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

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.

20mph in Kingston: An update – Surbiton to get safer roads whilst the rest of the Borough gets left behind

Kingston Council ran a Borough wide consultation in early January/February 2020 proposing to make the Borough’s roads safer by introducing a 20mph speed limit on all residential roads. Due to Covid, the outcome from the consultation was delayed and has only recently reached Kingston’s four neighbourhood committees.

Whilst many have been focussing on the Euros championship in the past couple of weeks, we’ve instead been closely following the result of the neighbourhood committees and how they have voted on the further roll-out (or otherwise) of 20mph limits in their area. We’ve set out below what has been decided and what might happen next but before we kick-off, a quick reminder of why the Council wanted to introduce 20mph speed limits:

There are three main reasons why the council feels 20mph would be great for our roads:

  1. Improved air quality: by lowering and evening out acceleration.
  2. Fewer casualties: lower speeds give drivers and others more time to react.
  3. Better health: more people walk and cycle, as they feel safer.

There is also evidence from other areas of the UK that shows a reduction in average speeds when area-wide 20mph is introduced, even if there is no enforcement or traffic calming measures in place.

What’s been decided?

Kingston Town Neighbourhood (Tudor, Canbury, Grove, Norbiton wards) – decided to introduce 20mph limits on a handful of additional roads near Sainsburys (Sury Basin). Prior to the final vote, an amendment was proposed by Cllr Wehring and seconded by Cllr Tolley. This amendment would have extended 20mph limits to a number of additional roads (Portsmouth Road, Queen Elizabeth Road, Cromwell Road, Wood Street, Horse Fair, Tudor Drive, Coombe Road (junction with Wolverton Ave to London Road)). However, the amendment fell after the vote was split evenly (plus one abstention) with the chair of the committee making the casting vote to block the amendment. The committee also agreed that residents may be consulted in the future (on an undetermined timeframe) if they would like 20mph limits on their roads (which roads these might be is not specified…). KCC Summary – Kingston Town started at the top of the table (currently 70% of roads have 20mph limits in the neighbourhood) but will be overtaken by Surbiton’s plans (see below). Losing the amendment after extra time means Kingston Town goes home with little to show for it despite some excellent shots on target by some of the Councillors present.

Maldens & Coombe Neighbourhood (Coombe Hill, Coombe Vale, St James, Beverley wards) – Disappointingly there will be no immediate extension of 20mph limits anywhere in the Maldens & Coombe neighbourhood. Though again, residents on specific roads (unnamed) will be consulted in the future (no specific timeframes) on whether they would like 20mph limits on their roads. KCC Summary – nothing can hide the disappointing result from this committee – there were few attempts on the target (of making roads in the neighbourhood safer) here with supporters leaving before the final result as it seemed to be clear that a win wasn’t going to be forthcoming this night.

South of the Borough Neighbourhood (Tolworth & Hook Rise, Chessington North & Hook, Chessington South wards) – As with Maldens & Coombe, there will be no immediate extension of 20mph limits on roads fully within the South of the Borough despite only 36% of the neighbourhood’s roads currently having 20mph limits. However, the committee voted to commit highways officers to investigate reducing the speed limit on roads which currently have speed limits in excess of 30mph in the neighbourhood. This means that part of Jubilee Way could reduce from 40mph to 30mph and parts of Rushett and Fairoak Lanes could reduce from 60mph (the only 60mph roads anywhere in the Borough!) to 40mph. In addition, the committee voted to allow Red Lion Road and Herne Road (and, by implication, Thornhill Road) which are shared with Surbiton neighbourhood, to change to 20mph if Surbiton neighbourhood voted for this (which they did). The neighbourhood has also committed to consult (without specified timeframes) with specific roads (which, spot the theme, are unnamed) in the future on whether they would like 20mph limits introduced. KCC Summary – again, a disappointing result but with a small silver lining of following Surbiton’s decision on moving to 20mph shared roads and looking into reducing the speed limit on roads with a limit of 40mph or above in the neighbourhood. Room for improvement in future outings.

Surbiton Neighbourhood (Alexandra, Berrylands, St Marks, Surbiton Hill wards) – After an amendment proposed by Cllr Sumner and seconded by Cllr Green, Surbiton neighbourhood committee voted unanimously to introduce a 20mph speed limit on ALL Borough controlled roads within the neighbourhood boundary. Highways officers have also been asked by the committee to ask Transport for London to consider lowering the speed limit on the A240 as well as the A3 slip roads which are in TfL’s control (the A3 itself wasn’t included in this request). KCC Summary – full roll out with unanimous support, clearly had eyes focussed on the goal (of safer streets) resulting in being the standout neighbourhood champions. All Surbiton neighbourhood Councillors should be proud of the part they played in the result. Other neighbourhoods look on at what might have been.

What’s next?

Surbiton neighbourhood is clearly leading the way in introducing comprehensive 20mph limits in the Borough by committing to rolling out this limit to all of the roads controlled by the Borough in its area. Traffic orders will now need to be prepared by highways officers and it is likely these will go to committee again in September for final approval. We’d hope the 20mph limits could then roll out by early 2022. This is also the likely process for the handful of roads in Kingston Town that are proposed to move to 20mph. The timings for a review of the roads in South of the Borough which currently have a speed limit of more than 30mph is uncertain.

What about roads which are not going to be 20mph? Well, this is where it gets very unclear. None of the (non-Surbiton) committees discussed this in detail though it was mentioned in one committee that residents could create petitions for their roads to move to 20mph. The problem with petitions for this are:

  • that it will require residents to be organised and know about the ability to petition for safer streets
  • it will require time to be scheduled at a neighbourhood committee to discuss the petition
  • it will require a traffic order for each set of proposals agreed
  • is more expensive than making a wider 20mph limit (as officer time will be required to assess each petition and the roads contained with the petition, more traffic orders are likely to be required and additional boundary signage will also be needed)

Unfortunately Transport for London is currently in the middle of cut-backs and has reduced grants to local Councils (including Kingston). Kingston Council also does not have a strong track record of investing additional sums in Healthy Streets initiatives beyond those given to it in grants from Transport for London or from funds from developers. This means that any future extension of 20mph limits beyond those agreed in recent Committees could be some time away.

