These consultations have now closed
The Kingston Cycle Campaign broadly welcomes the latest Mini Holland proposals, (Go Cycle) the Council seem to have limited the amount of ‘shared Space’, which we welcome, but all 3 Schemes would benefit from more Cycle parking, especially near Shops. The Consultations can be found at www.kingston.gov.uk/consultations , or follow the link in each of the Paragraphs below.The closing date is 17 November.
Kingston to Kingston Vale There is still possible conflict with parked cars in Old London Road. It would help if the car parking was reduced in this area. The ‘two-way cycle track’, from the Queen Elizabeth Road junction to Cambridge Road, continuing to the roundabout junction with Park Road and Kingston Hill, looks promising. The route continues on Kingston Hill with a segregated cycle lane on both sides. Apart from some small sections of shared space, there does need to be provision for a segregated crossing for cyclists who wish to turn right from Galsworthy Road onto Kingston Hill, or vice-versa. The link for this individual scheme is http://consult.kingston.gov.uk/portal/planning/go/go_cycle_october_2016/gckv
Kingston to New Malden The crossing from the two-way cycle track on London Road, to continue along Cambridge Road, looks promising. The junction with Chatham Road and Hawks Road will need careful design to minimise conflict with pedestrians. And to keep the existing link between Chatham Road and Hawks Road a viable option, there needs to be full segregation under the rail bridge near South Lane West. If Cyclists do have to use ‘shared space’ where delivery vehicles are parked, there needs to be clear signage. The link for this scheme is http://consult.kingston.gov.uk/portal/planning/go/go_cycle_october_2016/gcnm.
Kingston to Tolworth The two-way cycle track along Penrhyn Road as far as Grove Crescent looks promising, continuing with seperate cycle lanes either side of the road. St Marks Hill will need a crossing for cyclists who wish to access Hollyfield School, also those who wish to access King Charles Road and other routes from Lamberts Road. The design of the ‘central cycle lane’ along Ewell Road needs to ensure that there are no conflicting traffic movements where car traffic wants to turn right across the cycle path, it might be better to continue the ‘two-way cycle track’ at the side of the carriageway, then join up with the ‘Greenway’ at the junction with the Broadway. The link for this scheme is http://consult.kingston.gov.uk/portal/planning/go/go_cycle_october_2016/gct
All three schemes should be supported. We urge everyone to go to the www.kingston.gov.uk/consultations page and fill out the seperate consultation for each of the three schemes. You can find more of our thoughts at http://kingston.cyclescape.org/threads , the Consultations close on 17 November.
By Jon Fray for the Kingston Cycling Campaign
At the beginning of January the Kingston Cycling Campaign (KCC) responded to Kingston Council’s ten page draft Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP), pointing out a number of concerns and omissions. The Plan correctly identified that most of the air pollution is caused by road traffic and acknowledged that domestic and industrial boilers and other sources also contribute to high levels of oxides of nitrogen and particulates. Maps in the Plan show that those pollutants were concentrated on busy roads, especially along the route of the A3 and the Kingston Town Centre, which won’t be a surprise to anyone.
Road space reallocation: 10 bikes can be parked in the space taken by one kerbside car
We found the Plan to be lacking in ambition in that it did not seem to address the issues of high levels of traffic but settled for actions such as “measures to support cycling including led commuter rides, Dr Bike sessions and maintenance classes”. While we approve of these things we think they are probably too passive. Our response was that the Plan should recognise the importance of reallocating road space for safer cycling more pleasant walking and bus priority measures in order to provide the improvement in conditions that that people want if they are not to drive. Quite remarkably the AQAP did not even mention Kingston’s mini-Holland schemes and the £30 million awarded to provide protected cycle routes around the borough. There seems to be a lack of awareness even within the Council of the importance of mini-Holland schemes.
On Thursday 7 January on a very wet morning three campaigners from KCC met on site with three traffic engineers from Transport for London (TfL) and the Cycling Officer from Kingston Council. The meeting was in response to our letter to TfL sent in November.
Many of our members will be aware of three major planning proposals near Tolworth railway station. To the north a large scheme involving around 700 homes is proposed. To the south of the railway a new Premier Inn is envisaged and, most recently Lidl are proposing to move their UK headquarters to a site at the junction of Kingston Road and Jubilee Way.
Queen’s Road is familiar to anyone who has visited Richmond Park through Kingston Gate. It is a road heavily used by people on bikes going to and from Richmond Park and the footways are busy with people going to the park on foot too. Whereas the speed limit in Richmond Park is 20mph, the limit on Queen’s Road is still 30. There is also a substantial amount of traffic going to and through Richmond Park. During peak hours drivers avoid the Norbiton roundabout by cutting along Queen’s Road and King’s Road.
Queen’s Road is a residential road except for the Albert Pub at the Kingston Hill end and Park Hill School and Nursery and St Paul’s Church. The roads leading off Park Road to the west, downhill, sensibly have a 20 mph speed limit. One of these roads, Alexandra Road has St Paul’s Junior School and St Alexandra’s Infant School and of course lots of children going to school walk along and cross Queen’s Road. Recently the views of some councillors in Kingston has been that there should be 20 mph speed limits outside schools.
We know the signs say Pedestrian Zone and many cyclists think that means they have to dismount and walk their bikes through the Ancient market place in Kingston. In fact by virtue of a traffic management order made earlier this year you can now cycle anywhere around the market place. The current signage is confusing. At the three entrances to the Market Place there are, diagram 619 “Motor vehicles prohibited” signs indicating that motor vehicle access is restricted. There are also signs proclaiming ‘Pedestrian zone’. Cyclists and pedestrians, versed in Road Traffic law, will realise cycling is permitted; the majority of ordinary people do not understand these signs (some pedestrians will think, mistakenly, that cycling is banned) and confusion and conflict will ensue. One of our members has been wrongly shouted at for cycling and we have seen other cyclists dismounting and walking evidently unaware they are permitted to cycle.
We have now (13 October 2014) been advised by the Council Officer responsible that Blue background shared use signs (diagram 956 – a cycle and a walker) will be placed on the boards along with the existing signs to clarify matters by the end of this month. Eagle eyed people will have noticed that when the Market place was repaved earlier this year several small spaces were left unpaved along the old cycle route on the west side. It was always intended that granite blocks with a cycle logo, indicating shared use, would be installed in these gaps. We are now assured that these blocks are on order (in fact on a slow boat from China !). They should be installed early in December, we are told. So we are watching this space but are hopeful it will be made clear by the end of 2014 that you can cycle in the revamped market place.
Once that is done we shall still have to control encroachment onto the cycle route by the market traders, their gazebos and A boards, which are quite hazardous and obstructive when the area is busy…..