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 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.
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.
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.
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;
Please keep signing the petition, every signature helps make the route more likely to happen;
The Co-ordinators of the Kingston and Merton Cycling Campaigns have jointly written to the local media in support of this route;
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.
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.