Kingston Cycling Campaign is a strong believer in 20mph limits being an important step in creating safer roads and we will therefore continue to campaign for the rest of the Borough’s roads to move to 20mph. As per the consultation documents, 20mph roads are safer (lower speeds reduce the number of collisions and when collisions do happen their severity is reduced too), they encourage more people to walk and cycle and can also reduce air pollution as less acceleration/braking is required.

All local Councillors were given the opportunity to vote on the roll-out of 20mph limits in their neighbourhood. If you therefore share our disappointment in the outcome of the 20mph consultation in three of the neighbourhoods (or if you live in Surbiton neighbourhood and want to congratulate someone!), why not let your local Councillor know?

How to find out more about 20mph

Transport for London map showing all the speed limits in London. This shows the widespread 20mph roads (green) in neighbouring Richmond, Merton and Wandsworth. Kingston shows lots of blue (30mph) roads. Only the roads in Surbiton neighbourhood are likely to have significant changes on this map for the Borough of Kingston in the next 12 months.

20sPlenty website – want to find out more about the benefits of 20mph limits – here’s the site!

Kingston Council 20mph consultation – want to find out more about the original Borough consultation together with maps of all the collisions resulting in injuries on Kingston’s roads in a 5 year period – this is where you’ll find them.

Current Kingston 20mph speed limit map – want to see which roads are currently in 20mph and what the average speed of vehicles on roads near you are, helpfully, Kingston Council has the map for you.

The history of Kingston’s Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – 1968 to present day

As a decision by the Council on Kingston’s three Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) trials approaches, Kingston Cycling Campaign has been undertaking research into the history of LTNs in Kingston.

Our research has found that LTNs in the Borough are far from new and one of the first ‘modal filters’ (the restriction of motor traffic passing through) was created at the junction of Lower Ham Road/Lower King’s Road in c.1968. Whilst another was installed on Bonner Hill Road in c.1978. 

The modal filter on Bonner Hill Road (pictured below) helps create one of the Borough’s largest LTNs around Cambridge Road estate. This single modal filter helps reduce motor traffic and by making the roads safer, encourages walking and cycling which can reduce the use of motor vehicles that worsen the Borough’s air pollution problems.

Bonner Hill Road modal filter, installed c.1978

Our research found other LTNs were introduced in the Borough in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and, prior to the new LTN trials, the most recent one we have found was created in c.2008 through the installation of a modal filter on Walton Avenue in New Malden at its junction with Burlington Road.

We have also identified that LTNs have been introduced across many different parts of the Borough in the past 50 years including in the South (Stormont Way and Compton Crescent); in New Malden (Walton Avenue and George Road); and through to the North of the Borough (Skerne Road and Chatham Road).

Below you can see our map of LTNs already located in the Borough and which includes the three trial LTNs. This map is based on our own research and whilst we understand it to be correct, please do let us know if there are any omissions or errors.

This map also shows Kingston’s Go Cycle routes (either built, in construction or proposed) and that two of the trial LTNs (Albert Road and King Charles Road) link directly onto the Go Cycle network. This means the residents of these two LTNs not only have safer neighbourhood roads but can use these to connect to safer cycle access along the main roads to many destinations across the Borough. The provision of a network of safer cycle (and walking) routes along main roads that connect neighbourhoods is an absolutely essential part of encouraging walking and cycling. It is also an important part of supporting the accessibility of the Borough for the 29% of households in the Borough that do not own a car.

Though we know LTNs can receive some loud objections at the time they are put in place, if they are designed appropriately, they can have a large positive net impact on the community. Surveys show too that across London substantially more people support LTNs than oppose them. Recent research has also shown that road safety substantially improves within LTNs whilst not worsening on neighbouring main roads

In Waltham Forest, which has had a large programme of new LTNs in recent years, research has shown that children in the Borough are now expected to live longer from the impact of reduced air pollution and increased physical activity whilst motor vehicle ownership has decreased and the measures have even led to reduced street crime

More benefits of LTNs can be found in a London Cycle Campaign guide to LTNs and a collection of evidence that the charity Sustrans has put together.

We have already seen many people enjoy Kingston’s new LTNs (whilst we continue to see people enjoying the ones that have been in place for over 50 years too). We hope that these new LTNs will be made permanent so that their benefits can continue to be enjoyed. We have therefore written to all of the Borough’s Councillors today asking them to support making the trial LTNs permanent and asking them to assist residents in other parts of the Borough with making their roads safer too.

Full list of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods identified in the Royal Borough of Kingston

