2018 is turning into a busy year for Kingston’s Mini-Holland (Go Cycle) schemes. Since our last update in April:
- Main works have finished on the Surbiton links and the Kingston Vale ‘quietway’;
- construction has continued at Kingston Station and Wheatfield Way; and
- works have started at Kingston High Street.
Kingston High Street – construction has only recently started (in May) but already a huge amount of progress has been made as the council plan to finish main carriageway works in time for Ride London on 29 July 2018. As we’ve said before, this scheme is a natural extension of the very successful Portsmouth Road scheme and will allow cyclists to be segregated along Kingston High Street until just North of the roundabout with Kingston Hall Road. In the future, we would like the council to consider reducing motor traffic on the North part of Kingston High Street – the recent High Street works showed what a pleasant route this could be for pedestrians and those on bikes if motor traffic was restricted here.
Kingston High Street works
Kingston Station – construction has made swifter progress recently and the extended paving outside the station is almost complete. Works have now moved across to Richmond Road (outside Tesco Express) to add new carriageway paving. Although we are pleased to see that the motor traffic lanes have been narrowed and the station plaza is now much larger, we are still disappointed that so much of the mini-Holland budget (as well as so much of the Council’s efforts) have been spent on public realm enhancements whilst not making substantial improvements to walking or cycling directly outside the station.
As the Kingston Station scheme continues, we look forward to the Richmond Road works being completed as this will include relaying the 2-way cycleway with a new surface under the railway bridge. We also look forward to the (hopefully imminent) introduction of the 20 mph limit on the one-way system outside the station which was part of the original consultation and could help to calm motor traffic through the area.
In other changes in the area, the shared pedestrian/cycle bridge over the one-way system at the junction of Wood Street and Kingsgate Road was successfully removed in April ready for a much wider bridge to be installed. We also understand that the design and planning of the 250 space cycle hub at the station continues to progress.
Wheatfield Way – construction has continued from College Roundabout and is almost complete up to the junction with Brook Street. Work now continues from Brook Street towards the Orchard Road junction.
New 3m wide 2-way cycle track being installed on Wheatfield Way
As above, Kingston High Street works are being completed quickly and should be finished over the next few months. Wheatfield Way works will continue over the course of the year, as will the Kingston Station works. The next two schemes we are looking forward to starting are the Kingston Vale (main route) and the New Malden to Raynes Park (mainly) off-road route. We understand that the Kingston Vale design is being finalised and construction could start later this year. On New Malden to Raynes Park, planning permission has now been granted by both Kingston and Merton councils so subject to Thames Water approvals, meeting the planning conditions and any final Transport for London approvals required, construction could also start later this year.
If you have been travelling around the borough recently, particularly around Kingston town centre, it will have been difficult for you to miss some of the recent progress on the mini-Holland (Go Cycle) schemes. We are pleased to see that 4 different schemes are currently in construction which means Kingston is catching up on some of the backlog of schemes that have been approved by the Council.
2017: a recap – what mini-Holland progress was made?
- The new segregated cycle track heading up St Marks Hill in Surbiton opened.
- A number of Mini-Holland schemes were approved by Kingston Council’s Resident’s Committee (including Kingston Vale; Penrhyn Road; New Malden to Raynes Park; and Kingston High Street)
- Despite the Portsmouth Road scheme not yet fully linking all the way into Kingston town centre, Will Norman (the Mayor of London’s cycling and walking commissioner) recently announced that cycling has already doubled during the week (up 76-104%) and is up 59% on weekdays 7am-7pm.
- Work commenced around Kingston Station.
- Wheatfield Way – The first part of this scheme was partially constructed between the Rotunda and Wilko’s. The 2-way cycle path built is 3 metres wide and, although not quite as wide as some of the new Cycle Superhighways in central London, it is the same width as much of the successful Portsmouth Road scheme.
2018: what’s happened so far and what might happen in the rest of 2018?
- Kingston Station – the construction around the station has been continuing and should be mostly complete by the end of 2018. Work will also hopefully start on the new cycle hub at the station.
- Wheatfield Way – Work has already started on the rest of the route and we are hopeful this will be complete during 2018 which will finish the link between Kingston Station and College Roundabout. This will be open up a new North-South cycle route through Kingston’s centre with the route fully segregated from the road.
