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.

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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.

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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.

Map2

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:

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.