Low Traffic NeighbourhoodAreaRoads covered by Low Traffic NeighbourhoodDate established*
1Lower Ham Road (1)KingstonLower Ham Road (part), Eastbury Road, Chestnut Road, Woodside Road1968
2Bonner Hill RoadKingstonBonner Hill Road, Hampden Road1978
3South LaneKingstonSouth Lane1985
4Palmer Crescent/Grange RoadKingstonPalmer Crescent, Grange Road1988
5Barnsbury LaneTolworthBarnsbury Lane (part)1988
6Chatham RoadKingstonChatham Road, Cobham Road, Chesham Road1991
7Woodbines Avenue/ The BittomsKingstonWoodbines Avenue, The Bittoms, Milner Road1992
8Knight’s Park BridgeKingstonKnight’s Park1993
9Albert/George/Queen’s RoadsNew MaldenAlbert Road, George Road, Queen’s Road1993
10Stormont WayChessingtonStormont Way, Newlands Way, Devon Way, Holsworthy Way, Riponn Gardens, Tiverton Way, Hereford Way1995
11Caverleigh WayWorcester ParkCaverleigh Way, Pembruy Avenue1995
12Sussex RoadNew MaldenSussex Road1995
13Compton CrescentChessingtonCompton Crescent, Marston Avenue, Church Rise, Wilson Road1996
14Mill PlaceKingstonMill Place, Dudley Road1998
15Skerne WalkKingstonSkerne Walk, Lower Kings Road2001
16St Mary’s RoadSurbitonSt Mary’s Road, Cottage GrovePre-2008
17Walton AvenueNew MaldenWalton Avenue, Cavendish Road, Cromwell Avenue2008
18Lower Ham Road (2)KingstonLower Ham Road (part), Bank Lane, Albany Park Road2020
19King Charles RoadTolworthKing Charles Road (part), Beaconsfield Road, Broomfield Road, Derby Road2020
20Albert RoadKingstonAlbert Road, Victoria Road, Church Road2020

*Our research is based on Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) administered by Kingston Council. We have used the date of the TRO as the date when the Low Traffic Neighbourhood was established. In some cases, the TRO date may not exactly match where the modal filter (or other measures) were implemented.

As a final note, there are also many Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in the Borough that were established at the time they were built. Examples of this are cul-de-sacs or other estates which were built without provision for through motor vehicles. We have not included these in our analysis and have focussed on those converted to Low Traffic Neighbourhoods through the use of modal filters.

Mini-Holland: Progress in 2020

As we reach the end of 2020, we’ve taken a look at the progress that was made on Kingston’s Mini-Holland programme (also known as ‘Go Cycle’) during the year and finish with a look towards 2021.

Kingston to Kingston Vale

The Kingston to Kingston Vale cycle route is the longest in the Mini-Holland programme and started main construction in 2019. It was due to be finished this year but events of 2020 caused this timeline to become unachievable. Despite the difficulties of 2020, during the year the 2-way track along London Road between Queen Elizabeth Road and Manorgate Road was completed as well as the cycle tracks between Manorgate Road and Queen’s Road. Some ‘snagging’ (fixing minor issues) also took place on Kingston Hill and Kingston Vale on stretches of segregated cycle track constructed in 2019.

The reconstruction of the junction between Kingston Hill and Wolverton Avenue finished this year (new and before photos)
Cycle tracks added to Kingston Hill (between Queen’s Road and Manorgate Road) finished this year (before and after photos)
New 2-way cycle track along London Road completed this year

The only sections outstanding on this route are the junction of Kingston Hill with Queen’s Road and the separate junction with Galsworthy Road. These should be constructed in Spring 2021, and along with finishing the ‘snagging’ items, this will complete the 4.5km route from Kingston Town Centre all the way to the A3 which is close to the Borough of Kingston’s border with Wandsworth.

Surbiton to Tolworth

The Surbiton to Tolworth scheme along Ewell Road will link these two areas with a safer cycle route and started main construction at the beginning of 2020. The majority of the route was due to be completed by the end of the year. However, again timelines have changed and only Phase 1 was completed (St Mark’s Hill to Browns Road). Phase 2 (Brown’s Road to Tolworth Broadway) has had its plans tweaked to fit within a reduced budget provided by TfL and its construction could start early in 2021 subject to TfL’s final approval and funding. Phase 2 could then be completed in 2021 creating a safer cycle route from Tolworth all the way to Kingston Town Centre via Surbiton.

First phase of Surbiton to Tolworth cycle route along Ewell Road completed in 2020. Photos of new and prior layout.

Kingston Station

Kingston Station is the ‘hub’ of the new Mini-Holland network of safer cycle routes and has seen a lot of associated construction activity in recent years. The main progress this year has been continued construction of the Kingston Station bike storage hub which will have space for 450 bikes as well as bike maintenance facilities, lockers as well as a space for a cafe.

Photos of the new cycle and walking bridge which will take people from Kingston Station towards the Thames and the new Kingston Station bike storage hub which will have capacity for up to 450 bikes

Next to the hub is a new bridge which is approaching its final stages prior to opening. This bridge will better link Kingston Station to the Thames and towards Ham. Together with the Low Traffic Neighbourhood along Lower Ham Road and the due to be completed Surbiton to Tolworth link, this will mean there is a 7km safer cycling route (almost!) all the way from the Borough of Kingston’s border with Richmond upon Thames (at Ham Cross) to its border with Epsom & Ewell (near Tolworth).

Both the bridge and bike storage hub should be open by the end of January 2021.

Anything else?

Right at the beginning of the year, the finishing touches were added to the Kingston to Surbiton route (along Penrhyn Road) though that feels a long time ago now…

Outside of the Mini-Holland programme, due to reduced funding and other obvious priorities, there were few infrastructure improvements to the Borough’s cycle network outside of the Mini-Holland (and Streetspace) programme. However, we were pleased that Kingston Council listened to our suggestion and found time to install a dropped kerb next to a ‘toucan crossing’ (for people cycling and walking) near Kingston Station to make it easier for people to get to/from the cycle path underneath Kingston Railway Bridge.

New dropped kerb near Kingston Station making it easier for people cycling to get to/from the cycle track under the railway bridge

Finally, the excellent and very popular New Malden to Raynes Park walking and cycling paths had its first birthday in 2020!

The future

As above, there are bits of the existing Mini-Holland programme to finish off which should be completed in 2021 with the main construction activity due to be along Ewell Road as the second phase of Surbiton to Tolworth is completed. This leaves the proposed Kingston to New Malden cycle route as the only scheme that would remain outstanding….

