King’s Road area consultation – improvements needed…

This consultation closed on 8 March 2019

Kingston Council recently published a consultation for changes to King’s Road; New Road and Tudor Road in North Kingston close to the Kingston gate access into Richmond Park. This consultation follows concerns raised over a number of years about the amount of through traffic using these roads and the number of collisions which have resulted in a large number of injuries to people walking and people on bikes.

Despite Kingston Cycling Campaign agreeing with the Council and local residents that there is a significant issue of too much through motor traffic using these roads, we do not support the Council’s plans to deal with this issue.

The Council’s plans

The Council plan to change King’s Road; New Road and Tudor Road so that they are one-way for motor vehicles rather than two way. This would be done through changes to signage and paint markings on the roads and minor changes to the kerbs on King’s Road. Cycling will continue to be allowed in both directions on these roads. You can access a plan of the proposed changes here.

By changing the roads to one-way for motor vehicles, the Council believes that motor vehicles will be better managed on the affected roads, reducing congestion and the number of times vehicles get ‘stuck’ trying to pass each other on these narrow roads. We agree that the proposals will improve the flow of motor vehicles using these roads but that this could increase the number of vehicles using these roads as the traffic becomes better managed. It is also acknowledged that changing King’s Road to one-way is likely to have a significant impact on surrounding roads with traffic displaced onto New Road and Tudor Road. Alexandra Road (with two schools) may also see more traffic too. Furthermore, the Council believes that traffic speeds could increase as a result of these proposals.

The Council intends to introduce further traffic calming in an attempt to mitigate the expected increased speeds but the work proposed in the consultation is limited to replacing speed cushions on King’s Road with speed humps and adding speed cushions to New Road (no changes to implement speed reductions appear to be planned to Tudor Road). However, with cars increasing in size and an increase in the number of 4x4s on the road, speed cushions and humps are increasingly ineffective.

Overall, we do not believe that potentially increasing the number of motor vehicles using these roads and their speeds will lead to safer roads nor will it encourage more people to walk or travel by bike.

Our thoughts

We will be objecting to these plans and will instead ask the Council to consider bolder plans to reduce through traffic through the area. Other areas in London (including Waltham Forest) have stopped vehicles using residential roads as through roads for motor traffic using simple (and relatively cheap) interventions such as adding bollards to the end of a road. This still allows residents to access their property but stops through traffic from using the road by keeping through traffic to main roads which are designed to deal with larger volumes of traffic.

Recent changes in Waltham Forest have shown that reducing through traffic using residential roads can decrease motor traffic across the wider area as people stop taking unnecessary journeys by motor vehicle and switch to sustainable methods of transport such as walking and cycling.

Stopping through traffic would return the road to people and make it a better neighbourhood for local residents and people travelling through the area by foot or on a bike. In the Netherlands, these types of streets are so common they have a special name “Woonerf” but there are examples in Kingston too. For example, Chatham Road and Bonner Hill Road (not very far away from King’s Road) both have measures which stop through traffic.

Although closing a road to through traffic can seem a big step, it is relatively easy to trial changes through temporary blocks which would allow the Council to assess if the scheme works or if it needs to be changed.

Our response

As above, we will be objecting to these proposals including the following key points:

  • The Council’s proposals are unlikely to reduce through traffic and, as the Council notes, could increase traffic speeds. This therefore does not do enough to protect the safety of vulnerable road users on these roads.
  • The Council should be bolder in its proposals and look at ways to reduce through traffic using these and surrounding roads (including Alexandra, Liverpool and Crescent Roads) to keep traffic to the main roads such as Kingston Hill.
  • If the one-way proposals were to go ahead, we are concerned that the contraflow cycle lane on King’s Road is in the ‘dooring’ zone creating a risk to cyclists. In addition, we would like clearer paint markings on New and Tudor Road to show people in motor vehicles that contraflow cycling is permitted on these roads. We would also like further traffic calming to be considered for Tudor Road (particularly as it is part of a signed cycle route).
  • Notwithstanding our objections to the scheme as a whole, we are pleased that cycling has at least been considered in the one-way proposals and that contraflow cycling is to be permitted on all affected roads. In addition, we strongly support the proposals to extend 20mph limits onto Queen’s, Liverpool and Crescent Road

You can also ask the Council to improve this scheme with your thoughts here. The consultation deadline is 8 March 2019.

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King’s Road. A narrow two-way road with proposals to change it to one-way for motor traffic with contraflow cycling allowed.

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Reporting dangerous driving

There is a glut of internet items about how some cyclists feel pushed into retaliating in the face of dangerous, reckless or simply poor driving.  Kingston Cycling Campaign does not condone this response.

