Suggested response to Mini Holland Consultations July 2016

Kingston Council have four consultations open until 18 July 2016 on their Go Cycle or Go Programme (previously Mini Holland).

http://consult.kingston.gov.uk/portal/planning/go/consultations_summer_2016/

The schemes need real improvement. So please complete all four and call for the routes to be completed and cycles to be separated from both motors and pedestrians.

These are our brief suggested responses which please feel free to use as the basis for your own responses. Do complete the “comments” sections – the questions asked are closed and will not allow you to seek what cyclists really want.
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Mini Holland Consultations

Kingston Council have four Consultations open until 18 July 2016 on proposed Go Cycle or Go Programme (their branding for Mini Holland) cycle routes.

  • Kingston Station
  • Wheatfield Way
  • Kingston to Surbiton
  • Fountain Roundabout, New Malden (below)

Fountain Roundabout proposed layout

You can access the consultations here;

http://consult.kingston.gov.uk/portal/planning/go/consultations_summer_2016/

Please complete all four and call for fully protected space for cycling separate from both motor traffic and pedestrians. Our initial view is that the proposals are disappointing. Mini Holland and the Mayor’s Cycling Vision for London were intended to be transformational. Kingston’s proposals have a lot of space shared by pedestrians and cyclists, creating conflict for both. Junctions which are challenging for inexperienced cyclists are sometimes ignored.

There are some promising features such as segregated cycle tracks, but the schemes need real improvement if they are to work. We managed to get the Council to improve Portsmouth Road so please let’s get these schemes improved by completing the consultation.

Our detailed discussion of all 4 schemes is publicly available on Cyclescape.org;

http://kingston.cyclescape.org/

Please feel free to contribute.

 

Consultation on mini Holland routes in Surbiton

This is the middle section of the Kingston to Surbiton to Tolworth route via Surbiton Crescent and Avenue Elmers. We are told Kingston Council will consult on these proposals in mid June 2016.

Heading south on Surbiton Crescent a modal filter for bikes and buses, at the junction with Surbiton Road, is to be trialled for 3 or 4 months. The route then continues on Avenue Elmers which will get a quietway treatment with logos and humps and consultation on 20mph (where it is currently 30mph).

Links to Surbiton station are provided by Claremont Road and St Marks Hill. On Claremont Road a two way segregated track is planned on the west side with the footway routed through Claremont Gardens. On St Marks Hill a segregated cycle track will be provided on the uphill but only logos on the downhill.

This looks very promising to us. A modal filter should work and Avenue Elmers is a quiet road. The scheme does need to get riders safely across Maple Road. The consultation does not include the sections of the route along Penrhyn and Surbiton Roads to the north nor on Ewell Road to the south. Plainly unless those sections are dealt with, and the crucial junction of Surbiton Hill Road and Ewell Road, so the route is continuous, then these schemes are of little value. Our understanding is that those sections will be consulted on in due course.

The links to Surbiton station will only be complete if the mini roundabout outside the station is tackled. We are a little concerned that logos on the downhill side of Saint Marks Road are sub standard and provide no safe space for cycling on a busy road. The Claremont Gardens footway should be sufficiently attractive and direct to ensure pedestrians use it not the cycle track.

We look forward to details of the consultation in June.

 

Cycle track on Wheatfield Way

We understand this proposal will be consulted on in June 2016. It is proposed to install two way fully segregated cycle tracks (3m) on the east (Fairfield) side of Wheatfield Way from College Roundabout to the station except at Old London Rd and Wilkinsons. At this pinch point shared space of at least 3.6m width is proposed for a short distance. Kingston’s mini Holland bid envisaged the two way track being continuous with the one way system being reduced from three to two motor lanes at this point. The Borough Officers tell us this is not possible because Transport for London’s traffic modelling suggests unacceptable delays would be caused.

There will also be more direct cycle crossings at Palmers Crescent and Lady Booth Road. Consultation on 20mph (currently 30mph) speed limit and raised crossings and junctions. Wider pedestrian and cycle crossings opposite Old London Rd are also proposed. There is also to be a link from Old London Road to Castle Street, the details of which, so far as we are aware, remain to be decided.

In our view this is a great proposal; a safe space for cycling on a scary urban gyratory. There are also urban realm improvements and a reduction in the severance caused by the ring round. Sadly there is one major defect; shared space does not work on a transport cycling route. We suggest a reduction to two traffic lanes could be trialled (a practice favoured by new Mayor, Sadiq Khan) for the short “pinch point” section outside Wilkinson’s; it may be the world does not end and remember TfL’s traffic modelling does have a record of not reflecting reality.

 

To Go Cycle or not Go Cycle !

ports. Rd.23.1.16

At last some public action on Kingston Council’s “Go Cycle” or Mini Holland programme ! On Thursday 4 February our representatives attended a “key stakeholder” consultation. Draft plans for around half the projects were on show. Some at an advanced stage, others very much an outline.

