FAQs for the Portsmouth Road scheme

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We’ve seen comments on social media and in the local papers about the mini-Holland two-way cycle track that’s under construction on the Portsmouth Road, and we’d like to help clarify any issues and correct any misinformation that is in circulation. Therefore we have put together a list of responses to frequently raised issues. Kingston Council is responsible for the design and implementation of the scheme. We hope that you will find these answers to “Frequently Asked Questions” helpful.
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Ordinary People on Bikes use Mini Holland

Its an expensive play area for the mamils of Kingston they said.
No, everyday people with bikes will use it, we said.

Its not finished but people are using the Portsmouth Rd cycle lane. Who would have thought!

 

Turns out the the most populous mamil is homo sapiens.

Portsmouth Rd is being built in 3 phases. Phase 1 (Palace Rd to north of Brighton Rd) has been constructed but we understand can not be officially opened until certain signs which are on order have been installed. Phase 2 High St to Palace Rd) is under construction now (May 2016) and will be completed this Summer. The last Phase 3 (south past Brighton Rd) should, we’re told, be built by the end of 2016.

We look forward to all types of rider enjoying the completed, almost 1 mile long, fully protected cycleway.

Congratulations to the Royal Borough of Kingston for being nominated for Portsmouth Rd in the best Borough Infrastructure Scheme category at the London Cycling Awards;

http://lcc.org.uk/articles/2016awards

Sadly runners up this year to Camden’s worthy winner in Tavistock Place but we’re in august company with joint second Waltham Forest’s Lea Bridge Rd. Let’s make Portsmouth Road the benchmark, improve and win next year RBK !

 

Work starts on Portsmouth Road

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

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.

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Set your pedals for Portsmouth Road Mini Holland Scheme !

Illustration of Portsmouth Road scheme

Illustration of Portsmouth Road scheme

On 25 June Kingston Councillors unanimously voted to approve the revised proposals for Portsmouth Road. Work will now start on the detailed design stage and construction schedule. The current programme is for construction work to start winter 2015 and be completed Summer 2016. We hope that ambitious timescale can now be adhered to.

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Mini Holland Portsmouth Road Revised Proposals

We welcome the revised proposals for the Portsmouth Road mini Holland scheme which have been published by the Royal Borough of Kingston, today, Monday 16 March 2015;

http://www.kingston.gov.uk/downloads/file/1212/portsmouth_road_revised_scheme

These proposals are a considerable improvement on the original proposals. We will be seeking further assurances about the design but, in the round, we support it.

The northern part of the route is a two way cycle track on the river side of Portsmouth Road. This has some impressive features; fully protected space, floating bus stops, refuges for turning cyclists, possibly crossings which can detect bicycles and a well thought out link to Surbiton via Palace Road. It will be valuable for family and novice riders, particularly if it joins the Boardway link along the Thames. It is a reversion to the original design in the bid document which featured such a two way track and is certainly better than the “white paint” in the original proposal in February.

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Portsmouth Road Consultation

The public consultation on the proposed Portsmouth Rd mini-holland scheme opens today. You can find all the details on what is proposed and how you can make your voice heard:

RBK Portsmouth Rd Consultation

You can also read the Portsmouth Road Full Proposal Document (PDF)

If we don’t let the Council know what we think, we can’t complain about what they give us. Rich, one of our supporters, has produced a template to respond to the consultation:

https://stuffrichwrites.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/response-to-portsmouth-road-consultation/

Please feel free to adopt it or adapt it.

The Council’s proposals will not prevent this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxqtgYon0Lk

We want protected space infrastructure so truck drivers can not endanger their fellow citizens in this way and 8 to 80 cyclists will use this route.

Portsmouth Rd Mini Holland Proposals

LCC members in Kingston and the surrounding Boroughs will be aware of the Council’s successful Mini Holland bid. The first proposed Mini Holland Scheme is Portsmouth Rd. The proposals go to Kingston Council’s Infrastructure Committee today, Tuesday 13 January, at 7.30pm. The public are entitled to attend and speak. See this link for the agenda and the details;

http://moderngov.kingston.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=573&MId=7550

These proposals are a hugely disappointing missed opportunity. It isn’t Mini Holland. It isn’t Go Dutch. It isn’t compliant with London Cycling Campaign policy which seeks genuine segregation on roads over certain speeds and/or volumes of traffic. At most 15% of the whole (may be 25 to 30% of the west side) is properly segregated. Around 60% by our estimate is simply white paint, the balance “Armadillos”. In the Mini Holland bid documents almost half Portsmouth Road was fully segregated, the balance semi. In truth this is “old style” London; let’s fit in a bit of second rate cycle infrastructure.

We have no alternative but to go to the committee to object. Achieving full segregation on this stretch will be challenging because of space, assuming the road remains a two way motor road, but they can do a lot better than this proposal. There is scope, and room, for segregation on the northern part of Portsmouth Rd and the southern, although some major works or innovation will be required to avoid a gap in the middle.

One possibility, at least for the northern stretch, is two way segregated cycle lanes on the west side. Obviously this first scheme will set the tone for Kingston’s Mini Holland future and, may be a wider precedent, not just for the two other MHs, but for cycle schemes in the outer Boroughs generally.

This proposal will do nothing to encourage cycling, nor for cycle safety. It will make it slightly easier for experienced cyclists to ride along Portsmouth Rd. Mini Holland is not supposed to be aimed primarily at people who already cycle a lot but those who cycle a little or not at all. Nervous folk will not be pedalling along Portsmouth Road protected by 1.6m white lines (apparently the bulk of the proposal).

Comments from our members on the proposals include;
“It does not pass my would you ride this with a 7 year old test”
“Very disappointed”
“Would not provide a step change in provision for people who want to cycle”
“very poor”

We have always been a local borough group which sought to co-operate with its Council. Sadly these proposals are so inadequate, and much less than originally envisaged, we can’t support them. We don’t know if they have the approval of TfL, or Andrew Gilligan, the Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner, yet. When we met him in the Summer he was very positive and clear in favouring adequate provision for nervous or inexperienced cyclists (only by getting new people cycling will you reduce congestion). We would be disappointed if he had accepted these proposals.

Rest assured we will do our best. If you can make it this evening to lobby the committee, please do.