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.

 

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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:

King’s Road area consultation – improvements needed…

This consultation closed on 8 March 2019

Kingston Council recently published a consultation for changes to King’s Road; New Road and Tudor Road in North Kingston close to the Kingston gate access into Richmond Park. This consultation follows concerns raised over a number of years about the amount of through traffic using these roads and the number of collisions which have resulted in a large number of injuries to people walking and people on bikes.

Despite Kingston Cycling Campaign agreeing with the Council and local residents that there is a significant issue of too much through motor traffic using these roads, we do not support the Council’s plans to deal with this issue.

The Council’s plans

The Council plan to change King’s Road; New Road and Tudor Road so that they are one-way for motor vehicles rather than two way. This would be done through changes to signage and paint markings on the roads and minor changes to the kerbs on King’s Road. Cycling will continue to be allowed in both directions on these roads. You can access a plan of the proposed changes here.

By changing the roads to one-way for motor vehicles, the Council believes that motor vehicles will be better managed on the affected roads, reducing congestion and the number of times vehicles get ‘stuck’ trying to pass each other on these narrow roads. We agree that the proposals will improve the flow of motor vehicles using these roads but that this could increase the number of vehicles using these roads as the traffic becomes better managed. It is also acknowledged that changing King’s Road to one-way is likely to have a significant impact on surrounding roads with traffic displaced onto New Road and Tudor Road. Alexandra Road (with two schools) may also see more traffic too. Furthermore, the Council believes that traffic speeds could increase as a result of these proposals.

The Council intends to introduce further traffic calming in an attempt to mitigate the expected increased speeds but the work proposed in the consultation is limited to replacing speed cushions on King’s Road with speed humps and adding speed cushions to New Road (no changes to implement speed reductions appear to be planned to Tudor Road). However, with cars increasing in size and an increase in the number of 4x4s on the road, speed cushions and humps are increasingly ineffective.

Overall, we do not believe that potentially increasing the number of motor vehicles using these roads and their speeds will lead to safer roads nor will it encourage more people to walk or travel by bike.

Our thoughts

We will be objecting to these plans and will instead ask the Council to consider bolder plans to reduce through traffic through the area. Other areas in London (including Waltham Forest) have stopped vehicles using residential roads as through roads for motor traffic using simple (and relatively cheap) interventions such as adding bollards to the end of a road. This still allows residents to access their property but stops through traffic from using the road by keeping through traffic to main roads which are designed to deal with larger volumes of traffic.

Recent changes in Waltham Forest have shown that reducing through traffic using residential roads can decrease motor traffic across the wider area as people stop taking unnecessary journeys by motor vehicle and switch to sustainable methods of transport such as walking and cycling.

Stopping through traffic would return the road to people and make it a better neighbourhood for local residents and people travelling through the area by foot or on a bike. In the Netherlands, these types of streets are so common they have a special name “Woonerf” but there are examples in Kingston too. For example, Chatham Road and Bonner Hill Road (not very far away from King’s Road) both have measures which stop through traffic.

Although closing a road to through traffic can seem a big step, it is relatively easy to trial changes through temporary blocks which would allow the Council to assess if the scheme works or if it needs to be changed.

Our response

As above, we will be objecting to these proposals including the following key points:

  • The Council’s proposals are unlikely to reduce through traffic and, as the Council notes, could increase traffic speeds. This therefore does not do enough to protect the safety of vulnerable road users on these roads.
  • The Council should be bolder in its proposals and look at ways to reduce through traffic using these and surrounding roads (including Alexandra, Liverpool and Crescent Roads) to keep traffic to the main roads such as Kingston Hill.
  • If the one-way proposals were to go ahead, we are concerned that the contraflow cycle lane on King’s Road is in the ‘dooring’ zone creating a risk to cyclists. In addition, we would like clearer paint markings on New and Tudor Road to show people in motor vehicles that contraflow cycling is permitted on these roads. We would also like further traffic calming to be considered for Tudor Road (particularly as it is part of a signed cycle route).
  • Notwithstanding our objections to the scheme as a whole, we are pleased that cycling has at least been considered in the one-way proposals and that contraflow cycling is to be permitted on all affected roads. In addition, we strongly support the proposals to extend 20mph limits onto Queen’s, Liverpool and Crescent Road

You can also ask the Council to improve this scheme with your thoughts here. The consultation deadline is 8 March 2019.

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King’s Road. A narrow two-way road with proposals to change it to one-way for motor traffic with contraflow cycling allowed.

Mini-Holland (Go Cycle) – October 2018 update

Progress continues on a large number of different Mini-Holland schemes in Kingston town centre. The main progress since our last update in June has been:

  • The Kingston High Street scheme has finished;
  • Works continue on Wheatfield Way;
  • The Kingston Station plaza is almost complete;
  • Work has commenced on the New Malden to Raynes Park scheme; and
  • Work has started on the main Kingston Vale route.

Kingston High Street – construction has now (subject to a couple of snagging points) been completed. This high quality scheme extends the very successful Portsmouth Road segregated 2-way cycle track onto Kingston High Street until just after its junction with Kingston Hall Road. As a next step, we would like motor traffic to be restricted on the North part of Kingston High Street (between Kingston Hall Road and the Market Place) to finish this link into Kingston town centre. We have also asked the Council to review loading bays and the times when loading is allowed before they are placed next to/on cycle tracks; we understand that this is now being looked at for future schemes and is also being monitored on completed schemes.

