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

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.

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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.

Tolworth Traffic Turmoil

Have you heard? Transport for London (TfL) is proposing big changes to Tolworth Roundabout.

You may be forgiven for thinking that TfL and the Mayor of London are all about reducing motor traffic levels, improving air quality, promoting walking, cycling and use of public transport these days. Unfortunately you wouldn’t know it looking at the description and drawings of what’s proposed between Tolworth Broadway and Tolworth railway station.

What’s proposed?

TfL, after “working closely” with Kingston council, is planning to build an additional lane for motor traffic on the northbound approach to Tolworth Roundabout (i.e. for traffic coming from the direction of Epsom). This requires closing a pedestrian subway which some people prefer to the existing signal crossing, and the felling of a mature tree outside the Hollywood Bowl.

Tolworth Tower Traffic

An extra lane for motor traffic will be added here taking some of the forecourt from Hollywood Bowl which will require the removal of a mature tree

What are the reasons given for this scheme?

TfL say that if nothing is done to address the problem of traffic queues resulting from additional traffic then delays to buses will increase by up to 20 minutes in the peak. But why does TfL only mention buses in its consultation? Providing for private traffic doesn’t fit with TfL’s much publicised agenda, but that is in fact what it plans to do.

The consultation web page is very light on information so we requested more from TfL.

We asked TfL:

How much additional traffic is expected? Please provide information on how this “expected increase” has been arrived at and whether the figure and the predicted journey time saving would also apply to general traffic as well as buses.

TfL responded:

Developments in the area are predicted to add 750 jobs and 1300 new homes within the next five years. This growth will result in an increase in up to 400 vehicle trips in both morning and evening peaks.

Applying these extra trips to our modelling software, it is estimated that there will be up to 5% traffic growth in the area. This accounts for the planned vehicle parking spaces and predicted servicing requirements.

This method of calculating future traffic increase is standard practise for developments in London. The Tolworth Roundabout scheme proposes to improve journey times for general traffic as well as for buses.

Due to committed developments at Tolworth, journey times are predicted to increase by 20 minutes, if we do nothing.

 Our proposed scheme will provide significant improvements to the area and reduce the predicted increased journey times of 20 minutes by 11 minutes, resulting in a net increase of 9 minutes caused by developments.

So it looks like the plan is to provide space for the increased motor traffic rather than manage the demand?

It looks very much so. TfL are saying a 5% increase in motor traffic will result in increased delays of 20 minutes which can be managed down to an increase of 9 minutes.  All the capacity for car parking at the new Lidl headquarters and on the Tolworth development site mean that the car has to be accommodated it seems. There are no plans for a bus lane or improved bus facilities or a continuous cycle route on the station side of the A240 Kingston Road.

Tolworth roundabout sign

The proposals add an additional left turn lane towards the A3 here with no bus priority measures added. The central reservation will be widened to provide a shared use cycle and footway but only to Tolworth station and not beyond

No thought given to a continuous cycle route…

Disappointingly, and despite proposing to spend millions of pounds on this scheme, no thought has apparently been given to linking Tolworth Broadway to the new Lidl national HQ being built at Jubilee Way or to the proposed new cycle track on Jubilee Way itself, which would link Tolworth to Ewell and Chessington via an off-road track. Frustratingly, TfL appear to propose to do nothing about the “Cyclists Dismount” section in front of Tolworth railway station and under the railway bridge.  There’s a two-way cycle track on the south side of the railway that was built in the 1930’s and it needs to be joined to the Tolworth Greenway with a continuous cycle path. TfL’s suggestion is that cyclists should cross the A240 twice, using the path on the opposite side from the station and Jubilee Way.

Cyclists Dismount

Cyclists dismount sign by Tolworth Station. The proposals do not address a 50m gap in the cycle route towards Jubilee Way and Chessington and therefore this sign will remain

Read the consultation and provide your feedback here

TfL’s consultation page can be found here:  https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/tolworth-roundabout/ 

The consultation closes on 5th January 2020.  We invite you to tell TfL what you think the implications are of simply providing for more road traffic and ignoring cycle routes.

We’ll be strongly objecting to the proposals overall which will encourage motor traffic in the surrounding area. We will ask TfL instead to focus on improving public transport as well as walking and cycling routes. In particular, the short gap in the cycle track between Jubilee Way and Tolworth Station must be fixed.

Mini-Holland update – Part 1 – A review of 2019

This is the first 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) routes along a number of roads across Kingston Borough. This post looks at what was achieved in 2019. The next in the series will look at the proposed Kingston to New Malden route and the final post will look at what could come next after the Mini-Holland programme comes to an end.