Kingston to New Malden is the final part of the Mini-Holland programme but is yet to start construction. We understand that this scheme is ready to start construction as soon as Spring 2021 (it received approval from Kingston Council at the beginning of 2020) but it is currently unfunded. We understand Kingston Council continue to lobby TfL for the funding to be provided but until this is happens, the final critical link in the Mini-Holland programme will remain unbuilt. This is despite large housing developments being built along the route as well as its dismal record for safety for people cycling and walking. We will continue to campaign for this vital cycle route and hope TfL will be able to fund it at some point in 2021.

As a final note, we would like to thank everyone involved in the Mini-Holland programme (designers; project managers; construction crews; cycle lane sweepers; Councillors; TfL sponsors; members of the public who have provided feedback; Kingston Cycle Campaign volunteers and many more) for their hard work and contributions during a very difficult year.

Wishing everyone a happier 2021.

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

Mini-Holland update – Autumn 2020

In our last update in May, we looked at the impact that Covid was having on Kingston Council’s plans to improve the Borough for cycling and walking. Since then, we’ve seen various Streetspace measures installed around the Borough as well as a restart to the construction of Kingston’s remaining Mini-Holland (or Go Cycle) programme.

This post provides an update on the progress of Kingston’s Mini-Holland programme since construction was paused in March this year due to Covid.

Firstly, why did construction stop?

When Covid lockdown measures were introduced, construction worksites across the country were paused and this included all those in Kingston’s Mini-Holland programme.

After construction was paused, Transport for London (TfL) got in touch with Kingston Council with some bad news….

TfL has been funding all of Kingston’s Mini-Holland programme and during the time that construction was paused, TfL realised that there was going to be a huge hit to its budget as people stopped taking journeys on its transport network. TfL therefore instructed all Boroughs to cease any remaining construction on TfL funded projects until further notice as they sought to save money.

Despite TfL’s request to pause projects, for some parts of Kingston’s Mini-Holland programme, contracts had already been signed with contractors and/or materials purchased with a number of worksites half finished. For these half finished sections, once safe social distancing measures had been implemented by contractors, construction continued to complete these stretches. This is why some limited construction on Mini-Holland projects happened in late Spring.

Following the pause in construction, the Government provided some emergency funding to TfL. TfL then awarded Kingston (along with some other London Boroughs) reduced funding to complete the remainder of the Mini-Holland projects that were already in construction:

  • Kingston to Kingston Vale (Kingston Hill and Kingston Vale)
  • Kingston Station hub and bridge
  • Surbiton to Tolworth (Ewell Road)

Unfortunately, as TfL only provided Kingston with reduced funding compared to the original budget agreed, the existing designs for the remaining stretches of the Mini-Holland schemes had to be revised to reduce costs. This meant that work couldn’t start on these stretches until new designs had been prepared; had new safety audits completed; and then received further TfL approvals. This is the main reason why some Mini-Holland schemes are still not completed.

Kingston to Kingston Vale

This scheme has been in construction for some time. However, since the start of this year, the 2-way cycle track along London Road between Queen Elizabeth Road and Manorgate roundabout was completed. The 1-way cycle tracks were also completed on each side of Kingston Hill between Manorgate roundabout and Queen’s Road.

London Road 2-way cycle track on the Kingston to Kingston Vale route

Apart from snagging (fixing small issues on sections now completed) the three remaining areas to complete the 4.5km Kingston to Kingston Vale route are:

  1. Kingston Hill/Queen’s Road junction
  2. Kingston Hill/Galsworthy Road junction
  3. Section of one way cycle track between Robin Hood Lane and the A3

All the remaining sections of this route have been redesigned (to fit within the reduced budget) and are going through final approvals ready to be constructed. As the remaining sections involve two busy signalised junctions, we expect the Kingston Vale route will now not be complete until 2021. Once complete, the Council will need to ensure that this cycle route is adequately maintained as there are already regular accumulations of leaves and rubbish in the cycle lanes around the Kingston Vale part of the route as well as illegal parking on the new cycle track near Manorgate roundabout.

Surbiton to Tolworth

The first stretch of the Surbiton to Tolworth (between St Mark’s Hill and Brown’s Road) has recently reached practical completion with just snagging and a couple of crossings to finish this section. This stretch provides much needed segregation from cars, vans and lorries.

2-way cycle track on Ewell Road

The first section constructed features good continuous crossings over side roads (where people walking and cycling are given priority crossing roads to people in cars), has improvements to the bus ‘boarder’ design compared to the Kingston Vale route and includes new cycle parking.

As approved by the Council, unfortunately there are areas of shared use on this section (where people cycling have to share with people walking), particularly around the shops near Langley Road. This was done to keep car parking spaces which remains extremely disappointing and means some people cycling will prefer to use the main carriageway whilst others will find sharing with people walking very frustrating. We remain hopeful that this section will be revisted again one day to provide proper segregation.

Shared use area on Ewell Road

On the remainder of the Surbiton to Tolworth route (from Brown’s Road to Tolworth Broadway), this has had to be redesigned to fit in with the reduced budget provided by Transport for London. This redesigned section is currently going through the necessary approvals with TfL before construction can commence.

We understand that this resdesigned route will feature more ‘bolt down segregation kerbs’ vs stepped cycle tracks than originally planned. However, these bolt down segregation kerbs have worked well on the outer parts of the Kingston Vale route where they’ve already been installed. They have the clear advantage that they can be installed at a fraction of the cost of a stepped cycle track and can be added to the carriageway very quickly.

Cycle segregation kerbs installed on the Kingston Hill Cycleway

Kingston Station and hub

Again, more delays caused by funding being paused have held up completion of the widened pedestrian and cycle bridge over Kingsgate Road as well as fit out of the Kingston Station bike hub. However, the Kingston Station bike hub has had its plastic sheeting removed from the exterior and the installation of lighting, security measures and provision of a potential bike maintenance and cafe area has recommenced.

Once complete, the hub will allow the storage of hundreds of bikes and will include areas for cargo and non-standard bikes too (which are often larger and therefore cannot be secured easily to some of the cycle stands around Kingston currently).

