of the proposed changes here.

By changing the roads to one-way for motor vehicles, the Council believes that motor vehicles will be better managed on the affected roads, reducing congestion and the number of times vehicles get ‘stuck’ trying to pass each other on these narrow roads. We agree that the proposals will improve the flow of motor vehicles using these roads but that this could increase the number of vehicles using these roads as the traffic becomes better managed. It is also acknowledged that changing King’s Road to one-way is likely to have a significant impact on surrounding roads with traffic displaced onto New Road and Tudor Road. Alexandra Road (with two schools) may also see more traffic too. Furthermore, the Council believes that traffic speeds could increase as a result of these proposals.

The Council intends to introduce further traffic calming in an attempt to mitigate the expected increased speeds but the work proposed in the consultation is limited to replacing speed cushions on King’s Road with speed humps and adding speed cushions to New Road (no changes to implement speed reductions appear to be planned to Tudor Road). However, with cars increasing in size and an increase in the number of 4x4s on the road, speed cushions and humps are increasingly ineffective.

Overall, we do not believe that potentially increasing the number of motor vehicles using these roads and their speeds will lead to safer roads nor will it encourage more people to walk or travel by bike.

Our thoughts

We will be objecting to these plans and will instead ask the Council to consider bolder plans to reduce through traffic through the area. Other areas in London (including Waltham Forest) have stopped vehicles using residential roads as through roads for motor traffic using simple (and relatively cheap) interventions such as adding bollards to the end of a road. This still allows residents to access their property but stops through traffic from using the road by keeping through traffic to main roads which are designed to deal with larger volumes of traffic.

Recent changes in Waltham Forest have shown that reducing through traffic using residential roads can decrease motor traffic across the wider area as people stop taking unnecessary journeys by motor vehicle and switch to sustainable methods of transport such as walking and cycling.

Stopping through traffic would return the road to people and make it a better neighbourhood for local residents and people travelling through the area by foot or on a bike. In the Netherlands, these types of streets are so common they have a special name “Woonerf” but there are examples in Kingston too. For example, Chatham Road and Bonner Hill Road (not very far away from King’s Road) both have measures which stop through traffic.

Although closing a road to through traffic can seem a big step, it is relatively easy to trial changes through temporary blocks which would allow the Council to assess if the scheme works or if it needs to be changed.

Our response

As above, we will be objecting to these proposals including the following key points:

  • The Council’s proposals are unlikely to reduce through traffic and, as the Council notes, could increase traffic speeds. This therefore does not do enough to protect the safety of vulnerable road users on these roads.
  • The Council should be bolder in its proposals and look at ways to reduce through traffic using these and surrounding roads (including Alexandra, Liverpool and Crescent Roads) to keep traffic to the main roads such as Kingston Hill.
  • If the one-way proposals were to go ahead, we are concerned that the contraflow cycle lane on King’s Road is in the ‘dooring’ zone creating a risk to cyclists. In addition, we would like clearer paint markings on New and Tudor Road to show people in motor vehicles that contraflow cycling is permitted on these roads. We would also like further traffic calming to be considered for Tudor Road (particularly as it is part of a signed cycle route).
  • Notwithstanding our objections to the scheme as a whole, we are pleased that cycling has at least been considered in the one-way proposals and that contraflow cycling is to be permitted on all affected roads. In addition, we strongly support the proposals to extend 20mph limits onto Queen’s, Liverpool and Crescent Road

You can also ask the Council to improve this scheme with your thoughts here. The consultation deadline is 8 March 2019.

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King’s Road. A narrow two-way road with proposals to change it to one-way for motor traffic with contraflow cycling allowed.

Midweek ride to Thorpe

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Totem Pole, Windsor Great Park. Credit: Steve J

Wednesday 20th February, a Bright but Cloudy day saw 14 Cyclists, -with a new leader, (Steve J), leave via Portsmouth Rd & Track, Long Ditton, Giggshill Green, Weston green, Esher, Walton on Thames, Thames Towpath, the ‘Broadwater path’, Weybridge, Wey Navigation Path, Weybridge Rd track, Chertsey Meads, Chertsey, -where yours truly picked the wrong moment to look at a text, leading to an encounter with a Wooden post, thankfully no harm done to me, the Bike or indeed the Post, 😉-, the Twynersh Roundabout, Thorpe to Thorpe Green for lunch at the ‘Rose & Crown’, Virginia Water village, Windsor Great Park, & Virginia Water , & the Totem pole, (Photo), Egham Wick, Callow Hill, Trumps green, Lyne, Chertsey, Chertsey Bridge, to Shepperton for Tea & Refreshments at ‘Nauticalia’, Sunbury, Hampton, Bushy Park, Kingston Bridge. Total 37 Miles, 1 new face, thanks to Steve D for back marking, others for marking corners, very special thanks to Steve J for organising & leading this ride.