Part 1 – A review of 2019

After all that was achieved in 2018, what has happened in 2019?

New Malden to Raynes Park

The main event of the Mini-Holland programme this year was the opening of the excellent New Malden to Raynes Park cycle and walking link. This completely new route which mostly follows the train line between the two locations has opened up new opportunities for travelling between the two neighbouring areas. We are delighted that our campaign to get separate cycle and walking paths (rather than a shared path) was successful. You can find further information on the route in our post marking the opening of this new link. The new route has been named Cycleway 31. Cycleways are Transport for London’s new branding for cycle routes across London and this signage will be rolled out to existing routes such as Portsmouth Road too.

Penrhyn Road

The first phase of the Kingston to Tolworth route started construction earlier this year and is now almost complete with resurfacing and signage to follow early in 2020. The first phase of the route links the Wheatfield Way Mini-Holland scheme at College Roundabout to Surbiton Crescent using a 2-way segregated cycle track for the majority of its length. We worked with the Council to extend the amount of segregation from the original plans wherever this was feasible.

We are discussing with the Council possible locations for additional cycle parking along the route (some more are already planned next to the Surbiton Road parade of shops) so let us know if you have any suggestions for locations.

The second phase of the scheme along Ewell Road will start early in 2020 and will transform a road for cycling whilst improving facilities for people on foot too. Unfortunately, in recent years the road has been the location of many collisions causing injuries to people on bikes and people walking so it is great news that work to make it safer will commence soon.

Kingston Station

Following completion of the enlarged Station plaza, work has been taking place on the widened pedestrian and cycle bridge over Kingsgate Road which was lifted into place earlier this year. Work has recently commenced on the new cycle storage hub next to Kingston Station which will have space for at least 200 bikes. We are discussing with the Council how the facility will be monitored and maintained.

Work has recently taken place near Kingston Bridge as the crossing over Horse Fair is upgraded as well as a new cycle and pedestrian crossing being built over Clarence Street. Work will recommence in the new year after the Christmas break. When finished, there will be additional cycle stands in this very popular area for cycle parking.

IMG_20191207_193931.jpg

New cycle storage hub being built next to Kingston station

Kingston Vale

Construction on the Kingston Vale route started during Winter 2018/19 and the route is now almost complete between Galsworthy Road and Derwent Avenue. This route saw a new type of cycle segregation kerb used which bolts into the carriageway surface. This allows large amounts of cycle segregation to be provided at a much lower cost than a stepped (raised) cycle track.

Work has recently being taken place on London Road as signalised junctions are upgraded to provide separate signal stages for people on bikes as well as providing space away from cars, buses and lorries. Work will continue on this route in early 2020 (from Manorgate roundabout to Galsworthy Road) with it due to be fully complete by Summer 2020.

Wheatfield Way

This route between Kingston Station and College roundabout (linking to the first phase of the Kingston to Tolworth scheme, above) also finished this year. This route has new 3m wide segregated cycle tracks although we were unsuccessful in our campaign for cycle segregation across all the junctions on the route. This means that people on bikes share junction areas with people walking. We continue to campaign for better signage and wayfinding at these junctions to improve the usability of the route.

IMG_20190706_120932 (1)

Wheatfield Way segregated cycle track with shared use areas at junctions

Next steps

There is a lot of work to do in 2020 to finish off the schemes currently in construction although the majority of work in Kingston Town Centre has now finished. 2020 should see the completion of the Kingston Station scheme (and the opening of the Cycle storage hub); the completion of the Kingston to Kingston Vale route; construction commencing on Ewell Road on phase 2 of the Kingston to Tolworth scheme as well as small improvements to existing routes as ‘snagging’ items are fixed by contractors. Signage should also be installed on some of the new routes which will be key to helping people find and enjoy the new routes.

We speak to the Council regularly to highlight areas we think are good on the Mini Holland schemes as well as areas that we think need improvement. Please get in touch with us if you have any comments on the schemes that have been built or which are in construction.