Kingston Station bike storage hub being fitted out

Kingston to New Malden

This proposed cycle route was approved by Kingston Council at the beginning of the year. However, due to Covid, funding from TfL has been withdrawn and there’s currently no funding to complete this safe cycle route despite most of the design work having already been completed.

People cycling along the route (Cambridge and Kingston Roads) will therefore continue to be put at increased danger and many will continue to not even think about cycling along this route.

Whilst public transport options are reduced due to social distancing requirements and with climate change an increasing issue, prioritising improving conditions for cycling on these roads is even more important. We hope the Council can obtain funding for the improvements and we wonder whether contributions from property developments could be an alternative source of funds.

Kingston to New Malden route – very poor provision for people cycling currently

Anything else?

Improvements continue on completed Cycleways. Over the past few months, this has included:

  • Removing dangerous bollards from the middle of the 2-way cycle track on Portsmouth Road
  • Installation of green Cycleway signage on Wheatfield Way and in Surbiton
  • Improvements to loading bays on existing Cycleways to make enforcement of illegal parking easier
Spot the new green Cycleway sign on Wheatfield Way

Next steps

We’re looking forward to the schemes currently in construction being completed and hope that the remainder of the Ewell Road Cycleway will start construction soon.

We also want to see funding secured for the vital Kingston to New Malden Cycleway.

As always, if you have any comments or improvements you would like to see, let us know and we can pass them onto the Council. Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates too.

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

Happy 1st Birthday to the New Malden to Raynes Park Cycleway!

A few people from Kingston Cycling Campaign and Merton Cycling Campaign met on the New Malden to Raynes Park Cycleway this afternoon (socially distanced of course) to celebrate its first Birthday which is due tomorrow, 13 July 2020.

The New Malden to Raynes Park Cycleway

The New Malden to Raynes Park Cycleway (also referred to as ‘Cycleway 31’) has transformed cycling and walking between the two locations since it opened. It opened up previously underused Thames Water land allowing people to cycle and walk between the two locations in a safe environment for the first time. After our successful campaign, the Cycleway was built with separate walking and cycling paths (instead of a single shared path) reducing conflict for people using the route too.

This afternoon we counted over 130 people on bikes in just an hour using the Cycleway with over a third of these being children either cycling with family or friends. There were a similar number of people walking too. This level of usage clearly demonstrates the desire for safe cycle and walking routes.

It doesn’t seem a year since Will Norman (London’s Walking and Cycling Commisioner) formally opened the Cycleway (and what a year it’s been since…) but we are delighted that this new link is being heavily used by the community just one year after opening.

A map of the New Malden to Raynes Park Cycleway

We expect that this Cycleway would be even more popular if it connected to safe cycle infrastructure at both its ends. We therefore will continue to campaign for the construction of the Kingston to New Malden Cycleway along Cambridge and Kingston Roads.

The proposed Kingston to New Malden Cycleway would pass close to the beginning of the New Malden to Raynes Park Cycleway providing a safer link onto it. The Kingston to New Malden Cycleway was approved by Kingston Council earlier this year but currently does not have any source of funding to start construction. In the meantime, people will continue to be put off cycling on these busy and dangerous roads.

Support New Cycle Hangars in Kingston

***October 2021 UPDATE – 16 Cycle Hangars are being installed – find out the latest news here: https://kingstoncyclecampaign.wordpress.com/2021/10/18/16-new-secure-cycle-hangars-being-installed-across-kingston-and-surbiton/***

We regularly campaign for additional cycle parking in the Borough as we know many people struggle to find space to park their bike when they are out and about or choose not to purchase a bike as they have nowhere to keep one securely at home.

We were therefore really pleased to hear that Kingston Council were successful in a bid to Transport for London (TfL) for funding of 20 new Cycle Hangars for the Borough’s residential streets.

Each of these Cycle Hangars allow 6 bikes to be securely stored on the street. Each person who hires one of these spaces receives a key to access the Hangar and can store their bike there for as long as they keep hiring the space. Many Cycle Hangars have already been installed on Kingston’s housing estates and have been successfully used for a number of years.

A Bike Hangar already installed on one of Kingston’s housing estates

This funding from TfL will allow them to be placed on the Borough’s residential streets for the first time. Many people do not have space in their home (including lots of those who live in flat conversions) and this will give them the opportunity to keep a bike securely for the first time.

This consultation is now closed. There is currently a traffic order out for consultation on the introduction of these Cycle Hangars. You can support their introduction by emailing TMO@kingston.gov.uk quoting reference ‘KingMap0041’ and stating your support (as well as any comments you have) by Thursday 18th June 2020.

We will be responding to the consultation strongly supporting their introduction with the following comments:

  • They will allow many residents the opportunity to store a bike securely for the first time supporting an increase in bike ownership in the Borough and therefore helping 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 6 bikes can fit in less than the space needed for a single car.
  • This limited introduction should just be the start and Kingston should be aiming to catch up with other London Boroughs such as Hackney which now have several hundred Cycle Hangars installed.

The provisional list of roads where Cycle Hangars may be installed are:

  • Adelaide Road, Surbiton
  • Anglesea Road, Kingston
  • Berrylands, Surbiton
  • Bond Road, Surbiton
  • Cadogan Road, Surbiton
  • Claremont Road, Surbiton
  • Elm Road, Kingston
  • Grayham Road, New Malden
  • Hampden Road, Kingston
  • Howard Road, Surbiton
  • King Charles Road, Surbiton
  • Lovelace Road, Surbiton
  • Maple Road, Surbiton
  • Oakhill Crescent, Surbiton
  • Princes Road, Kingston
  • St Andrew’s Square, Surbiton
  • St Mark’s HIll, Surbiton
  • Surbiton Hill Park, Surbiton
  • The Avenue, Surbiton
  • Warwick Road, New Malden
  • Windmill Rise, Kingston 

From information published by the Council it seems that there will be an annual charge of £70 for the hire of a space in a Cycle Hanger. This will cover the maintenance and administration of the Hangars and is likely to be payable to Cyclehoop who install and maintain Cycle Hangars across London.