Wheatfield Way – construction of the 3m wide 2-way cycle track between College Roundabout and the junction with Brook Street has been completed (signage/paint markings to be added). Work has recently been taking place at the Clarence Street/Old London Road junction (next to Wilko’s); Fairfield North junction (next to Fairfield Bus Station) and Brook Street junction. As per our last newsletter, we have been disappointed in some of the Wheatfield Way works and have been discussing with the Council the improvements that should be made. In good news, the Council has agreed to amend the shared island at the Clarence Street junction to allow easier and safer access by people on bikes. The Council is also looking at improvements to the Brook Street junction too. Unfortunately, despite these improvements, the scheme as a whole will still have a number of areas of shared use areas for pedestrians and people on bikes at junctions. We understand that this is due to TfL not allowing segregated space at junctions due to impacts shown in traffic modelling. We also await confirmation of when the consulted 20mph limit will be implemented on Wheatfield Way.

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Wheatfield Way segregated 2-way cycle track between Brook Street and College Roundabout

Kingston Station – construction of the plaza directly outside of the station has almost finished. The Station works have also included re-laying the 2-way cycle track underneath the railway bridge on Richmond Road to provide a much smoother surface than before. Works on this scheme are now focussed on Wood Street to get ready for the replacement pedestrian and cyclist bridge to be installed over Kingsgate Road in Spring 2019. We have also heard that the ‘Beacon’ planned for the station plaza has been cancelled. We welcome this decision as the savings from this will be reinvested in other Mini-Holland schemes which offer greater benefits for people on bikes (and pedestrians) than the Beacon would have done.

New Malden to Raynes Park – construction of this new route has now commenced. People on bikes and pedestrians will have their own separate paths from New Malden to Raynes Park Recreation Ground where the route will then connect into current cycle routes (which we hope will be improved by Merton Council in due course!). It is great to see construction start on this scheme and we are already looking forward to it being finished.

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Current state of New Malden to Raynes Park route

Kingston Vale – construction on the main part of this route has also finally started! Kingston Vale is the longest individual scheme of all the Mini-Holland schemes and reaches from Kingston town centre all the way through to the Robin Hood junction on the A3. On its way it will connect numerous shops, schools, Kingston Hospital and Kingston University’s Kingston Hill campus. Work has started between Derwent Avenue and Warren Road and will include the installation of new zebra crossings (replacing informal ‘refuges’), new kerbs where these are needed and, for most of this section, the installation of Orcas (or an equivalent) to separate people on bikes from motor traffic. Orcas have been successfully used in many cycle schemes already in London and provide semi-segregation for cyclists from motor traffic. Although we would have preferred full segregation along the whole length of the route, the cost of this would have meant that other Mini-Holland schemes would not have been possible. To supplement the Orca installation, the Council will also be looking at putting in ‘wands’ and segregation islands where these are needed on the route.

What’s next

As above, there are a lot of schemes now in progress. Works will continue this year and into 2019 on the Kingston Station scheme; Wheatfield Way; New Malden to Raynes Park and Kingston Vale. 2019 should also see the start of works on Penrhyn Road, linking the Wheatfield Way scheme with Surbiton (passing the main Kingston University campus on its way).

Kingston Cycling Campaign will continue to ask the Council for any improvements needed to schemes. If you have any comments on the Mini-Holland schemes proposed or currently in construction, please let us know.

 

Midweek rides

After receiving a few requests, we have agreed to offer a Midweek ride, initially once a month, for those with the freedom to enjoy a ride, whilst others are hard at work, starting as usual from the Ancient Market place, near the Golden Queen Anne statue, check the ‘Rides Calendar’ for details. The first ride will be on Wednesday 3rd October.

Reporting dangerous driving

There is a glut of internet items about how some cyclists feel pushed into retaliating in the face of dangerous, reckless or simply poor driving.  Kingston Cycling Campaign does not condone this response.

When I reported an aggressive driver a few weeks ago the duty officer confirmed that you should always report  such incidents, preferably with the vehicle number as well as the location and a description. Chances are, this information could be useful in other investigations too. The Crown Prosecution Service has a fact sheet outlining their definitions of dangerous and reckless driving: www.cps.gov.uk/news/fact_sheets/dangerous_driving/

They say:

A person drives dangerously when:

  • the way they drive falls far below the minimum acceptable standard expected of a competent and careful driver; and
  • it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous

Clearly this includes:

  • driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • street racing
  • a  vehicle with a dangerous fault or an unsafe load
  • driving into street furniture
  • driving the wrong way on a fast road (motorway or dual carriageway)
  • mounting a heavily-pedestrianised pavement

For non-emergencies (such as reporting a reckless driver from the comfort of your sofa) call 101. However if you feel intimated enough to wish to remain anonymous you can report dangerous driving on RoadSafe London: content.met.police.uk/Site/roadsafelondon/

London Cycling Campaign also offer advice on reporting incidents with taxis, buses and lorries.

In the week that Christopher Gard was jailed for texting while driving at 65 mph and killing a cyclist taking part in an organised event, there was a discussion on ‘Death by Dangerous Driving’ on the Today programme on Radio 4 (now on iPlayer). Gard had been convicted of using his phone at least six times prior to this.

See also:

Prudential RideLondonFreeCycle – check your bike!

repairing a puncture on the rideJoin our feeder ride tomorrow – bring the family along! And please make sure you’ve checked all the bikes in your party – see lcc.org.uk/articles/checking-your-bike if you need a quick refresher.

As with all our rides, remember to bring a spare inner tube too (there’s more useful  information about our rides at kingstoncyclecampaign.wordpress.com/rides-2/rides-calendar/#on-the-ride)