FAQs for the Portsmouth Road scheme

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We’ve seen comments on social media and in the local papers about the mini-Holland two-way cycle track that’s under construction on the Portsmouth Road, and we’d like to help clarify any issues and correct any misinformation that is in circulation. Therefore we have put together a list of responses to frequently raised issues. Kingston Council is responsible for the design and implementation of the scheme. We hope that you will find these answers to “Frequently Asked Questions” helpful.
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Taking Action on Air Pollution

By Jon Fray for the Kingston Cycling Campaign

At the beginning of January the Kingston Cycling Campaign (KCC) responded to Kingston Council’s ten page draft Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP), pointing out a number of concerns and omissions. The Plan correctly identified that most of the air pollution is caused by road traffic and acknowledged that domestic and industrial boilers and other sources also contribute to high levels of oxides of nitrogen and particulates. Maps in the Plan show that those pollutants were concentrated on busy roads, especially along the route of the A3 and the Kingston Town Centre, which won’t be a surprise to anyone.

 

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Road space reallocation: 10 bikes can be parked in the space taken by one kerbside car

We found the Plan to be lacking in ambition in that it did not seem to address the issues of high levels of traffic but settled for actions such as “measures to support cycling including led commuter rides, Dr Bike sessions and maintenance classes”.  While we approve of these things we think they are probably too passive. Our response was that the Plan should recognise the importance of reallocating road space for safer cycling more pleasant walking and bus priority measures in order to provide the improvement in conditions that that people want if they are not to drive.  Quite remarkably the AQAP did not even mention Kingston’s mini-Holland schemes and the £30 million awarded to provide protected cycle routes around the borough. There seems to be a lack of awareness even within the Council of the importance of mini-Holland schemes.
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20’s Plenty in Queen’s Road, Kingston Hill

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Queen’s Road is familiar to anyone who has visited Richmond Park through Kingston Gate. It is a road heavily used by people on bikes going to and from Richmond Park and the footways are busy with people going to the park on foot too. Whereas the speed limit in Richmond Park is 20mph, the limit on Queen’s Road is still 30. There is also a substantial amount of traffic going to and through Richmond Park. During peak hours drivers avoid the Norbiton roundabout by cutting along Queen’s Road and King’s Road.

Queen’s Road is a residential road except for the Albert Pub at the Kingston Hill end and Park Hill School and Nursery and St Paul’s Church. The roads leading off Park Road to the west, downhill, sensibly have a 20 mph speed limit. One of these roads, Alexandra Road has St Paul’s Junior School and St Alexandra’s Infant School and of course lots of children going to school walk along and cross Queen’s Road. Recently the views of some councillors in Kingston has been that there should be 20 mph speed limits outside schools.
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Campaigners meet with Kingston Council

Members of the Kingston Cycling Campaign meet every three months with officers of Kingston Council to progress improvements and repairs for the benefit of cyclists. Today, (13th October), four campaigners met at Guildhall 2 to discuss the Mini-Holland project, Kingston’s Local Implementation Plan (LIP) and some of our Top 40 projects that we want to see done. Not only that, but we reported the missing bike logo at the new ASL (Advanced Stop Line) at Sury Basin by the Richmond Road Sainsbury’s and the failure of the Tolworth Greenway where some sections of the coloured surfacing have been sinking. A particularly interesting discussion was the concern about the safety of the junction of London Road and Coombe Lane. The problem is that cyclists and motorcyclists riding in the bus lane towards Kingston are being clouted by drivers turning right into Coombe Road (traffic in the bus lane is often hidden by stationary traffic), or by left turning vehicles. We discussed some solutions that could address the collision problem. We would like to see a solution that provides some segregation and stop cyclists getting hurt.