It is yet to be confirmed how applying for a place in the Cycle Hangars will work but keep an eye on our Twitter page and we will publish any information we get as soon as we know more.

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 more demand that is shown for the Cycle Hangars on your street, the more likely that you will get one!

The Traffic Order for the Cycle Hangars can be found here which has more information on the proposed location of the Cycle Hangars on each road.

We hope that this is just the start of the installation of more Cycle Hangars in the Borough. We will continue to campaign for more Cycle Hangars to be installed as well as more of other types of cycle parking across the Borough.

Mini-Holland update – Part 3 – The World’s Changed

We planned to write about what could happen after Kingston’s Mini-Holland (or ‘Go Cycle’) programme of cycle and walking improvements came to an end. However, since our look in February at how Kingston and Cambridge Road could become safer, the world has changed. The top priority for travelling is now ensuring sufficient space for social distancing. This post looks at what this could mean for Kingston.

The problem

42% of all journeys in Kingston are made by car; 20% by public transport; 4% by bike; 33% by walking and 1% by other means (Source: 2019 Cycling in Kingston Report). However, with Covid-19, public transport capacity is currently significantly reduced. If just a small percentage of journeys switched from public transport to being taken by car, then Kingston’s roads are not going to be able to cope worsening Kingston’s air quality problem. Instead of switching to even more journeys by car, Transport for London are encouraging people to walk or cycle wherever possible. However, despite the Go Cycle (Mini-Holland programme), many of Kingston’s main roads remain unsafe for people cycling as they lack any measures separating people cycling from motor vehicles.

Away from the main roads, many of Kingston’s residential roads remain busy short cuts as they allow cars, vans (and often lorries) to save a minute or so on their journey by avoiding main roads and passing along local streets. With residential roads still clogged with this traffic, it makes it more difficult to keep to social distancing requirements as it can be unsafe to walk in the road (which is needed due to many narrow pavements) whilst these busy roads discourage walking and cycling too.

So what are the answers?

Enabling more walking and cycling would reduce the pressure on Kingston’s roads whilst encouraging healthier and more sustainable travel. There are a number of ways walking and cycling could be supported (as well as assisting with social distancing) and the rest of this post looks at some of the measures that could be used.

  • Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
  • Safe space for cycling
  • 20mph limits
  • School streets
  • Wider pavements
  • Reduced crossing times

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

As already mentioned, many of Kingston’s residential roads remain open to through traffic allowing cars, vans and lorries to take short cuts along residential streets to their destination instead of keeping to main roads.

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods can prevent motor vehicles using residential streets as short cuts by blocking their routes. This can be done very cheaply, for example installing a couple of bollards or, like in Croydon and Lewisham, putting in some planters. Residents, deliveries and emergency services can all still access the streets but through traffic is prevented from using the short cut and has to keep to the main roads.

By keeping short cutting traffic to the main roads, it makes the residential streets quieter and safer. Where there are narrow pavements, it becomes easier for people to walk in the road to maintain a sufficient distance from each other. The ‘blocks’ used to stop short cutting cars allow people cycling to pass through which allows safer cycling routes to be quickly created too as these roads are no longer full of cars and vans cutting through. There are examples already in Kingston that were put in place many years ago like on Springfield Road or Woodbines Avenue.

Kingston Council had already proposed introducing a Low Traffic Neighbourhood near Hook Road as part of their Healthy Streets plans. In addition, Transport for London has recently published a map of areas it thinks in Kingston could be made into Low Traffic Neighbourhoods based on their size.

LTN Kingston

TfL map of possible Low Traffic Neighbourhood locations in Kingston Source

This includes the Hook Road area (already identified by the Council); Hook; parts of Surbiton and New Malden; and North Kingston.

We have asked that the Council accelerates its plans for the area near Hook Road and looks at the other areas in the Borough which would be suitable for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.

Safe space for cycling

To encourage people to travel by bike for their journey, they need to feel safe doing do so. Kingston’s Mini Holland (or Go Cycle) programme has been upgrading many of Kingston’s main roads to provide safe space for cycling separated from motor traffic. However, this programme was due to finish next year with many Borough roads still untouched.

Transport for London did have additional funding available for London Borough’s looking to extend their cycle networks and could have provided additional funding to extend the safer cycle routes to more of Kingston’s roads. TfL were prioritising those listed in its Strategic Cycling Analysis as likely having the biggest impact. For Kingston, this included Richmond Road (Kingston to Ham); Queen’s Road (to Richmond Park); Coombe Lane (Kingston to Raynes Park); Brighton Road & Hook Road (Surbiton to Hook); and Malden Road (New Malden to Worcester Park).

SCA Kingston

Transport for London’s Strategic Cycle Analysis: Source

However, TfL has recently updated this map to include those cycle routes that it will be prioritising in the short term to provide safer space for cycling given the increased urgency there now is. In Kingston these routes include Malden Road (New Malden to Worcester Park) and Coombe Lane (Kingston to Raynes Park), dropping the other routes mentioned in the previous analysis. The map also includes prioritising Kingston Hill/Vale (though the Go Cycle route here is almost complete) and notes a safer cycle route on Kingston/Cambridge Roads is already planned.

SCA Temp Kingston

Transport for London’s Temporary Strategic Cycling Analysis: Source

We ask that the Council works with TfL to prioritise improvements to the Borough’s roads for safer cycling. In particular, TfL’s initial outline of priorities seem to exclude large parts of the Borough including Hook, Chessington and North Kingston. It is also unclear that TfL will be prioritising a safe cycle route for the Borough’s residents into the City. There is an indirect route marked via Raynes Park but this also requires use of Kingston/Cambridge roads where there isn’t (yet) a safe cycle route.

