Mini-Holland (Go Cycle) – 2019 plans

Following our look at what was delivered in 2018 on Kingston’s Mini-Holland or ‘GoCycle’ schemes, lots more should be happening in 2019.

Penrhyn Road

This will be the first new scheme to kick off in 2019 with preparation work due to start later this month. A 2-way cycle track will be added along most of Penrhyn Road and at one end will link to the new Wheatfield Way scheme and at the other to Surbiton Crescent joining up to the new Surbiton cycle ‘links’. When all the Mini-Holland projects are complete, Penrhyn Road will be the middle section of a route which will stretch from Tolworth to Kingston station on upgraded and much safer roads than before work started.

IMG_20181217_145358-COLLAGE.jpg

Current state of Penrhyn Road. A 2-way cycle track will be added on the university side of the road during 2019.

New Malden to Raynes Park

This new cycle and pedestrian link should be completed in 2019 having started in Summer 2018.

This new link will join Raynes Park and New Malden and will be completely off road for the part in Kingston borough. With ‘The Cut’ linking directly to this new route by crossing Coombe Road, it will effectively be a c.2km off-road route from Elm Road in New Malden through to Taunton Avenue in Raynes Park providing a safer and attractive route for both cyclists and pedestrians.

Wheatfield Way

Construction work will soon commence on one of the final stages of the Wheatfield Way scheme between Orchard Road and Brook Street junctions. However, one of the first parts of the Wheatfield Way scheme (near the Rotunda and Pryzm nightclub) has still not been finished despite being constructed in late 2017! A crossing over a delivery access point still needs to be completed and a street light and sign have been left in the middle of the cycle track – we have asked for this to be sorted soon.

Despite our concerns about the amount of shared use areas on this route, it will still provide a completely new North-South cycle link through Kingston when it is completed in 2019.

IMG_20190113_112528-COLLAGE.jpg

Unfinished works near the Rotunda on the Wheatfield Way scheme. A crossing needs completing and a lamppost (and bin) needs moving!

Surbiton to Tolworth

The Surbiton to Tolworth scheme along Ewell Road was approved by Kingston Council’s Environment and Sustainable Transport committee towards the end of 2018. This will mean that work on detailed design can start in early 2019 and, subject to TfL funding, could potentially start construction in the second half of the year.

Kingston Station

Now the main works have been finished directly in front of the station (although some snagging works still remain…), the focus of construction on this project is moving to the ‘green link’ which will link the station plaza with the Skerne Road underpass by going over a new bridge that should be installed during the Spring. This replaces the narrow shared use bridge which was removed during 2018. Further works should provide easier cycle access from the station to Kingston Bridge with the crossing over Horse Fair near TK Maxx and John Lewis due to be replaced too.

A cycle hub with lots of space for cycle parking is due to be built next to Kingston Station but the timings for construction are currently unconfirmed.

Kingston Vale

Work will continue in 2019 on the Kingston Vale scheme having started in 2018 near Derwent Avenue with construction progressing on one side of the road (up the hill) towards Kingston Hill university campus. The one way segregated track up the hill to the university campus is now basically complete with works now continuing past the campus itself. Works are not due to finish on the Kingston Hill route until 2020 with some signalised junctions closer to Kingston town centre likely to take some time to reconstruct.

Works have also taken place to renew two crossings at Cotswold Close and Magnolia Close. These appear to be attempts at ‘continuous crossings‘ but we have some concerns with what has been constructed and will be speaking to the Council about the details of what has been built.

Very recent markings added to the pavement near Manorgate Roundabout suggest that construction work may soon reach here before too long where parallel pedestrian and cycling crossings will be added to each of the five arms of the junction.

IMG_20180731_184042.jpg

Five different roads converging at Manorgate roundabout. Parallel cycle and pedestrian crossings will be added on each arm of the junction as part of the Kingston Vale scheme.

Summary

A new cycle network is finally starting to emerge in Kingston and 2019 will be the first time that a number of different Mini-Holland schemes join up. However, the new network will only be successful if it is completed to a high standard. Kingston Cycling Campaign will therefore continue to work with and ask the Council to deliver schemes to the highest possible standard ensuring the safety and usability of these routes for those on bikes and also those walking is prioritised.

As always, let us know if you have any comments about any of the schemes.

Links to further information from Kingston council:

Advertisements

Bread pudding ride to Putn… erm, Wandsworth

Lower Morden Garden centre

Sunday 6th January. A largely overcast day, with a couple of brighter spells saw 19 Cyclists ready for the first ride of 2019, leave via Kingston Bridge, Bushy Park, Clapperstile gate, ( with 1 extra catching the tail at the 2nd attempt), Teddington, Teddington Footbridge, Thames Towpath, Petersham, Petersham gate, Richmond Park, Sheen gate, Palewell, Barnes, Towpath again, to Putney, – where the chosen lunch stop was already stuffed with Football supporters prior to the Fulham/ Oldham game-, with a small group electing to have lunch at a Cafe, the main party continued to Wandsworth, with option 2, not having food, -alas 1 person realising they had left a Pannier at the 1st stop-, option 3 ‘the Garrett Tavern’, more than satisfying our needs, with all the lost sheep back with the group, the Wandle trail, Earlsfield, more Wandle path, South Wimbledon, Merton park, Lower Morden to the Wyevale Garden centre for Tea & Bread Pudding, Morden Cemetery, Joseph Hood Park, Motspur park, New Malden, Berrylands, to Kingston. Total 27 Miles, 1 new face, thanks to Amy for back marking & others for corner marking, thanks to John for the BP.

