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.

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Our guide to new cycle infrastructure in Kingston

With the Mini Holland projects now well underway (and many finished) in the Borough, there are lots of new types of cycle infrastructure that have built. This post provides an explanation of the following:

Cycle segregation kerbs

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There are many types of cycle segregation kerbs but generally they bolt on to the surface of the carriageway providing a barrier to discourage motor vehicles from using the cycle lane. These cycle segregation kerbs can cost less than a tenth the cost of stepped cycle tracks (cycle tracks which are built higher than the carriageway level) and therefore provide segregated cycle infrastructure where costs could otherwise make segregated cycle infrastructure prohibitive. The segregation kerbs may be supplemented by ‘wands’ or poles which are reflective and warn road users of the placement of the kerbs.

We like that these segregation kerbs can be quick to install and are can provide large lengths of cycle segregation at relatively low cost. This makes it more likely that cycle segregation can be installed.

Where can they be found in Kingston? On Portsmouth Road and on Kingston Hill and Kingston Vale. The ones on Kingston Hill and Kingston Vale contain reflective studs which work in a similar way to ‘cat’s eyes’ which are commonly used on roads and provide extra visibility of the kerbs at night.

Stepped cycle tracks

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Stepped cycle tracks are cycle paths which are higher than the level of the carriageway and are usually separated from the carriageway by a solid kerb. In Kingston, stepped cycle tracks are always at the same level as the footway. To help separate the footway from the cycle track, ridged dividers have been installed. To clearly indicate it is a cycle track, they generally have painted bike logos at regular intervals; tactile paving at the start and end of the track; and blue signs at their start.

Stepped cycle tracks offer a higher level of segregation than cycle segregation kerbs (above) but are much more expensive to construct as a new solid kerb needs to be installed and the existing kerb may have to be removed too. Stepped cycle tracks can also face issues at driveways/crossings and junctions depending on how much room there is for separate cycle facilities at these crossings/junctions.

Generally our preference is for stepped cycle tracks as they provide a higher level of separation than stepped cycle tracks. However, they come at a much higher cost and require careful design to integrate them at junctions.

Where can they be found in Kingston? Although stepped cycle tracks have existed for a long time in parts of Kingston they have generally been in short lengths. Large lengths of new ones have been installed as part of the Mini-Holland projects on Wheatfield Way, Kingston Hill, Penrhyn Road and will feature in parts of future schemes too.

Parallel crossings

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These crossings allow both pedestrians and cyclists to cross the road in parallel to each other. Cars and other vehicles should give way to people waiting to cross but it is advised to wait for other vehicles to stop before crossing the road.

Where can they be found in Kingston? They can already be found on Portsmouth Road and are currently being installed on Kingston Hill near the University campus.

Shared use areas

Shared use areas are designated areas where people on bikes can mix with people walking. Areas of shared use are often placed at junctions where there is insufficient room for segregated cycle facilities. The advantage of shared use areas is that it allows a continuous off-road cycle route for people on bikes. A disadvantage is that both cyclists and pedestrians have to mix in the same space. This can make cycle routes with lots of shared use less attractive than those with fully segregated facilities.

Shared use areas should be clearly marked with signage (and tactile paving) to indicate to pedestrians and people on bikes that they should be aware of each other in this area.

Shared use areas have been used successfully in parts of Kingston for many years, for example in Kingston Market Place. However, Kingston Cycling Campaign are clear that we would like shared use areas to be minimised wherever possible to aid the usability of cycle routes and reduce pedestrian/cyclist conflicts.

Where can they be found in Kingston?  New shared use areas have been added on the Wheatfield Way route; at the junction of Maple and Claremont Roads and at Manorgate roundabout on the Kingston Hill route.

Shared crossings

These crossings look like ordinary zebra crossings but are shared crossings where there is a shared use area on either side of the crossing. These shared use areas allow both pedestrians and people on bikes to use them and then also to use the crossing. It is advised to wait for other vehicles to stop before using these crossings.

