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.
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.
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.
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.