We understand this proposal will be consulted on in June 2016. It is proposed to install two way fully segregated cycle tracks (3m) on the east (Fairfield) side of Wheatfield Way from College Roundabout to the station except at Old London Rd and Wilkinsons. At this pinch point shared space of at least 3.6m width is proposed for a short distance. Kingston’s mini Holland bid envisaged the two way track being continuous with the one way system being reduced from three to two motor lanes at this point. The Borough Officers tell us this is not possible because Transport for London’s traffic modelling suggests unacceptable delays would be caused.
There will also be more direct cycle crossings at Palmers Crescent and Lady Booth Road. Consultation on 20mph (currently 30mph) speed limit and raised crossings and junctions. Wider pedestrian and cycle crossings opposite Old London Rd are also proposed. There is also to be a link from Old London Road to Castle Street, the details of which, so far as we are aware, remain to be decided.
In our view this is a great proposal; a safe space for cycling on a scary urban gyratory. There are also urban realm improvements and a reduction in the severance caused by the ring round. Sadly there is one major defect; shared space does not work on a transport cycling route. We suggest a reduction to two traffic lanes could be trialled (a practice favoured by new Mayor, Sadiq Khan) for the short “pinch point” section outside Wilkinson’s; it may be the world does not end and remember TfL’s traffic modelling does have a record of not reflecting reality.
We met with Kingston Officers and Councillors. They are planning to go to consultation on 4 mini Holland schemes in June 2016. The proposals are not finalised but are broadly as follows:
Final hustings of the mayoral campaign
Nick and Ruth from KCC were in a packed audience at the cycling (and transport) hustings held at The News Building this morning. You may have already seen our tweets at #asklondonmayor and now you can watch the debate on Facebook.
The Deputy Editor of The Times, Emma Tucker, chaired a panel featuring most of the main candidates: Sian Berry (SB), Zac Goldsmith (ZG), Sadiq Khan (SK), Caroline Pigeon (CP), Sophie Walker (SW) – all of whom have signed for cycling – and Peter Whittle (PW). George Galloway has also signed for cycling, unfortunately he couldn’t be there.
After introductions the candidates were asked to outline their solutions – see the LCC website for these and their answers to questions submitted at the door and from the floor and the Chair posed some direct questions which only needed simple answers:
Kingston Council are asking for views on how they can improve this ring road. The survey opens on Friday 19 February and you can read more at:
Our Mini-Holland officer has already has something to say:
At last some public action on Kingston Council’s “Go Cycle” or Mini Holland programme ! On Thursday 4 February our representatives attended a “key stakeholder” consultation. Draft plans for around half the projects were on show. Some at an advanced stage, others very much an outline.
First the good news; Portsmouth Rd construction works are underway (photos above and below). The southern section is scheduled for completion, although not necessarily opening, this summer. The plans for the northern section look good; continuing the fully protected bi directional cycle tracks on the river side. There are some attractive public realm proposals for access to Queens Promenade for pedestrians. As so often cycling funds are being diverted for other purposes but if it enables the scheme to proceed so be it!
There is a potentially excellent proposal for a fully segregated cycle route from Kingston station to College roundabout. This comprises bi directional cycle tracks on the east side of Wheatfield Way providing a really safe route for families and children to navigate the intimidating race track which is the Kingston one way system.
KCC discuss Fountains Roundabout with Cllr Terry Paton
On a dull Friday morning in December three campaigners from Kingston Cyclists met with Cllr Terry Paton at the Fountain roundabout in New Malden. Terry is Chair of the ‘Residents Committee’, the Kingston Council body responsible for the Mini Holland, or Go Cycle, Schemes. He is aware of our concerns about the very slow progress RBK has made with this once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve provision for cycling, ameliorate air quality, and reduce traffic congestion.
We discussed the Fountain roundabout. At present it is a major barrier to safe 8 to 80 bike riding for all. Our preference would be for a Dutch style roundabout and we have argued for that. We understand that is only one of several options the Council are considering; all options will make it safer for cycling and more pleasant for locals.
