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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Mini-Holland (Go Cycle) – how’s it going?

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.

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    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

Mini Holland Consultations

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)

Fountain Roundabout proposed layout

You can access the consultations here;

http://consult.kingston.gov.uk/portal/planning/go/consultations_summer_2016/

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;

http://kingston.cyclescape.org/

Please feel free to contribute.

 

Bike ride with Mini Holland Committee Chair

KCC discuss Fountains Roundabout with Cllr Terry Paton

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.
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Council debates New Malden to Raynes Park Route

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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.
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Petition to support the New Malden to Raynes Park Mini Holland cycling and walking route

 

A Mini Holland proposal

A Mini Holland proposal

Our petition with over 1600 signatures, both paper and electronic, in favour of the proposed New Malden to Raynes Park Mini Holland Cycling and walking route is to be debated at the Council meeting on Tuesday 13 October at 7.30pm, members of the public can attend;

http://moderngov.kingston.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=137&MId=7870

Please keep signing the petition, every signature helps make the route more likely to happen;

http://bit.ly/new-malden-greenway

The Co-ordinators of the Kingston and Merton Cycling Campaigns have jointly written to the local media in support of this route;

https://drive.google.com/a/dmzone.co.uk/file/d/0ByG6pIbWG27yTDZWWWlZZ0FKZzA/view

Background

The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames has a once in a generation opportunity to improve its facilities for walking and cycling and for environment and community friendly travel for all its residents and visitors. Last year the Borough was awarded more than £30million from the Mayor’s Outer London Cycling Fund (the Mini Holland Programme) and has christened the project “GoCycle”. The idea is to promote active travel for all, particularly children, the old and women.

https://tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/improvements-and-projects/cycle-mini-hollands

http://www.kingston.gov.uk/info/200355/go_cycle/1118/about_the_go_cycle_routes_and_projects/3
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New Malden – Raynes Park link

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Illustration of New Malden end of route

The next Mini Holland Project in Kingston is the New Malden to Raynes Park greenway on a Thames Water Main and Sewer alongside the railway under the A3 dual carriageway.

This was taken to the next stage at the Council committee on Thursday 25 June. Initially Thames Water appeared to want £1m plus apparently to check this link won’t damage any of their pipes ! Following a meeting with TfL and RBK we understand Thames Water accept they can’t use the greenway as an opportunity to replace their infrastructure at the taxpayer’s expense.
There are also local protesters who do not want the route built. We look forward to engaging with them during the consultation in due course.