Map:-http://www.plotaroute.com/route/741349

Mini-Holland (Go Cycle) – a 2018 recap

As we reach the end of 2018, what has Kingston achieved on its Mini-Holland schemes this year?

New Malden to Raynes Park

This new cycle and pedestrian link (which will be fully off-road for the part in Kingston borough) started construction in the Summer and good progress seems to have been made with the sub-base being prepared for the separate cycle and pedestrian paths. When complete it will be a completely new link from Raynes Park through to New Malden station and will connect with The Cut in New Malden taking you all the way from Raynes Park to Elm Road, New Malden.

Wheatfield Way

Work has been undertaken on different parts of Wheatfield Way this year with the junctions at Brook Street, Fairfield North and Clarence Street now all practically complete. We have been disappointed with the shared use designs at the junctions but have worked with the Council to get improvements made. For example, the Clarence Street junction now has a cycle ramp for cyclists to access the shared use island rather than using a dropped kerb that would often have been blocked by buses.

Kingston High Street

Kingston High Street proved what can be done in a short period of time. Following the public consultation in Summer 2017, construction on Kingston High Street started in mid May 2018 with the main segregated track being completed in early July 2018. This is the quickest scheme that has gone from ‘consultation to finished’ so far in Kingston and, although it was a relatively short scheme, shows what can be done in a short period of time.

1-COLLAGE

Kingston High Street now & before the Mini-Holland works took place

Kingston Station

The plaza works continued and have now finished with some small ‘snagging’ points to pick up. Although we would have preferred pedestrians and cyclists to have been segregated from each other, the plaza is now substantially larger than before the scheme was started with room taken from narrowing the carriageway. There is also now a wider cycle and pedestrian crossing from Kingston Station to Fife Road and the previously bumpy 2-way cycle track on Richmond Road underneath the railway bridge has been resurfaced too.

Surbiton ‘links’

A segregated 2 way track was built on Claremont Road between The Crescent and the Maple Road junction with the Maple Road junction also being upgraded to have all 4 arms of the junction operating as simultaneous shared pedestrian/cycle (‘toucan’) crossings. The remaining Surbiton links have also now been completed. In the future the Tolworth to Surbiton scheme will join the Surbiton ‘links’ at St Marks Hill and the Kingston to Surbiton scheme will join at Surbiton Crescent. In the future, we would like the Council to improve the link between the Crescent and St Marks Hill as currently this is an unfortunate gap in the Go Cycle schemes.

Kingston Vale

Main construction works on the Kingston to Kingston Vale route started in October 2018 in the Kingston Vale area. The first stretch of one-way segregated track from Derwent Avenue towards the Kingston Vale University campus is now almost complete.

IMG_20180930_165159-COLLAGE

Kingston Vale – intermittent advisory cycle lane (before) and new segregated track currently in construction (now)

Summary

A lot has been done in 2018 with a highlight being the short, but high quality, Kingston High Street scheme starting and completing in just two and a half months. Other works have been mainly focussed in Kingston town centre on ‘landmark’ schemes such as Kingston Station and Wheatfield Way. However, the Kingston Vale and New Malden to Raynes Park link schemes are looking very promising as they get into full swing. Early data from Portsmouth Road has shown that high quality, separated, infrastructure can lead to large increases in cycling in Kingston so we look forward to this spreading to other parts of the Borough as other high quality schemes complete.

Our next update will share what we are expecting in 2019. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts!

Links to further information:

 

Midweek ride to Ashtead

Wednesday 12th December. A cool day, with Sunny spells, saw 9 Cyclists, leave via the Portsmouth Rd track, Hinchley wood, Littleworth, Esher, Fairmile, Cobham, Downside, Bookham Common, Fetcham, Leatherhead, to Ashtead for lunch at the ‘Woodman’, Ashtead Park, Epsom, West Ewell, Chessington, to Long Ditton for Tea & Refreshments at Squires Garden centre, Surbiton, to Kingston, Total 28 Miles, thanks to Ellie for back marking duties.

Map:- http://www.bikemap.net/en/r/4716052

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.

img_20180721_144338-e1539539025656.jpg

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.

IMG_20180825_150012

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.

 

RideLondon FreeCycle

Saturday’s 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 28th July 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. (insert smiley face)

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 between 5 and 6pm.

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.

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

The End