It is also currently unclear whether the current circumstances have implications for the Mini Holland (or Go Cycle) programme that was due to finish next year. Although some schemes are now finished, others still have parts to complete whilst another is awaiting the beginning of construction. Given these Mini Holland routes have been identified and agreed as providing big benefits to people cycling (and walking), it is important that these projects are funded to completion and if possible, accelerated to give quicker benefits.

It’s worth noting that other London Boroughs are moving ahead with plans to install segregated cycle lanes quickly, for example with temporary barriers or ‘wands’ on roads which are already wide enough for cycle lanes. These can be relatively inexpensive and are quick to install. They can also be upgraded to permanent measures at a later date.

Kingston Council needs to work with TfL to accelerate plans for Kingston/Cambridge road improvements and ensure the remaining Mini Holland projects are completed as soon as possible. It should also work to obtain additional funding for further segregated cycle lanes (temporary or permanent) across the rest of the Borough.

IMG_20200504_091242

Malden Road. People cycling are not adequately separated from motor vehicles but there is room to do so

20mph roads

Kingston Council launched a Borough wide 20mph consultation on 6 January 2020. This consultation proposed to introduce a 20mph limit on all roads in Kingston noting that the highest proportion of injuries on the Borough’s roads occurred on main roads and therefore it was important these were included too for the biggest potential benefit.

If it had not been for recent events, we would have been expecting the results of this consultation to have been published and for the Council to be making its first steps towards implementing any plans it had agreed (taking into account comments from the consultation). We still don’t know what the consultation results are. However, we think it is now even more important that these proposals go ahead. Reducing speeds on roads across the Borough will encourage people to walk and cycle whilst making it safer for them to do so.

We await news from the Council on the 20mph consultation though note that our neighbour Richmond has been rolling out 20mph limits to nearly all its roads whilst Merton continues to extend 20mph limits to the majority of its roads too.

Borough wide 20mph limits are an obvious way to reduce traffic speeds to support safer walking and cycling. We therefore hope the Council will announce steps to implementing its proposals shortly.

School streets

School streets are now found across London and Kingston’s first can be found on Mansfield Road (for Lovelace Primary School). These school streets prevent access for cars at drop-off and pick-up times for children (sometimes with an exception for residents for the street). This means that children cannot be dropped off outside the school gates encouraging parents to take their children to school on foot or by bike. By reducing the volume of motor vehicles, it also makes the road outside the school much safer for walking and cycling further encouraging people to use sustainable travel types.

Kingston Council had previously proposed to extend its school streets programme to four more streets including:

  • Oak Hill Terrace
  • South Bank Road
  • Alexandra Road
  • Latchmere Road

We ask that the Council rolls out the required measures to these streets in time for any return to school by children. School streets usually just require a couple of signs; notification to parents and local residents as well as a camera for enforcement. There are many other potential school streets in the Borough so we also ask the Council to look at these as soon as possible too.

Wider pavements

One option to provide more space for social distancing is to provide more pavement space. A number of other London councils have recently introduced temporary barriers to increase pavement space including in Lambeth and Greenwich. In many cases, additional pavement space can be made by taking car parking spaces or excess carriageway space. Examples could include Victoria Road (Surbiton) which is usually a busy shopping street but has narrow pavements in places alongside a number of car parking spaces or along Clarence Street near Wilkos where a narrow shared pavement reduces the ability for people walking and cycling to stay apart whilst the carriageway is 3 lanes (or around 9 metres) wide.

Wilko narrow

Shared pavement outside Wilkos, Kingston narrowed by barriers being used by the store to ‘aid’ social distancing

Kingston Council could also consider suspending any pavement parking in busy areas (particularly where it is unsafe to walk in the road) which would allow people greater space to pass each other on the pavements. One busy area of Kingston with pavement parking is King’s Road near Richmond Park which often has many people walking to and from the park.

Update (22 May 2020 at 7.30pm) – Kingston Council have announced that they will be introducing temporary barriers to provide more space for walking and cycling along certain parts of Clarence Street, Fairfield North, Wheatfield Way and Kingston Bridge in the next ten days. Our map of these roads can be found here.

Update 23 May 2020. To aid social distancing, overnight one vehicle lane in each direction on Kingston Bridge has been dedicated to people cycling

Reduced crossing times

People walking and cycling often have long waits at crossings over roads as traffic lights are usually timed to prioritise motor vehicles. This can lead to long waits as well as large gatherings of people waiting to cross. One easy change would be to reduce the wait for people walking and cycling. This will reduce waiting times, decrease the likelihood of people crossing when it’s unsafe as well as encouraging people to walk and cycle.

Traffic signals in London are the responsibility for Transport for London. However, the Council could work with TfL to prioritise traffic signals which need their timings revised. Just a few of the examples of crossings which currently have long waits include:

Summary

There are a large number of measures Kingston Council could take to assist walking and cycling in the Borough reducing the pressure on the roads and assisting with social distancing. We have passed lots of ideas to the Council and hope that these will be swiftly introduced.

In the meantime, Kingston’s Go Cycle programme to introduce safer walking and cycling routes on main roads has been continuing with the Kingston Hill/Vale route nearing completion and the Ewell Road scheme reaching the junction with Langley Road. We await news on whether the timescales for the remaining Go Cycle programme have changed.

Mini-Holland update – Part 2 – Making Kingston & Cambridge Roads safer

This is the second in a three part series on the Mini-Holland programme in Kingston. The Mini-Holland (or Go Cycle) projects are designed to provide safer and more accessible cycling (and walking) paths along a number of roads across the Borough of Kingston. This post looks at the proposals to make Kingston and Cambridge Roads, which link Kingston to New Malden, safer. The previous post looked at the Mini Holland schemes constructed in 2019. The final post in this series will look at what could come next after the Mini-Holland programme comes to an end.