New segregated cycle track on Claremont Road, Surbiton
- Surbiton links – work has been undertaken early this year to finish some of the Surbiton Mini-Holland links including on Claremont Road (see photo) and Surbiton Crescent. There is now work at the junction with Maple Road and Claremont Road to join the links together (including onto Avenue Elmers).
- New Malden to Raynes Park – this received approval from the Residents Committee in November 2017 so, subject to Transport for London funding, we hope that work will start on this completely new segregated cycle and walking link in 2018. Kingston Cycle Campaign have campaigned strongly for this route – further information about our campaign can be found here: Raynes Park to New Malden petition.
- Kingston Vale – this route will link the centre of Kingston through to the Robin Hood Junction on the A3, intersecting with some key destinations along the route including a number of shops; Kingston Hospital; Richmond Park and Kingston University’s Kingston Hill campus. This scheme was approved by the Residents Committee in June 2017 and work has started this year on Gordon Road and Canbury Park Road. We hope to see some spades in the ground on the main part of the route later in 2018 (again, this is likely to be subject to TfL funding!).
What will Kingston Cycling Campaign be doing in 2018 for Mini-Holland?
- We hope to be able to continue to work with the council on the design of schemes to ensure that as many issues as possible are spotted and fixed before construction starts!
- We will be keeping an eye on the implementation of schemes and make sure that they improve safety for all cyclists and encourage people to get on their bike.
- We will continue to respond to any further consultations on Mini-Holland and will encourage the Council to push Transport for London to release the necessary money to implement the schemes already approved as soon as possible.
You can find more details about all the schemes from Kingston Council’s website by following the links above or going to: https://www.kingston.gov.uk/go
Kingston Council have four consultations open until 18 July 2016 on their Go Cycle or Go Programme (previously Mini Holland).
The schemes need real improvement. So please complete all four and call for the routes to be completed and cycles to be separated from both motors and pedestrians.
These are our brief suggested responses which please feel free to use as the basis for your own responses. Do complete the “comments” sections – the questions asked are closed and will not allow you to seek what cyclists really want.
Kingston Council have four Consultations open until 18 July 2016 on proposed Go Cycle or Go Programme (their branding for Mini Holland) cycle routes.
- Kingston Station
- Wheatfield Way
- Kingston to Surbiton
- Fountain Roundabout, New Malden (below)
You can access the consultations here;
Please complete all four and call for fully protected space for cycling separate from both motor traffic and pedestrians. Our initial view is that the proposals are disappointing. Mini Holland and the Mayor’s Cycling Vision for London were intended to be transformational. Kingston’s proposals have a lot of space shared by pedestrians and cyclists, creating conflict for both. Junctions which are challenging for inexperienced cyclists are sometimes ignored.
There are some promising features such as segregated cycle tracks, but the schemes need real improvement if they are to work. We managed to get the Council to improve Portsmouth Road so please let’s get these schemes improved by completing the consultation.
Our detailed discussion of all 4 schemes is publicly available on Cyclescape.org;
Please feel free to contribute.
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.
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.
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.
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;
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.
KCC booklet – Get Cycling
At the Kingston Bike Festival on Sunday 10th August the Kingston Cycling Campaign (KCC) launched its new guide to traffic-free and quiet cycle routes around Kingston which we’ve called ‘Get Cycling’.
There are 6 routes described in words and shown on full colour maps, with lovely design carried out by local designer Alison Groom. The booklet is 20 pages long and as well as the six rides it shows a handy guide to crossing Kingston town centre from all directions.
Members of KCC contributed to researching the routes, checking them, writing text descriptions, mapping, taking photographs and co-ordinating the design and printing.
KCC had 1,000 ‘Get Cycling’ guides printed. They are currently available for free from all the borough’s libraries and we hope that bike shops will each have a stock of them soon.
The cost of designing and printing the guide was paid largely by an Environment Grant from Kingston Council supplemented by the group’s own income.
Kingston Cycling Campaigners promote a new guide of six easy rides to places around Kingston. Left To right: Nick Davies, Jon Fray, John Legate and Rob James.