When I reported an aggressive driver a few weeks ago the duty officer confirmed that you should always report  such incidents, preferably with the vehicle number as well as the location and a description. Chances are, this information could be useful in other investigations too. The Crown Prosecution Service has a fact sheet outlining their definitions of dangerous and reckless driving: www.cps.gov.uk/news/fact_sheets/dangerous_driving/

They say:

A person drives dangerously when:

  • the way they drive falls far below the minimum acceptable standard expected of a competent and careful driver; and
  • it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous

Clearly this includes:

  • driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • street racing
  • a  vehicle with a dangerous fault or an unsafe load
  • driving into street furniture
  • driving the wrong way on a fast road (motorway or dual carriageway)
  • mounting a heavily-pedestrianised pavement

For non-emergencies (such as reporting a reckless driver from the comfort of your sofa) call 101. However if you feel intimated enough to wish to remain anonymous you can report dangerous driving on RoadSafe London: content.met.police.uk/Site/roadsafelondon/

London Cycling Campaign also offer advice on reporting incidents with taxis, buses and lorries.

In the week that Christopher Gard was jailed for texting while driving at 65 mph and killing a cyclist taking part in an organised event, there was a discussion on ‘Death by Dangerous Driving’ on the Today programme on Radio 4 (now on iPlayer). Gard had been convicted of using his phone at least six times prior to this.

See also:

Prudential RideLondonFreeCycle – check your bike!

repairing a puncture on the rideJoin our feeder ride tomorrow – bring the family along! And please make sure you’ve checked all the bikes in your party – see lcc.org.uk/articles/checking-your-bike if you need a quick refresher.

As with all our rides, remember to bring a spare inner tube too (there’s more useful  information about our rides at kingstoncyclecampaign.wordpress.com/rides-2/rides-calendar/#on-the-ride)

Signing for Cycling – Surbiton Station

Surbiton Station

Surbiton Station

Kingston Cycling Campaign was at Surbiton Station’s bike stands this evening (18 April).

Campaigners were talking to commuters about the need to encourage more journeys to be made by bike, and how to encourage this by creating safe space for cycling  and tackling lorry danger.

They were also gathering signatures for Sign for Cycling and handing out free saddle covers and “ass saver” mudguards.

If you want to sign the petition please go to signforcycling.org

 

Sign for Cycling

SignForCycling Flyering Events Cover PhotoLondon elects its next Mayor on 5 May. London Cycling Campaign has launched its biggest campaign yet, Sign for Cycling.

London stands at a crossroads; population levels are rising, our streets and public transport are getting busier, and our air is dangerously polluted. The only way forward is to get more people out of motor vehicles and into cycling and walking. The only ways to do this are to create safe space for cycling, to encourage more journeys to be made by bike, and to tackle lorry danger.

You can tell the Mayoral candidates that you want a city that really is healthier, greener and easier to get about. Imagine a better London! Please sign the petition today at signforcycling.org

Get involved locally

You can get involved in helping to spread the message in Kingston-upon-Thames, for example by helping us hand out leaflets, tag bikes, or collect petition signatures. Find out more about supporting the campaign at signforcycling.org/#getInvolved or contact us.

Driving and using a mobile phone

The Department for Transport is running a survey on proposed changes to penalties for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving. Some have pointed out that there is no explicit mention of law enforcement, only points and penalties, and that it doesn’t seem to apply to sat nav ‘adjustments’ while driving. However there are free text boxes for those who want to offer their thoughts.

The online survey is at http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/83EV0

Alternatively, you are welcome to email them directly at mobilephone.consultation@dft.gsi.gov.uk or you can write a letter to:

Mobile Phone FPN Consultation
Department for Transport
RULIS Division, Zone 3/29
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
London, SW1P 4DR

 

20’s Plenty in Queen’s Road, Kingston Hill

Queens Road Kingston Dec-12 (18) copy

Queen’s Road is familiar to anyone who has visited Richmond Park through Kingston Gate. It is a road heavily used by people on bikes going to and from Richmond Park and the footways are busy with people going to the park on foot too. Whereas the speed limit in Richmond Park is 20mph, the limit on Queen’s Road is still 30. There is also a substantial amount of traffic going to and through Richmond Park. During peak hours drivers avoid the Norbiton roundabout by cutting along Queen’s Road and King’s Road.

Queen’s Road is a residential road except for the Albert Pub at the Kingston Hill end and Park Hill School and Nursery and St Paul’s Church. The roads leading off Park Road to the west, downhill, sensibly have a 20 mph speed limit. One of these roads, Alexandra Road has St Paul’s Junior School and St Alexandra’s Infant School and of course lots of children going to school walk along and cross Queen’s Road. Recently the views of some councillors in Kingston has been that there should be 20 mph speed limits outside schools.
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