We generally prefer parallel crossings to shared crossings but there is not always room to fit a parallel crossing in. In addition, in some locations, it is difficult to separate cyclists and pedestrians each side of the crossing meaning a shared crossing may be more appropriate.

Where can they be found in Kingston? They can already be found at Manorgate Roundabout on the Kingston Hill route (although it is currently awaiting signage).

Toucan crossings

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These are signalised crossings which allow both pedestrians and cyclists to cross the road. The crossings usually join shared use areas on each side of the crossing which allow both pedestrians and people on bikes to use them. You usually need to push a button to trigger a change in the signals.

Toucan crossings are well established types of crossings although generally mean that there is shared use areas each side (for pedestrians and cyclists). Where room allows, we would prefer separate pedestrian and cycle crossings to reduce potential conflict between people walking and people on bikes.

Where can they be found in Kingston? They are already found in many places in the Borough with new ones recently being installed in a number of locations on the Wheatfield Way route.

Low level cycle signals

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As their name suggests, these are cycle specific signals at a ‘low level’ so they are eye height for most people on bikes. They may be linked to an early release but otherwise may be located on cycle tracks where other vehicles are not permitted.

Where can they be found in Kingston? The first ones in the Borough have been installed installed at the junction of London Road and Queen Elizabeth Road. Others will be installed at other signalled junctions in the Borough as they are upgraded for people on bikes.

Early release (at signals)

These are cycle specific signals at junctions which give cyclists an advance green light. This allows cyclists to get ahead of other vehicles at the junction. There are usually low level cycle signals at junctions with early release.

Early release can help provide a safer passage through a junction for someone on a bike, particularly when they reach the junction when the lights are red. However, if a cyclist reaches the junction when the lights for motor vehicles are already green, then their crossing across the junction isn’t protected. Early release can be combined with other junction improvements such as two stage right turns and cycle segregation on each side of the junction to provide safer cycle journeys.

Where can they be found in Kingston? There isn’t currently a junction with early release in the Borough but it will be installed at the Kingston Hill/Queen’s Road junction. It may also be used on Ewell Road between Surbiton and Tolworth. Early release is also used at many junctions elsewhere in London.

Where can I find out more? See the video from Transport for London below.

Two stage right turn (at signals)

Two stage right turns at junctions allow cyclists to make right turns in two stages. This means that you don’t need to cross a flow of other vehicles and then wait in the centre of a busy junction to turn right. Instead, at approaching the junction,  you should stay left and make the turn in two stages. Firstly, after the green light on entering the junction, you should head for the designated waiting area and reposition yourself for the second move across the junction. When the signal you are now facing turns green, you can then head across the junction completing the second stage of the turn.

Two stage right turns mean that someone on a bike has to take an indirect, two stage journey when crossing the junction and therefore may not be the right approach in all circumstances. However, a two stage right turn can be a relatively easy upgrade to a junction to provide safer right turns for cyclists.

Where can they be found in Kingston? There isn’t currently a junction with a two stage right turn in the Borough but one will be installed at the Kingston Hill/Queen’s Road junction. There are also many two stage right turns elsewhere in London. There is always a blue sign ahead of the junction where a two stage right turn is in operation.

Where can I find out more? See the video from Transport for London below.

Continuous crossings

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Continuous crossings are being installed at less busy junctions and give pedestrians and cyclists priority over turning motor vehicles. The best continuous crossings have the pavement and any cycle track continuing uninterrupted across the side road. Motor vehicles should give way to any pedestrian and cyclist using the pavement or cycle track. Tactile paving may also still be installed on the pavement to indicate to visually impaired people that they are crossing a side road.

Although continuous crossings are very common in Europe there have not been very many installed in the UK so far. As such, their design can vary as UK highway designers learn what works best.

The key to successful continuous crossings is the detail of the design. When looking at a continuous crossing, it should be clear that the footway and cycle track continue across the junction unimpeded. This should then indicate to other road users that pedestrians and people on bikes have right of way. Putting in place steep ramps before and after the continuous crossings for motor vechicles and reducing the width of the junction mouth can also help reduce vehicle speeds.