Part 2 – Making Kingston/Cambridge Roads safer

One of the key features of the Mini Holland programme is to make key roads across the Borough of Kingston safer and more convenient for cycling (with measures added to benefit walking at the same too).

A number of Mini Holland schemes are already complete including Portsmouth Road and Kingston High Street where the number of people cycling has significantly increased since improvements were completed. Construction is currently taking place between Kingston and Kingston Vale (along Kingston Hill) and has also recently commenced between Kingston and Tolworth (along Ewell Road). A direct Cycleway from Kingston to New Malden has also been proposed and is the subject of this post. This route would be along Kingston and Cambridge Roads linking to the new 2-way cycle track recently constructed on London Road.

CamRd Map

Map of the proposed Kingston to New Malden Mini Holland route (marked in grey; existing Mini Holland routes and Cycleways are marked in green)

What is proposed for the Kingston to New Malden route?

The proposed cycling and walking improvements will connect at one end to the Kingston Vale Cycleway (along London Road) joining the route to Wheatfield Way for direct connections to Kingston Station; Kingston town centre; and Surbiton. At its other end, the proposed improvements will reach New Malden and the edge of Cycleway 31 for a direct, mainly off-road, path to Raynes Park.

Along Kingston and Cambridge roads it is proposed that there will be:

  • A 2-way segregated cycle track along Cambridge Road between London Road and Hawks Road junctions
  • A 1-way segregated cycle track on both sides of the road along Cambridge Road (from Hawks Road junction) and Kingston Road to just after the junction with Connaught Road
  • Improvements at side roads to make it safer for people cycling and people walking by introducing measures to reduce vehicle entry and exit speeds as well as providing priority to those cycling across the junction and, in many cases, providing priority to people walking across them too
  • Improvements at signalised crossings to allow people cycling easier access to nearby destinations

Space for the new cycle track, and better crossings for pedestrians, will come primarily from the carriageway space currently used by motor traffic. In many parts of the road, it is already wide enough for a segregated cycle lane to be built and therefore bolt-down kerbs cycle segregation kerbs may be used like the ones recently introduced on Kingston Hill. In other places there will be some changes to kerb locations; parking; loading; and bus lanes to make room for the upgrades. We understand that Kingston Council has been working closely with Transport for London to minimise any disruption on bus journeys as well as speaking to local businesses to maintain loading and parking access.

IMG_20190901_114346

Current Kingston Road, New Malden. Advisory cycle lane markings have been heavily worn by passing motor traffic with no form of segregation for cyclists and no clear priority over side roads for pedestrians

Why are these improvements needed?

Unfortunately both Kingston and Cambridge Roads have been the location of many collisions causing injury to people cycling and walking. There have been over 120 people walking or cycling reported to have been injured (as well as one death) between 2005 and 2017 along the route following a collision with one or more motor vehicles.

CamRdCollisionMap

A map showing locations of reported collisions injuring (or killing) a person walking or cycling along the proposed Kingston to New Malden route from 2005-2017 Source: cyclestreets.net

This map does not include any collisions not reported and therefore the number of injuries along the route is unfortunately likely to be even higher. The Mayor of London is rightly targeting ‘Vision Zero’ (the aim for there to be no deaths or serious injuries on London’s road network by 2041). To achieve this aim, something needs to be done to make these roads safer for vulnerable road users.

Why should we be encouraging more cycling and walking?

Kingston already faces motor traffic congestion particularly at peak times. As the Borough grows, this could get even worse. However, cycling and walking are very efficient modes of transport with people cycling and walking taking up much less room than a person taking a car to their destination. By getting more people to walk and cycle, this can reduce congestion on the Borough’s roads.

Cycling and walking are also very sustainable methods of transport as they don’t require any petrol or diesel to get the person to their destination. As the Borough of Kingston has declared a Climate Emergency, it is more important than ever that people switch to sustainable methods of transport. However, they will only do this if they feel safe using them!

The other benefit of switching away from petrol or diesel powered vehicles is the improvement to air pollution this brings. Kingston has a number of issues with the amount of air pollution in the Borough. With walking and cycling producing close to no air pollution at their source these ways of travelling should be encouraged to reduce the level of air pollution that the Borough suffers. Even electric cars produce substantial amounts of air pollution through tyre and brake wear.

What are our thoughts on the proposals?

We are really excited by the proposals for Kingston and Cambridge Road. Whilst not perfect (for example, we would like loading on certain parts of the route to be restricted), the proposals will be a huge upgrade on the current sub-standard and dangerous cycling and walking facilities on the route. These improvements will make people feel safer, it will calm the environment and will encourage more people to walk and cycle in the area.

Subject to the outline plans being approved, we will continue to work with Kingston Council as they progress to the detailed design stage. We have already successfully campaigned for some changes to the plans which will benefit people cycling (and walking) and we will continue to campaign to get the best possible cycle infrastructure for the route.

Next steps

The proposals to make Kingston and Cambridge Roads safer are due to go to Council Committee for approval on 11 February. We will continue to strongly support the proposals to make this road safer for all road users and hope local Councillors will too.

The Kingston to New Malden Cycleway is the final Mini Holland scheme proposed. After this has been completed, the Mini Holland programme will come to an end.

11 February 2020 updateKingston Council approved the construction of the Kingston to New Malden Cycleway. Construction could start in Summer 2020 subject to final TfL approval and completion of detailed design.

What about the rest of the Borough?

There are many parts of Kingston Borough that will not be next to a Mini Holland route and people will therefore continue to be put off cycling (and walking) if the local road network is not made safe for them to use. The final part of our series on Mini Holland will therefore look at what could come next after the Mini Holland schemes have been completed.

In the meantime, if you are local to Kingston and Cambridge roads and would like them to be made safer, why not contact your local councillor to let them know?