Our campaigners attended, along with other interested parties, a “blue skies” thinking consultation at the Royal Borough of Kingston’s offices on 28 October run by their retained consultants, Atkins Global. There was much discussion of the proposed Boardway, much favourable, some less so. This has the potential to be a great amenity for the community, to improve the waterside and a safe cycle route into and around Kingston Town Centre but let us await some detail !
Our petition with 1700 signatures, both paper and electronic, in favour of the proposed New Malden to Raynes Park Mini Holland Cycling and walking route was debated at the Council meeting on Tuesday 13 October at 7.30pm, members of the public attended.
The petition in opposition to the route was also presented. After so many arguments had been raised in opposition the “Antis” confined themselves to one point. They argued the proposed route was a “wildlife valley” and this was not compatible with cycling and walking (or “fast” cycling, as they saw it). The area is not a nature reserve but a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC). It is common for cycling to be allowed in SINC’s and for these areas to have cycle routes through them; they’re often ideal for family cycling.
Parts of the Wandle trail, Morden Hall Park and Hogsmill trail are all SINCs and all are also cycle routes. Therefore this does seem a bit of a non point. As we’ve always said low impact transport like cycling and walking is certainly compatible with a favourable ecology and environment for wildlife; in fact sometimes it can enhance it.
Our petition with over 1600 signatures, both paper and electronic, in favour of the proposed New Malden to Raynes Park Mini Holland Cycling and walking route is to be debated at the Council meeting on Tuesday 13 October at 7.30pm, members of the public can attend;
Please keep signing the petition, every signature helps make the route more likely to happen;
The Co-ordinators of the Kingston and Merton Cycling Campaigns have jointly written to the local media in support of this route;
The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames has a once in a generation opportunity to improve its facilities for walking and cycling and for environment and community friendly travel for all its residents and visitors. Last year the Borough was awarded more than £30million from the Mayor’s Outer London Cycling Fund (the Mini Holland Programme) and has christened the project “GoCycle”. The idea is to promote active travel for all, particularly children, the old and women.
The next Mini Holland Project in Kingston is the New Malden to Raynes Park greenway on a Thames Water Main and Sewer alongside the railway under the A3 dual carriageway.
On 25 June Kingston Councillors unanimously voted to approve the revised proposals for Portsmouth Road. Work will now start on the detailed design stage and construction schedule. The current programme is for construction work to start winter 2015 and be completed Summer 2016. We hope that ambitious timescale can now be adhered to.
The next Mini Holland project, following Portsmouth Road, from RBK, is a connection between New Malden and Raynes Park; a new walking and cycling route. It will run alongside the railway on Thames Water supply pipes and go under the A3 dual carriageway. The new route is planned to open up an area of valuable green space for all ages to enjoy, cycle, walk, learn and relax; making it quick and easy to travel on a traffic free route between the two town centres in a way that has not previously been possible.
The long term plan, perhaps aspiration, at present, is that this route will link with the planned Transport for London Quietway from Waterloo to Clapham and on to Wimbledon which will extend to Raynes Park. It is not yet clear what route the Quietway will take nor, as far as we are aware, has funding been made available.
We welcome the revised proposals for the Portsmouth Road mini Holland scheme which have been published by the Royal Borough of Kingston, today, Monday 16 March 2015;
These proposals are a considerable improvement on the original proposals. We will be seeking further assurances about the design but, in the round, we support it.
The northern part of the route is a two way cycle track on the river side of Portsmouth Road. This has some impressive features; fully protected space, floating bus stops, refuges for turning cyclists, possibly crossings which can detect bicycles and a well thought out link to Surbiton via Palace Road. It will be valuable for family and novice riders, particularly if it joins the Boardway link along the Thames. It is a reversion to the original design in the bid document which featured such a two way track and is certainly better than the “white paint” in the original proposal in February.
Our next meeting is on Tuesday 10 March 2015 at 8pm at the Richard Mayo Centre, Eden Street, Kingston on Thames KT1 1HZ http://mayocentre.org.uk/. We hope to discuss the revised Portsmouth Road Mini Holland proposals and feedback from the Sustrans workshop on the New Malden to Raynes Park Mini Holland Link. If you cycle, or would like to cycle, in Kingston please join us.
