Sunday 5th June, a bright Sunny day saw 26 Cyclists leave via Portsmouth Rd, Giggshill, Hinchley wood, Claygate, Fairoak lane, Oxshott, Fairmile, Stoke D’ Abernon, Downside, Martyr’s green, Ockham, Guishill to Send Marsh for lunch at a very welcoming ‘Saddlers arms’, afterwards a slipped chain caused a small delay, before passing Newark Priory, Pyrford, West Byfleet, New Haw, Row town, Addlestone, Weybridge, Thames towpath, to Walton bridge for Tea & BP at ‘Gino’s’, then Walton on Thames, Walton park, Esher, Weston green, Giggshill green, & Portsmouth Rd, including the ‘almost completed’ section of segregated track to Kingston. Total 34 Miles 4 new faces.
Its an expensive play area for the mamils of Kingston they said.
No, everyday people with bikes will use it, we said.
Its not finished but people are using the Portsmouth Rd cycle lane. Who would have thought!
Turns out the the most populous mamil is homo sapiens.
Portsmouth Rd is being built in 3 phases. Phase 1 (Palace Rd to north of Brighton Rd) has been constructed but we understand can not be officially opened until certain signs which are on order have been installed. Phase 2 High St to Palace Rd) is under construction now (May 2016) and will be completed this Summer. The last Phase 3 (south past Brighton Rd) should, we’re told, be built by the end of 2016.
We look forward to all types of rider enjoying the completed, almost 1 mile long, fully protected cycleway.
Congratulations to the Royal Borough of Kingston for being nominated for Portsmouth Rd in the best Borough Infrastructure Scheme category at the London Cycling Awards;
Sadly runners up this year to Camden’s worthy winner in Tavistock Place but we’re in august company with joint second Waltham Forest’s Lea Bridge Rd. Let’s make Portsmouth Road the benchmark, improve and win next year RBK !
At last some public action on Kingston Council’s “Go Cycle” or Mini Holland programme ! On Thursday 4 February our representatives attended a “key stakeholder” consultation. Draft plans for around half the projects were on show. Some at an advanced stage, others very much an outline.
First the good news; Portsmouth Rd construction works are underway (photos above and below). The southern section is scheduled for completion, although not necessarily opening, this summer. The plans for the northern section look good; continuing the fully protected bi directional cycle tracks on the river side. There are some attractive public realm proposals for access to Queens Promenade for pedestrians. As so often cycling funds are being diverted for other purposes but if it enables the scheme to proceed so be it!
There is a potentially excellent proposal for a fully segregated cycle route from Kingston station to College roundabout. This comprises bi directional cycle tracks on the east side of Wheatfield Way providing a really safe route for families and children to navigate the intimidating race track which is the Kingston one way system.
On 25 June Kingston Councillors unanimously voted to approve the revised proposals for Portsmouth Road. Work will now start on the detailed design stage and construction schedule. The current programme is for construction work to start winter 2015 and be completed Summer 2016. We hope that ambitious timescale can now be adhered to.
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.
· The Kingston Cycling Campaign strongly objects to the design of the scheme set out in the consultation documents.
· This is Kingston’s first Mini Holland scheme; it is important to set a satisfactory standard and precedent for later schemes.
· We believe that full segregation, (protected space), can be provided along the length of this route. Connections with facilities to the north and the south need to be designed at the same time to ensure continuity.
· In the bid document it was stated this road was to get a fully segregated two way cycle track for about half its length and the remainder was to be semi- segregated. Around 70 to 80% of the carriageway length is proposed to have no protected space for cycling, rather there will be Mandatory Cycle Lanes (“white paint” as people call it).
· The proposal may be of some limited value to existing cyclists but will do very little to encourage non-cyclists, or the hesitant, to use bicycles; which is the objective of the mini-Holland programme.
· It is not the dramatic or step change in cycling provision which the mini- Holland schemes are intended to achieve, as in the Mayor’s Cycling Vision for London.
· We met with Councillors from the Administration and without giving any promises they said they would speak to Officers about increasing segregated provision. We welcome this.
· We do not want this fantastic opportunity for our Borough to be wasted and we are confident that if aspects of the scheme are redesigned to incorporate protected space along the entirety of this short route it will prove an outstanding achievement for Kingston.
Our next meeting is on Tuesday 10 March 2015 at 8pm at the Richard Mayo Centre, Eden Street, Kingston on Thames KT1 1HZ http://mayocentre.org.uk/. We hope to discuss the revised Portsmouth Road Mini Holland proposals and feedback from the Sustrans workshop on the New Malden to Raynes Park Mini Holland Link. If you cycle, or would like to cycle, in Kingston please join us.
On Thursday 22 January 3 campaigners from Kingston Cycling Campaign met with Officers from the Royal Borough of Kingston to discuss their Mini Holland proposals for Portsmouth Road. We were accompanied by the Campaigns Officer from the London Cycling Campaign http://lcc.org.uk/. We saw detailed plans of the proposals for the first time. These were frankly disappointing. The plans confirmed our fears that this is largely a “white paint” scheme with limited protected space for cycling. The areas of segregation are small; perhaps the southerly, heading away from Brighton Rd, 20% of the Northern bound carriageway, which is fully segregated. Additionally semi segregation by means of armadillos is proposed towards the north end, near Kingston, on both sides of the road but only for a short distance, particularly on the southbound. In all, so far as one can tell, only about 20% of the scheme has any protection at all. We are awaiting copies of the plans so we can comment further. There are some nice landscaping features and 2 raised pedestrian crossings but the cycling provision is certainly not to Dutch standards. We made the point that proposals such as these will do little or nothing to encourage cycling among those who don’t already ride. Schoolchildren will not want to ride along Portsmouth Road protected by white lines.
On Monday 26 January another 3 campaigners met with 2 Councillors from the Conservative administration of RBK. Cllr Richard Hudson who chairs the Infrastructure, Projects and Contracts Committee, responsible for the Mini Holland Projects, and Cllr Andrea Craig, Lead member for Children and Young People, who is also a keen cyclist. This was a positive meeting. All wanted the Mini Holland schemes to be realised and to succeed. All, whilst recognising we may not agree on everything, want a degree of consensus to be achieved. All wanted schemes to be designed, so far as possible, for new or occasional cyclists, particularly children. All recognised schemes should benefit the whole community. We discussed various forms of physical protection for cycling such as armadillos and stepped kerbs. On the face of it there is room on Portsmouth Road for more protected space for cycling than is in the current proposal. Without making any promises Cllr Hudson said he would speak to Officers following the consultation to see if the degree of segregation can be improved.
Please do complete the consultation; link below. Everyone we speak to wants protected space unless you say so you can hardly blame Councillors or Officers for being unaware of that;
The public consultation on the proposed Portsmouth Rd mini-holland scheme opens today. You can find all the details on what is proposed and how you can make your voice heard:
You can also read the Portsmouth Road Full Proposal Document (PDF)
If we don’t let the Council know what we think, we can’t complain about what they give us. Rich, one of our supporters, has produced a template to respond to the consultation:
Please feel free to adopt it or adapt it.
The Council’s proposals will not prevent this:
We want protected space infrastructure so truck drivers can not endanger their fellow citizens in this way and 8 to 80 cyclists will use this route.