First the good news; Portsmouth Rd construction works are underway (photos above and below). The southern section is scheduled for completion, although not necessarily opening, this summer. The plans for the northern section look good; continuing the fully protected bi directional cycle tracks on the river side. There are some attractive public realm proposals for access to Queens Promenade for pedestrians. As so often cycling funds are being diverted for other purposes but if it enables the scheme to proceed so be it!

There is a potentially excellent proposal for a fully segregated cycle route from Kingston station to College roundabout. This comprises bi directional cycle tracks on the east side of Wheatfield Way providing a really safe route for families and children to navigate the intimidating race track which is the Kingston one way system.
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Tolworth station link

Tolworth station site visit

On Thursday 7 January on a very wet morning three campaigners from KCC met on site with three traffic engineers from Transport for London (TfL) and the Cycling Officer from Kingston Council. The meeting was in response to our letter to TfL sent in November.

Many of our members will be aware of three major planning proposals near Tolworth railway station. To the north a large scheme involving around 700 homes is proposed. To the south of the railway a new Premier Inn is envisaged and, most recently Lidl are proposing to move their UK headquarters to a site at the junction of Kingston Road and Jubilee Way.
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Bike ride with Mini Holland Committee Chair

KCC discuss Fountains Roundabout with Cllr Terry Paton

KCC discuss Fountains Roundabout with Cllr Terry Paton

On a dull Friday morning in December three campaigners from Kingston Cyclists met with Cllr Terry Paton at the Fountain roundabout in New Malden. Terry is Chair of the ‘Residents Committee’, the Kingston Council body responsible for the Mini Holland, or Go Cycle, Schemes. He is aware of our concerns about the very slow progress RBK has made with this once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve provision for cycling, ameliorate air quality, and reduce traffic congestion.

We discussed the Fountain roundabout. At present it is a major barrier to safe 8 to 80 bike riding for all. Our preference would be for a Dutch style roundabout and we have argued for that. We understand that is only one of several options the Council are considering; all options will make it safer for cycling and more pleasant for locals.
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Don’t let Mini Holland be a missed opportunity

It is now more than 18 months since Kingston Council (RBK) won over £30m of funding from Transport for London (TfL) for its Mini Holland (MH) schemes. We supported the original bid and see these funds as a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to provide safe cycling routes in our Borough and to make improvements benefitting all. We appreciate such new developments take time but progress so far has been painfully and disappointingly slow.
The positives:
1 Work on the Portsmouth Road scheme commenced November 2015. This scheme has improved radically to incorporate fully protected space.
2 We are now able to engage regularly and helpfully with both Officers and Councillors.
3 There are some really exciting and innovative schemes under design. Among these schemes are a segregated track on the east side of Wheatfield Way (avoiding the Kingston one way system), the Boardway along the Thames (bypassing, and allowing access to, Kingston Town Centre) and a semi segregated route from Kingston to Tolworth via Surbiton.
The negatives:
1 In the last year the project has had three Programme Managers and a considerable turnover of other staff. There appears to have been a lack of leadership and consistency at the most senior level from Officers.
2 There is a lack of political leadership and enthusiasm for the Programme. This surprises us as the Bid was supported by all political parties, has clear and obvious benefits for the Borough, is funded by a Conservative Mayor and RBK has a Conservative administration and we would expect any local Politician to support a scheme involving money being spent on, and in, his or her Borough.
3 There is very considerable support for the New Malden to Raynes Park route, which outweighed the poorly informed opposition, but we are frustrated that this scheme does not appear to have unequivocal backing from the Council. We understand there are issues to be resolved with Thames Water but that should not prevent RBK, TfL and Thames Water entering into a Memorandum of Understanding, or similar, to secure funding and proceeding to consultation.
4 We currently understand it is unlikely any scheme will be brought to consultation before the Mayoral elections “purdah” period; March to May 2016.
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Work starts on Portsmouth Road

At last RBK have started work on a Mini Holland scheme! It has taken a while but they commenced work on Portsmouth Rd on 9 November. Contractors will work on the southern section before Christmas. After Christmas work will start on the northern section. They will try to avoid cutting any major trees. The project will be fully segregated from north to south with a bi-directional cycle lane on the west, or river, side.

Illustration of Portsmouth Road scheme

Illustration of Portsmouth Road scheme

The southern section will have fully segregated two way 3m wide cycle track at road level. They will retain the existing kerb and pavement. Separation will be by rubber/plastic recycled 1/2m kerb/buffer, 12cm high. This is straight and the road curves so it will be laid in 9 to 10m sections with gaps of 1/2 to 1m for drainage. Each junction opening will have a bollard to make it clear to motors that they should not enter.
The southern section should be structurally complete by Xmas but can not be opened until it is safe which will be some time later as entries and exits have to be secure too. There will be a temporary zebra south of the Mall. Behind the bus stops, opposite St Leonards Rd and South of Palace Rd, there will probably be a raised ramp for bikes. Buses are about 2 an hour, mostly people going into Kingston.

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