Where can they be found in Kingston? There are different types of continuous crossings being installed on a number of routes in Kingston. A continuous footway crossing can be found at the junction of Weston Park and Wheatfield Way and they are also being installed on Penrhyn Road in a number of locations. There are also likely to feature on future Mini Holland routes including Ewell Road.

Bus boarders

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Bus boarders are areas of shared use for people walking and people on bikes. They are being installed at a number of bus stops in Kingston to allow a cycle route to be continuous rather than with gaps where cyclists would need to rejoin the road. Bus stop boarders are clearly marked with signs and tactile paving to ensure people entering the area are aware it is a shared area. Pedestrians should be mindful of bikes passing through the area and cyclists should also be aware of pedestrians (particularly any alighting from buses).

Bus stop boarders have been used successfully for many years in a number of locations in London and are essential to allow continuous cycle routes where space doesn’t allow a bus stop bypasses. We would prefer bus stop bypasses to be used where room allows but on many narrow roads bus stop boarders are the only solution. We have been speaking to Kingston Council about how minor changes to the bus stop boarder design could make them clearer for everyone to use.

Where can they be found in Kingston? Bus stop boarders can be found on Portsmouth Road; Kingston High Street; St Marks Hill and Kingston Hill/Vale.

Bus stop bypasses/bus stop islands

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Bus stop bypass (in construction)

Bus stop bypasses are created on cycle routes where there is sufficient room to fully separate people waiting for buses; people walking past the bus stop; and people on bikes. The main feature of a bus stop bypass is that there is a separated waiting area next to the carriageway where passengers wait for buses. A bike track is placed between this waiting area and the main pavement which keeps bikes away separated from the waiting passengers. People who want to get to the bus waiting area use the designated crossing point on the pavement to cross the cycle track. Bus stop bypasses have been built in large numbers in London over recent years with lots of research subsequently undertaken to ensure they are safe.

Where can they be found in Kingston? A different type of bus stop bypass to that described above is located in Surbiton and allows taxis to bypass the bus stop waiting area. A bus stop bypass for cyclists is currently being built on Penrhyn Road near the Kingston University campus.

Cycleway signage

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Signage is being installed on new cycle routes in Kingston using Transport for London’s green Cycleway branding. This signage helps guide cyclists along the route and provides key information including estimated time to destinations and what direction to follow at crossings and junctions.

This Cycleway signage replaces purple Quietway signage that was installed on the first Go Cycle routes built in Kingston. Existing Quietway signage will be replaced with the green Cycleway signage over the coming months, as is happening across London.

We are asking Kingston Council and Transport for London to improve the wayfinding and signage on current Mini Holland routes to make it easier for people on bikes to navigate along routes.

Where can they be found in Kingston? Cycleway signage is already in place on the New Malden to Raynes Park route (numbered Cycleway 31) and will be installed on the remaining Go Cycle routes over the coming months.

Old quietway signage can currently be found on Portsmouth Road and around central Surbiton.

Where can I find out more? See a map of the current Cycleways in London here. Note that the map is not up to date for Kingston and you may instead prefer to use OpenCycleMap which contains maps of all current cycle routes in the area.

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:

 

Prudential ride London reminder

If you are planning to join us on Saturday 3rd August, to ride to Central London, for the ‘London freecycle’, please make sure your Bike is in good working order, Tyres pumped, Brakes working, a bit of Lubrication on the Chain, all help to make the ride a lot easier, Please remember to bring some Water for drinks, & Suncream, in case it’s Sunny & hot.

See you Saturday, 9.30am

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.

 

Prudential Ride London Freecycle

This Years Prudential RideLondon  FreeCycle event is fast approaching. It doesn’t get the same amount of publicity as the RideLondon London-Surrey Classic (the one for all the sporty types doing up to 100 miles as fast as they can), but the FreeCycle event on Saturday 3rd August has the most number of participants. You don’t have to register to take part and as the name suggests, it’s free to take part. 🙂

FreeCycle, if you have never seen it, is a mass bike ride on closed roads around central London including many famous London sights including the Mall outside Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, The Strand, the City of London, St Paul’s Cathedral and Waterloo Bridge. Around 70,000 people take part each year, just pedalling round at their leisure, appreciating the views in a safe traffic-free environment and investigating the attractions and displays dotted around the route.