Anything else? We hope that the Kingston to New Malden route along Cambridge and Kingston Roads will be approved for final design and construction in the new year by Kingston Council and TfL. We have seen how popular the new routes are when completed (see Portsmouth Road and New Malden to Raynes Park) and that they can both be safer for people walking and cycling as well as encouraging a switch to sustainable transport. Part 2 of this series will look at the plans for the Kingston to New Malden route to show why improvements are needed there 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

Our other Mini-Holland updates published during 2019:

  1. Mini-Holland (Go Cycle) – 2019 plans
  2. Mini-Holland (Go Cycle) – March 2019 update
  3. New Malden to Raynes Park route opening Sat 13 July 2019
  4. New Malden to Raynes Park cycle and walking paths – now open!
  5. Mini-Holland (Go Cycle) – September 2019 update
  6. Horse Fair crossing changes: September to November 2019

Horse Fair crossing changes: September to November 2019

Kingston Council will shortly be commencing work at the Horse Fair/Clarence Street junction in Kingston (near TK Maxx). Works will involve changing the current staggered pedestrian crossing over Horse Fair to a wider, staggered Toucan crossing (one that can be used by both people walking and people on bikes). This will also replace the separate cycle crossing which is only traffic light controlled half way across Horse Fair which we consider a current safety issue.

These works are taking place as part of the Mini Holland (or Go Cycle) projects in the Borough. The works in this area are due to be completed by mid-November 2019.

We asked for the Horse Fair crossing to be ‘straight across’ the road when it is changed rather than continuing to be staggered (in 2 stages). However, traffic modelling of this change suggested it would have caused delays to motor vehicles and therefore unfortunately became a discarded option. We will nevertheless continue to campaign for people taking sustainable options to travel being prioritised above cars as this is the best way to create positive changes in the way people choose to travel across Kingston.

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Current staggered crossing over Horse Fair

Changes in this area will also involve building a new pedestrian and cycle crossing over Clarence Street (outside TK Maxx) to join the Horse Fair crossing to upgraded cycle parking outside TK Maxx and an enhanced cycle path towards the West side of Kingston Bridge.

Whilst the works are underway, the cycle parking outside TK Maxx will unfortunately be unavailable but we have been informed by the Council that temporary cycle parking will be installed on the opposite side of the road near to John Lewis.

When the works are complete, the current cycle stands will be re-installed and additional ones will be installed too. This will significantly increase the number of bikes that can be parked here. We are really pleased that more cycle stands will be installed in this extremely popular area for bike parking.

As demand for cycle parking in Kingston town centre increases, we’ve provided the Council with other suggested locations for cycle parking and await a response on which, if any, will be taken forward. Please let the Council know if you have any suggestions for bike parking in the Borough.

Mini-Holland (Go Cycle) – September 2019 update

Following our update earlier this year on Kingston Go Cycle schemes, what has happened over the past few months?

New Malden to Raynes Park

The biggest milestone passed in the past few months has been the opening of the off-road New Malden to Raynes Park cycle and walking paths on 13 July 2019. We are delighted with the opening of this route and are very pleased that our campaign to get separate cycle and walking paths (rather than a shared path) was successful. You can find further information on the route in our post marking the opening of this new link. We’ve already noticed how popular this new route is and we look forward to it being enjoyed by the community for many years to come.

Kingston to Surbiton

Most work has now been completed on Wheatfield Way with it being declared officially open in the past couple of months. This was the 4th Go Cycle route to be finished (New Malden to Raynes Park is the 5th) and we have been pleased to see line markings being added to the segregated cycle tracks to make these areas much easier to identify. We will also be asking the Council to look at improving the wayfinding on this route to better guide people on bikes through the five junctions the route passes through along the way.

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New 2-way cycle track installed on Wheatfield Way

Work has been continuing at some speed along Penrhyn Road which is the Go Cycle route connecting Wheatfield Way to the Surbiton ‘links’. When the Penrhyn Road scheme is finished it will link Kingston Station to (almost!) Surbiton Station. We were pleased to see that the Council has been listening to ours (and others) feedback and has reduced the amount of shared use areas along the route although some will still remain where space is constrained. We will continue to ask the Council to look at all possible ways to reduce shared use on remaining Go Cycle routes. We also continue to speak to the Council about how they plan to address the missing link between St Marks Hill and The Crescent (i.e. between Surbiton station and Waitrose).

Kingston Vale

This is the longest Go Cycle project which will go all the way from Old London Road (next to Wilko’s) to the Robin Hood Junction on the A3 linking a number of key destinations  (Kingston Town Centre; Kingston Hospital; Kingston University campus (Kingston Hill); Richmond Park).

Most of the work between Galsworthy Road junction and Derwent Avenue on the route is now complete with some final snagging work underway (including picking up some points that we wanted improved) as well as workers putting the finishing touches to five new zebra crossings on the route. We have been impressed with the short amount of time taken to install a new type of segregation kerb on Kingston Hill. At less than a tenth the cost of stepped cycle tracks, these bolt-in kerbs make cycle segregation possible in many places where costs would otherwise be prohibitive.