It is now more than 18 months since Kingston Council (RBK) won over £30m of funding from Transport for London (TfL) for its Mini Holland (MH) schemes. We supported the original bid and see these funds as a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to provide safe cycling routes in our Borough and to make improvements benefitting all. We appreciate such new developments take time but progress so far has been painfully and disappointingly slow.
1 Work on the Portsmouth Road scheme commenced November 2015. This scheme has improved radically to incorporate fully protected space.
2 We are now able to engage regularly and helpfully with both Officers and Councillors.
3 There are some really exciting and innovative schemes under design. Among these schemes are a segregated track on the east side of Wheatfield Way (avoiding the Kingston one way system), the Boardway along the Thames (bypassing, and allowing access to, Kingston Town Centre) and a semi segregated route from Kingston to Tolworth via Surbiton.
1 In the last year the project has had three Programme Managers and a considerable turnover of other staff. There appears to have been a lack of leadership and consistency at the most senior level from Officers.
2 There is a lack of political leadership and enthusiasm for the Programme. This surprises us as the Bid was supported by all political parties, has clear and obvious benefits for the Borough, is funded by a Conservative Mayor and RBK has a Conservative administration and we would expect any local Politician to support a scheme involving money being spent on, and in, his or her Borough.
3 There is very considerable support for the New Malden to Raynes Park route, which outweighed the poorly informed opposition, but we are frustrated that this scheme does not appear to have unequivocal backing from the Council. We understand there are issues to be resolved with Thames Water but that should not prevent RBK, TfL and Thames Water entering into a Memorandum of Understanding, or similar, to secure funding and proceeding to consultation.
4 We currently understand it is unlikely any scheme will be brought to consultation before the Mayoral elections “purdah” period; March to May 2016.
At last RBK have started work on a Mini Holland scheme! It has taken a while but they commenced work on Portsmouth Rd on 9 November. Contractors will work on the southern section before Christmas. After Christmas work will start on the northern section. They will try to avoid cutting any major trees. The project will be fully segregated from north to south with a bi-directional cycle lane on the west, or river, side.
Illustration of Portsmouth Road scheme
The southern section will have fully segregated two way 3m wide cycle track at road level. They will retain the existing kerb and pavement. Separation will be by rubber/plastic recycled 1/2m kerb/buffer, 12cm high. This is straight and the road curves so it will be laid in 9 to 10m sections with gaps of 1/2 to 1m for drainage. Each junction opening will have a bollard to make it clear to motors that they should not enter.
The southern section should be structurally complete by Xmas but can not be opened until it is safe which will be some time later as entries and exits have to be secure too. There will be a temporary zebra south of the Mall. Behind the bus stops, opposite St Leonards Rd and South of Palace Rd, there will probably be a raised ramp for bikes. Buses are about 2 an hour, mostly people going into Kingston.
Our campaigners attended, along with other interested parties, a “blue skies” thinking consultation at the Royal Borough of Kingston’s offices on 28 October run by their retained consultants, Atkins Global. There was much discussion of the proposed Boardway, much favourable, some less so. This has the potential to be a great amenity for the community, to improve the waterside and a safe cycle route into and around Kingston Town Centre but let us await some detail !
Illustration of proposed greenway
Our petition with 1700 signatures, both paper and electronic, in favour of the proposed New Malden to Raynes Park Mini Holland Cycling and walking route was debated at the Council meeting on Tuesday 13 October at 7.30pm, members of the public attended.
The petition in opposition to the route was also presented. After so many arguments had been raised in opposition the “Antis” confined themselves to one point. They argued the proposed route was a “wildlife valley” and this was not compatible with cycling and walking (or “fast” cycling, as they saw it). The area is not a nature reserve but a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC). It is common for cycling to be allowed in SINC’s and for these areas to have cycle routes through them; they’re often ideal for family cycling.
Parts of the Wandle trail, Morden Hall Park and Hogsmill trail are all SINCs and all are also cycle routes. Therefore this does seem a bit of a non point. As we’ve always said low impact transport like cycling and walking is certainly compatible with a favourable ecology and environment for wildlife; in fact sometimes it can enhance it.