Map www.plotaroute.com/route/769128

Bread pudding ride to Woodmansterne

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Woodmansterne

Sunday 17th February, a bright sunny day saw 36 Cyclists, (is this a Record), but without our regular leader, who was suffering a heavy Cold, (he claimed his nose was ‘running like an Express, 😦), thanks to Mike for filling the gap at very short notice, so via Lower Marsh, Berrylands, New Malden, Worcester park, Sutton, Carshalton, Carshalton Park, Oaks Park to Woodmansterne, for lunch at ‘the Woodman’, with a small detachment continuing to Pistachio’s in Banstead, re-gathering, in Banstead, Burgh Heath, Tattenham corner, Epsom, the ‘Nescot Path, East Ewell to a very congested Nonsuch Park Cafe, for Tea & Bread pudding, then Worcester park, New Malden, Berrylands to Kingston. Total 29 Miles, thanks to Jon W for back marking & for the Photo, many others for marking corners, thanks to John D for the BP, and very special thanks to Mike F for leading at such short notice.

Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/363534

Challenge ride to Harrow

Sunday 3rd February. A cold, Sunny day saw 14 Cyclists gather for the first Challenge ride of 2019, leave via Skerne Rd, Latchmere,- with 1 person having Gear & Freewheel problems, deciding to leave us-, Ham Gate Richmond Park, to Sheen gate, Sheen, Mortlake, Chiswick Bridge, -with 1 extra Cyclist, managing to predict our route, so back to 14-, Chiswick, Acton, – with a visit from the ‘P Fairy’, the victim insisting on the rest of the party continuing, – Park Royal, Stonebridge park, Wembley, where an Icy Cycle path caused our Leader to have an unplanned dismount, (a useful lesson to others to take it easy), Preston, Kenton, Kenton Park, Belmont to Harrow Weald for lunch at ‘the Duck in the Pond’,-with the ‘P victim’ managing to join us-, followed by a ‘steady climb’, to Harrow Weald Common, (Photo), Hatch end, Headstone, Headstone Manor Park, West Harrow, South Harrow, Northolt Park (a former Race track, the reason the area is now known as ‘the Racecourse Estate’), Northolt, Northala Field,- with no enthusiasm for an ‘alfresco tea stop’, Greenford, Southall, Norwood Green, to Osterley Park for Tea & Bread pudding, Osterley, Hounslow, Whitton, Twickenham, Strawberry hill, Teddington, Hampton Wick & Kingston Bridge. Total 42 Miles, 1 visit from the P fairy, 1 other Mechanical, 1 Icy slip, thanks to Andrea for Back marking duties, & many others for marking corners, thanks to John for the BP.

Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/755785

Bread pudding ride to Ashtead

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Fetcham Mill Pond

Sunday 20th January A bright, Sunny but Chilly day saw 22 Cyclists leave via Lower Marsh, Berrylands, New Malden, Malden Manor, Worcester park, a somewhat busy Nonsuch Park, East Ewell, the ‘Nescot path’, Epsom, Woodcote, Ashtead Park- meeting a small detachment of the ‘Sou’westers’ in the opposite direction-, to Ashtead for lunch at ‘the Woodman’, Leatherhead, Fetcham, Bookham Common, Downside, Cobham, Fairmile Estate, Portsmouth Rd to Claremont Lake, (National Trust) for Tea & Bread pudding, (with a victim of the ‘P fairy’ swiftly repaired) Esher, Hinchley wood, Long Ditton, Surbiton, to Kingston. Total 30 Miles, 3 new faces, 1 visit from the ‘P fairy, thanks to Mike for Back marking, & many others for marking corners, thanks to John for the BP.

Map: www.plotaroute.com/route/749756

Midweek ride to Pimlico

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Victoria Embankment

Thursday 17th January, a bright, Chilly day saw 7 Cyclists remember the different day, & alternative start, from New Malden, via Shannons corner, Raynes park, Cannon hill, Merton park, South Wimbledon, Wandle trail, Earlsfield, Wandsworth Common, Clapham Common, Vauxhall, to join ‘Cycle Superhighway 5, (CS5) across Vauxhall Bridge to Pimlico for an early lunch at the ‘White Swan’, Parliament Sq, to join CS3, (Victoria Embankment), to Southwark Bridge & CS7, (still mostly Blue paint), Borough, Walworth, Burgess Park, Camberwell, Loughborough Junction, Brockwell Park, Tulse Hill, Streatham Hill, Tooting Bec Common, (too cold for an ‘Alfresco Tea stop’), Tooting, Mitcham, Phipps Bridge, to Morden Hall Park Cafe for Tea & Cake, then South Morden, Morden Park, Morden Cemetery, Motspur Park, to New Malden. Total 32 Miles, thanks to Ellie for Back marking, & others for marking corners, thanks to Derek for the Dundee cake.

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

Mini-Holland (Go Cycle) – 2019 plans

Following our look at what was delivered in 2018 on Kingston’s Mini-Holland or ‘GoCycle’ schemes, lots more should be happening in 2019.