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New cycle segregation kerb that has been installed on the Kingston Vale route

Work has almost been completed at Manorgate roundabout where five new shared crossings have been installed though signage is yet to be installed. Over the Summer holidays, construction focussed near Tiffin School upgrading the crossing from Old London Road to a new 2-way segregated cycle track which will run along London Road to Manorgate roundabout.

Kingston Station

On the weekend of 23/24 March, the new pedestrian and cycle bridge was installed. This 4m wide bridge replaces a narrow 1.8m shared use bridge previously in place. Works around Kingston Station since March have focussed on building the paths each side of the new bridge to link Kingston Station to the Thames as well as Ham & Richmond via Skerne Road and Lower Ham Road.

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New cycle and pedestrian bridge near Kingston Station

Preparatory works have also started for the new cycle storage hub next to Kingston Station. We are in discussions with the Council about how this cycle hub will be managed when it opens (due to be some time in 2020).

Future progress

Construction of the Penrhyn Road scheme is expected to complete in early 2020 which will complete a new cycle route from Surbiton to Kingston Station. Early 2020 should also mark the time that construction moves to Ewell Road as work starts from Surbiton towards Tolworth which will, when complete, link Tolworth to Kingston Station with a 3 mile long cycle route.

Work will also continue into next year on the Kingston Station and Kingston Vale schemes. We also expect to see further progress announced on the Kingston to New Malden scheme along Kingston and Cambridge Roads which currently feature narrow advisory cycle lanes and which have unfortunately been the location of many collisions involving cyclists and other vehicles.

Links to further information from Kingston council:

 

New Malden to Raynes Park cycle and walking paths – now open!

We are delighted that the New Malden to Raynes Park cycle and walking paths were opened on Saturday (13 July 2019) and are now available for use. Will Norman, the Mayor’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner joined local children to officially open the route.

The route features separate walking and bike paths following our campaign (and many others joining us) against the original plans for a shared path for the route.

The route has been given the designation Cycleway 31. ‘Cycleway’ is Transport for London’s new designation for cycle routes across London that meet TfL’s quality criteria. The branding replaces the previous Quietways and Cycle Superhighways names.

Cycleway 31 is open 24 hours a day (there is LED lighting at night) for people to travel on foot or by bike between New Malden and Raynes Park. Along the route, an area for a nature trail has been established with lots of new plants added along the rest of the route. We expect more planting to take place during tree-planting season.

The new route connects to the existing pedestrian and bike paths on the Cut, providing a c.2km off-road cycle route all the way from Elm Road in New Malden to Raynes Park recreation ground. The route from Raynes Park recreation ground then follows quiet residential roads (Taunton Avenue and Camberley Avenue) to join a new 2-way cycle path on West Barnes Lane to link to existing cycle paths on Coombe Lane which carry on to Raynes Park station.

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Map of the new route connecting New Malden station and West Barnes Lane, Raynes Park

Access points

You can access the new route:

  • next to New Malden station;
  • via Camberley Avenue and Taunton Avenue in Raynes Park; and
  • via a new ramp connecting the route to Alric and Duke’s Avenues in New Malden.

Next steps

This route is one of Kingston Council’s new Go Cycle or ‘MiniHolland’ routes which are being funded by TfL and delivered by the Council. Construction continues on other routes across the borough including Kingston Vale and the first part of the Kingston to Tolworth route on Penrhyn Road.

 

New Malden to Raynes Park route opening Sat 13 July 2019

The New Malden to Raynes Park off-road cycling and walking route will be opening from 11am on Saturday 13 July 2019. Kingston Council will be holding a family fun day to celebrate the opening of the route.

More information on the opening can be found on the Council’s website.

Why not pop along and give it a try?

Background

The New Malden to Raynes Park route is a new off-road cycling and walking route being built as one of the Mini Holland (or ‘Go Cycle’) projects . These projects involve upgrading roads and routes across the Borough of Kingston to make it easier and safer to cycle and walk. Further information on the Mini Holland/Go Cycle projects can be found on the Council’s website.

The New Malden to Raynes Park link starts next to New Malden station (linking to the existing ‘Cut’ cycle and walking route to Elm Road) and continues parallel with the railway line and then past Raynes Park Recreation Ground to the existing cycle route on Coombe Lane (via Taunton Avenue and West Barnes Lane). It will also be possible to access the route from Alric and Dukes Avenue via a ramp.

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Photo of the New Malden to Raynes Park cycle and pedestrian paths in construction (photo dated 26 May 2019)

 

Mini-Holland (Go Cycle) – March 2019 update

Following our look at what should be delivered during 2019 on Kingston’s GoCycle schemes, how is progress going?