Each year volunteers from the Kingston Cycling Campaign take a group of around 100 people up to Buckingham Palace for the closed road circuit. Will you be coming with us this year? Meet us in the northern end of Kingston Market Place near Ultimate Outdoors ready to leave at 9:30.  Remember it’s free and no booking is needed.

Additional practical information:

Departure from Kingston:  Please be ready to leave the Market Place at 9:30

Return Journey: Our ride leader Roger will advise you where to met up and at what time. The time is likely to be about 3pm. Our group is likely to arrive back in Kingston around 5pm.

The route is about 14 miles up to London, the FreeCycle route itself is about 8 miles and of course the ride home is about 14 miles too. That makes a total of 36 miles. Our pace is very moderate so we think most people who are confident riding will be able to manage this. Children must be accompanied by an adult. You are responsible for your own safety and must adhere to the Highway Code.

What to bring: We’re expecting it to be hot so bring a full water bottle or two, sun protection and a well maintained bike. Bring a lock if you intend to park your bike in London. You are not required to wear a cycling helmet or a hi-visibility jacket; the choice is yours. We have a marshal who will assist you in the event of a problem with your bike, but please bring a spare tube to fit your Bike.

Train travel: We’d love you to join us for the ride up but if you don’t think you can’t manage it you could consider taking your bike up to London on the train and join the FreeCycle event at Waterloo Bridge. If you want to cycle up with us and take the train home, that’s fine too.

Hire bikes: You could travel up to London and do the FreeCycle ride on a TfL Santander Cycle Hire bike

Belated Dieppe report

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a small contigent of the ‘Bedwell Wheelers with the Trophy

Weekend 27th to 29th June. Day 1, for the real diehards, a small group of three, with 1 added lightweight, only going to lunch, gathered at Westcroft leisure centre, Carshalton, set off via Carshalton Park, Carshalton Beeches, Woodmansterne, to Coulsdon to find the planned Coffee stop closed, so back tracking to the Town centre Cafe, then Farthing down, Chaldon, Bletchingley, Outwood, Smallfield, -with a freshly ‘gravelled surface’, proving uncomfortable, so a short detour,- to Turners Hill for lunch, whilst I returned home, the main party continuing via Ardingly, Lindfield, Wivelsfield, Plumpton, Lewis to Newhaven, for an overnight stay.

Day 2, an uneventful ferry crossing, to Dieppe, France, followed by the usual wecome & greetings.

Day 3, the main event, saw a Warm Sunny day, it was good to see the organisers had found a better measuring stick compared to last Years shorter than expected route, followed by the presentations, with the Neville Chanin Trophy for the largest group going to ‘the Bedwell Wheelers’, (comprising of a large group of KCC Cyclists, together with an even bigger group from ‘the Stragglers’), it seems the ‘Souwesters’ (South west London, CTC), where a little shell shocked at being knocked from there perch, ;-).

Reminder !

A reminder to check your Wheel rims occasionally ! I caught this just in time, (those with long memories might remember a Sunday ride, when I didn’t, luckily we’d just passed a Station & even more amazing, the trains were running), don’t leave it to luck.

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)

 

Evening ride to Richmond

Wednesday 12th June. A rather damp Drizzly Evening saw 8 Cyclists leave via Kingston Bridge, Hampton Wick, Teddington, with the Leader suffering a visit from the ‘P fairy’, the first attempt with a ‘Sealant’, didn’t work, Plan B, the spare tube turned out to have the wrong Valve, but a very kind soul, (Thanks Jon), did have the correct tube, so after a relatively swift repair, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, St Margerets, Richmond Bridge, Richmond Hill to the Roebuck for Refreshments, with a few other hardy Cyclists, mainly from Merton & Ealing, return via Richmond Park, to Kingston gate, to Kingston. Total 10 Miles, 2 new faces, thanks to Ralph for back marking. 1 visit from the P fairy.

Map:- www.plotaroute.com/route/852940