Penrhyn Road

This will be the first new scheme to kick off in 2019 with preparation work due to start later this month. A 2-way cycle track will be added along most of Penrhyn Road and at one end will link to the new Wheatfield Way scheme and at the other to Surbiton Crescent joining up to the new Surbiton cycle ‘links’. When all the Mini-Holland projects are complete, Penrhyn Road will be the middle section of a route which will stretch from Tolworth to Kingston station on upgraded and much safer roads than before work started.

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Current state of Penrhyn Road. A 2-way cycle track will be added on the university side of the road during 2019.

New Malden to Raynes Park

This new cycle and pedestrian link should be completed in 2019 having started in Summer 2018.

This new link will join Raynes Park and New Malden and will be completely off road for the part in Kingston borough. With ‘The Cut’ linking directly to this new route by crossing Coombe Road, it will effectively be a c.2km off-road route from Elm Road in New Malden through to Taunton Avenue in Raynes Park providing a safer and attractive route for both cyclists and pedestrians.

Wheatfield Way

Construction work will soon commence on one of the final stages of the Wheatfield Way scheme between Orchard Road and Brook Street junctions. However, one of the first parts of the Wheatfield Way scheme (near the Rotunda and Pryzm nightclub) has still not been finished despite being constructed in late 2017! A crossing over a delivery access point still needs to be completed and a street light and sign have been left in the middle of the cycle track – we have asked for this to be sorted soon.

Despite our concerns about the amount of shared use areas on this route, it will still provide a completely new North-South cycle link through Kingston when it is completed in 2019.

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Unfinished works near the Rotunda on the Wheatfield Way scheme. A crossing needs completing and a lamppost (and bin) needs moving!

Surbiton to Tolworth

The Surbiton to Tolworth scheme along Ewell Road was approved by Kingston Council’s Environment and Sustainable Transport committee towards the end of 2018. This will mean that work on detailed design can start in early 2019 and, subject to TfL funding, could potentially start construction in the second half of the year.

Kingston Station

Now the main works have been finished directly in front of the station (although some snagging works still remain…), the focus of construction on this project is moving to the ‘green link’ which will link the station plaza with the Skerne Road underpass by going over a new bridge that should be installed during the Spring. This replaces the narrow shared use bridge which was removed during 2018. Further works should provide easier cycle access from the station to Kingston Bridge with the crossing over Horse Fair near TK Maxx and John Lewis due to be replaced too.

A cycle hub with lots of space for cycle parking is due to be built next to Kingston Station but the timings for construction are currently unconfirmed.

Kingston Vale

Work will continue in 2019 on the Kingston Vale scheme having started in 2018 near Derwent Avenue with construction progressing on one side of the road (up the hill) towards Kingston Hill university campus. The one way segregated track up the hill to the university campus is now basically complete with works now continuing past the campus itself. Works are not due to finish on the Kingston Hill route until 2020 with some signalised junctions closer to Kingston town centre likely to take some time to reconstruct.

Works have also taken place to renew two crossings at Cotswold Close and Magnolia Close. These appear to be attempts at ‘continuous crossings‘ but we have some concerns with what has been constructed and will be speaking to the Council about the details of what has been built.

Very recent markings added to the pavement near Manorgate Roundabout suggest that construction work may soon reach here before too long where parallel pedestrian and cycling crossings will be added to each of the five arms of the junction.

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Five different roads converging at Manorgate roundabout. Parallel cycle and pedestrian crossings will be added on each arm of the junction as part of the Kingston Vale scheme.

Summary

A new cycle network is finally starting to emerge in Kingston and 2019 will be the first time that a number of different Mini-Holland schemes join up. However, the new network will only be successful if it is completed to a high standard. Kingston Cycling Campaign will therefore continue to work with and ask the Council to deliver schemes to the highest possible standard ensuring the safety and usability of these routes for those on bikes and also those walking is prioritised.

As always, let us know if you have any comments about any of the schemes.

Links to further information from Kingston council:

Bread pudding ride to Putn… erm, Wandsworth

Lower Morden Garden centre

Sunday 6th January. A largely overcast day, with a couple of brighter spells saw 19 Cyclists ready for the first ride of 2019, leave via Kingston Bridge, Bushy Park, Clapperstile gate, ( with 1 extra catching the tail at the 2nd attempt), Teddington, Teddington Footbridge, Thames Towpath, Petersham, Petersham gate, Richmond Park, Sheen gate, Palewell, Barnes, Towpath again, to Putney, – where the chosen lunch stop was already stuffed with Football supporters prior to the Fulham/ Oldham game-, with a small group electing to have lunch at a Cafe, the main party continued to Wandsworth, with option 2, not having food, -alas 1 person realising they had left a Pannier at the 1st stop-, option 3 ‘the Garrett Tavern’, more than satisfying our needs, with all the lost sheep back with the group, the Wandle trail, Earlsfield, more Wandle path, South Wimbledon, Merton park, Lower Morden to the Wyevale Garden centre for Tea & Bread Pudding, Morden Cemetery, Joseph Hood Park, Motspur park, New Malden, Berrylands, to Kingston. Total 27 Miles, 1 new face, thanks to Amy for back marking & others for corner marking, thanks to John for the BP.

Map:-http://www.plotaroute.com/route/741349