On Thursday 22 January 3 campaigners from Kingston Cycling Campaign met with Officers from the Royal Borough of Kingston to discuss their Mini Holland proposals for Portsmouth Road. We were accompanied by the Campaigns Officer from the London Cycling Campaign http://lcc.org.uk/. We saw detailed plans of the proposals for the first time. These were frankly disappointing. The plans confirmed our fears that this is largely a “white paint” scheme with limited protected space for cycling. The areas of segregation are small; perhaps the southerly, heading away from Brighton Rd, 20% of the Northern bound carriageway, which is fully segregated. Additionally semi segregation by means of armadillos is proposed towards the north end, near Kingston, on both sides of the road but only for a short distance, particularly on the southbound. In all, so far as one can tell, only about 20% of the scheme has any protection at all. We are awaiting copies of the plans so we can comment further. There are some nice landscaping features and 2 raised pedestrian crossings but the cycling provision is certainly not to Dutch standards. We made the point that proposals such as these will do little or nothing to encourage cycling among those who don’t already ride. Schoolchildren will not want to ride along Portsmouth Road protected by white lines.
On Monday 26 January another 3 campaigners met with 2 Councillors from the Conservative administration of RBK. Cllr Richard Hudson who chairs the Infrastructure, Projects and Contracts Committee, responsible for the Mini Holland Projects, and Cllr Andrea Craig, Lead member for Children and Young People, who is also a keen cyclist. This was a positive meeting. All wanted the Mini Holland schemes to be realised and to succeed. All, whilst recognising we may not agree on everything, want a degree of consensus to be achieved. All wanted schemes to be designed, so far as possible, for new or occasional cyclists, particularly children. All recognised schemes should benefit the whole community. We discussed various forms of physical protection for cycling such as armadillos and stepped kerbs. On the face of it there is room on Portsmouth Road for more protected space for cycling than is in the current proposal. Without making any promises Cllr Hudson said he would speak to Officers following the consultation to see if the degree of segregation can be improved.
Please do complete the consultation; link below. Everyone we speak to wants protected space unless you say so you can hardly blame Councillors or Officers for being unaware of that;
LCC members in Kingston and the surrounding Boroughs will be aware of the Council’s successful Mini Holland bid. The first proposed Mini Holland Scheme is Portsmouth Rd. The proposals go to Kingston Council’s Infrastructure Committee today, Tuesday 13 January, at 7.30pm. The public are entitled to attend and speak. See this link for the agenda and the details;
These proposals are a hugely disappointing missed opportunity. It isn’t Mini Holland. It isn’t Go Dutch. It isn’t compliant with London Cycling Campaign policy which seeks genuine segregation on roads over certain speeds and/or volumes of traffic. At most 15% of the whole (may be 25 to 30% of the west side) is properly segregated. Around 60% by our estimate is simply white paint, the balance “Armadillos”. In the Mini Holland bid documents almost half Portsmouth Road was fully segregated, the balance semi. In truth this is “old style” London; let’s fit in a bit of second rate cycle infrastructure.
We have no alternative but to go to the committee to object. Achieving full segregation on this stretch will be challenging because of space, assuming the road remains a two way motor road, but they can do a lot better than this proposal. There is scope, and room, for segregation on the northern part of Portsmouth Rd and the southern, although some major works or innovation will be required to avoid a gap in the middle.
One possibility, at least for the northern stretch, is two way segregated cycle lanes on the west side. Obviously this first scheme will set the tone for Kingston’s Mini Holland future and, may be a wider precedent, not just for the two other MHs, but for cycle schemes in the outer Boroughs generally.
This proposal will do nothing to encourage cycling, nor for cycle safety. It will make it slightly easier for experienced cyclists to ride along Portsmouth Rd. Mini Holland is not supposed to be aimed primarily at people who already cycle a lot but those who cycle a little or not at all. Nervous folk will not be pedalling along Portsmouth Road protected by 1.6m white lines (apparently the bulk of the proposal).
Comments from our members on the proposals include;
“It does not pass my would you ride this with a 7 year old test”
“Would not provide a step change in provision for people who want to cycle”
We have always been a local borough group which sought to co-operate with its Council. Sadly these proposals are so inadequate, and much less than originally envisaged, we can’t support them. We don’t know if they have the approval of TfL, or Andrew Gilligan, the Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner, yet. When we met him in the Summer he was very positive and clear in favouring adequate provision for nervous or inexperienced cyclists (only by getting new people cycling will you reduce congestion). We would be disappointed if he had accepted these proposals.
Rest assured we will do our best. If you can make it this evening to lobby the committee, please do.