Wheatfield Way

The Wheatfield Way scheme started towards the end of 2017 and it is finally approaching its conclusion with works around Orchard Road junction the last substantial area to finish. The Wheatfield Way scheme will provide a new route through Kingston town centre although areas of shared use around junctions will unfortunately affect the usability of the route. A number of items remain to complete the whole route with signs and paint markings still to be added to clearly show that it is a cycle route. Works outside Pryzm to finish that part of the route (started but not finished at the end of 2017) are due to take place in the next couple of months.

20mph signs have recently been added to parts of the Wheatfield Way route (replacing the previous 30mph limit) and we are hoping that the 20mph limit will therefore soon be in force.

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New 2-way cycle track on Wheatfield Way between Orchard Road and Brook Street crossing

Eventually Wheatfield Way will form part of a continuous cycle route all the way from Tolworth Broadway to Kingston station (a distance of about 3 miles!).

Kingston Vale

The largest amount of visible activity so far in 2019 on the Mini-Holland programme has been on the Kingston Vale route between Galsworthy Road and Derwent Avenue. A large amount of one-way segregated cycle track has been built so far with work on the bus boarders (see below) almost complete too. The outstanding work on this section is mainly the installation of a separator to provide a barrier between the road and the cycle lane where the existing kerb did not need to be moved.

Rediweld Milestone

The Rediweld Milestone cycle separator which should keep motor vehicles away from the cycle lane on Kingston Vale

We were pleased to hear from the Council that they will be trialling a new type of separator which will provide better segregation for cyclists from the road. This separator is called the Rediweld ‘Milestone’ (see photo). This Milestone separator provides a more substantial barrier between the road and the cycle lane than the ‘orcas‘ that were originally proposed. One of the problems with orcas is that vehicles could still cross the cycle lane through the gaps between each orca. This will be much more difficult to do with the Milestone separator which will be laid in a continuous line (except at junctions and crossings). All of these types of separators bolt down into the road surface. Therefore, once the preparations are complete, they can be installed very quickly. We are looking forward to them being installed! The upgraded cycle route between Galsworthy Road and Derwent Avenue should be completed by the end of Spring 2019.

Whilst we are pleased with what is planned in the areas which are segregated, we are concerned about the designs of the ‘bus boarders’ that have been installed so far on the Kingston Vale route. These bus boarders allow people on bikes to avoid rejoining the road around bus stops and therefore are essential to provide a continuous, safe and attractive route to people on bikes where space does not allow a bus stop bypass. However, the bus boarder design that has been implemented on Kingston Hill (see photo) does not clearly show where people waiting for a bus should wait and where people on bikes should cycle. We would have preferred if the established and successful design on Portsmouth Road had been used. Alternatively, we think other areas have implemented better designs too (for example, Waltham Forest and Enfield). We have been unsuccessful in getting the Council to change the Kingston Vale bus boarders but we understand that they are subject to a trial and will be monitored with changes therefore possible in the future. If you have any concerns about the bus boarder design on Kingston Vale then do let the Council know.

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Bus boarder on Kingston Hill. The bus stop flag will be moved to the kerb when finished.

Works will continue on the rest of the route (including finishing Manorgate roundabout) during the rest of the year and into 2020.

Penrhyn Road

Construction on the Penrhyn Road scheme has started and is already mostly complete between College Roundabout and Denmark Road. Work continues from Denmark Road towards the main Kingston University campus as a 2-way cycle track is built from the end of the Wheatfield Way scheme to Surbiton Road, connecting into Surbiton Crescent allowing safer cycling between Surbiton and Kingston.

Kingston Station

‘Snagging’ works continue around the main station plaza with the cycle route to Fife Road improved, drainage issues being worked on underneath the railway bridge and the crossing outside the Rotunda upgraded to a ‘toucan’ allowing people on bikes to use this crossing.

The next major milestone on this project will be the installation of the replacement pedestrian and cycle bridge over Kingsgate Road which will provide an improved link between Kingston Station and Skerne Road. Installation is due to take place over 23/24 March with works then continuing to build the paths either side of the bridge.

New Malden to Raynes Park

Although not very visible, work continues on the off-road New Malden to Raynes Park route. Most of the separate pedestrian and cycle paths have now been prepared with work getting ready for the installation of steps and a ramp to connect the route with Alric Avenue and Dukes Avenue.

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New Malden to Raynes Park separate cycle and pedestrian paths. Segregation is to be added in the foreground once the steps have been added to the bridge joining Alric and Dukes Avenues

Work will continue on the route over the coming months and it should be ready to open by early Summer 2019.

Links to further information from Kingston council: