Support New Cycle Hangars in Kingston

We regularly campaign for additional cycle parking in the Borough as we know many people struggle to find space to park their bike when they are out and about or choose not to purchase a bike as they have nowhere to keep one securely at home.

We were therefore really pleased to hear that Kingston Council were successful in a bid to Transport for London (TfL) for funding of 20 new Cycle Hangars for the Borough’s residential streets.

Each of these Cycle Hangars allow 6 bikes to be securely stored on the street. Each person who hires one of these spaces receives a key to access the Hangar and can store their bike there for as long as they keep hiring the space. Many Cycle Hangars have already been installed on Kingston’s housing estates and have been successfully used for a number of years.

A Bike Hangar already installed on one of Kingston’s housing estates

This funding from TfL will allow them to be placed on the Borough’s residential streets for the first time. Many people do not have space in their home (including lots of those who live in flat conversions) and this will give them the opportunity to keep a bike securely for the first time.

This consultation is now closed. There is currently a traffic order out for consultation on the introduction of these Cycle Hangars. You can support their introduction by emailing TMO@kingston.gov.uk quoting reference ‘KingMap0041’ and stating your support (as well as any comments you have) by Thursday 18th June 2020.

We will be responding to the consultation strongly supporting their introduction with the following comments:

  • They will allow many residents the opportunity to store a bike securely for the first time supporting an increase in bike ownership in the Borough and therefore helping more people to cycle.
  • Encouraging more cycle use is essential to help the Borough’s air quality problems, reduce congestion and assist the Borough’s residents with becoming more active.
  • The Cycle Hangars are very efficient use of street space as 6 bikes can fit in less than the space needed for a single car.
  • This limited introduction should just be the start and Kingston should be aiming to catch up with other London Boroughs such as Hackney which now have several hundred Cycle Hangars installed.

The provisional list of roads where Cycle Hangars may be installed are:

  • Adelaide Road, Surbiton
  • Anglesea Road, Kingston
  • Berrylands, Surbiton
  • Bond Road, Surbiton
  • Cadogan Road, Surbiton
  • Claremont Road, Surbiton
  • Elm Road, Kingston
  • Grayham Road, New Malden
  • Hampden Road, Kingston
  • Howard Road, Surbiton
  • King Charles Road, Surbiton
  • Lovelace Road, Surbiton
  • Maple Road, Surbiton
  • Oakhill Crescent, Surbiton
  • Princes Road, Kingston
  • St Andrew’s Square, Surbiton
  • St Mark’s HIll, Surbiton
  • Surbiton Hill Park, Surbiton
  • The Avenue, Surbiton
  • Warwick Road, New Malden
  • Windmill Rise, Kingston 

From information published by the Council it seems that there will be an annual charge of £70 for the hire of a space in a Cycle Hanger. This will cover the maintenance and administration of the Hangars and is likely to be payable to Cyclehoop who install and maintain Cycle Hangars across London.

It is yet to be confirmed how applying for a place in the Cycle Hangars will work but keep an eye on our Twitter page and we will publish any information we get as soon as we know more.

If you would like a Cycle Hangar on your street but your road isn’t on the list above, why not contact your Local Councillor or the Sustainable Transport team to ask when Kingston Council will be installing more? Ask your neighbours if they would be interested as well and get them to contact the Council or Councillors too. The more demand that is shown for the Cycle Hangars on your street, the more likely that you will get one!

The Traffic Order for the Cycle Hangars can be found here which has more information on the proposed location of the Cycle Hangars on each road.

We hope that this is just the start of the installation of more Cycle Hangars in the Borough. We will continue to campaign for more Cycle Hangars to be installed as well as more of other types of cycle parking across the Borough.

Mini-Holland update – Part 3 – The World’s Changed

We planned to write about what could happen after Kingston’s Mini-Holland (or ‘Go Cycle’) programme of cycle and walking improvements came to an end. However, since our look in February at how Kingston and Cambridge Road could become safer, the world has changed. The top priority for travelling is now ensuring sufficient space for social distancing. This post looks at what this could mean for Kingston.

The problem

42% of all journeys in Kingston are made by car; 20% by public transport; 4% by bike; 33% by walking and 1% by other means (Source: 2019 Cycling in Kingston Report). However, with Covid-19, public transport capacity is currently significantly reduced. If just a small percentage of journeys switched from public transport to being taken by car, then Kingston’s roads are not going to be able to cope worsening Kingston’s air quality problem. Instead of switching to even more journeys by car, Transport for London are encouraging people to walk or cycle wherever possible. However, despite the Go Cycle (Mini-Holland programme), many of Kingston’s main roads remain unsafe for people cycling as they lack any measures separating people cycling from motor vehicles.

Away from the main roads, many of Kingston’s residential roads remain busy short cuts as they allow cars, vans (and often lorries) to save a minute or so on their journey by avoiding main roads and passing along local streets. With residential roads still clogged with this traffic, it makes it more difficult to keep to social distancing requirements as it can be unsafe to walk in the road (which is needed due to many narrow pavements) whilst these busy roads discourage walking and cycling too.

So what are the answers?

Enabling more walking and cycling would reduce the pressure on Kingston’s roads whilst encouraging healthier and more sustainable travel. There are a number of ways walking and cycling could be supported (as well as assisting with social distancing) and the rest of this post looks at some of the measures that could be used.

  • Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
  • Safe space for cycling
  • 20mph limits
  • School streets
  • Wider pavements
  • Reduced crossing times

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

As already mentioned, many of Kingston’s residential roads remain open to through traffic allowing cars, vans and lorries to take short cuts along residential streets to their destination instead of keeping to main roads.

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods can prevent motor vehicles using residential streets as short cuts by blocking their routes. This can be done very cheaply, for example installing a couple of bollards or, like in Croydon and Lewisham, putting in some planters. Residents, deliveries and emergency services can all still access the streets but through traffic is prevented from using the short cut and has to keep to the main roads.

By keeping short cutting traffic to the main roads, it makes the residential streets quieter and safer. Where there are narrow pavements, it becomes easier for people to walk in the road to maintain a sufficient distance from each other. The ‘blocks’ used to stop short cutting cars allow people cycling to pass through which allows safer cycling routes to be quickly created too as these roads are no longer full of cars and vans cutting through. There are examples already in Kingston that were put in place many years ago like on Springfield Road or Woodbines Avenue.

Kingston Council had already proposed introducing a Low Traffic Neighbourhood near Hook Road as part of their Healthy Streets plans. In addition, Transport for London has recently published a map of areas it thinks in Kingston could be made into Low Traffic Neighbourhoods based on their size.

LTN Kingston

TfL map of possible Low Traffic Neighbourhood locations in Kingston Source

This includes the Hook Road area (already identified by the Council); Hook; parts of Surbiton and New Malden; and North Kingston.

We have asked that the Council accelerates its plans for the area near Hook Road and looks at the other areas in the Borough which would be suitable for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.

Safe space for cycling

To encourage people to travel by bike for their journey, they need to feel safe doing do so. Kingston’s Mini Holland (or Go Cycle) programme has been upgrading many of Kingston’s main roads to provide safe space for cycling separated from motor traffic. However, this programme was due to finish next year with many Borough roads still untouched.

Transport for London did have additional funding available for London Borough’s looking to extend their cycle networks and could have provided additional funding to extend the safer cycle routes to more of Kingston’s roads. TfL were prioritising those listed in its Strategic Cycling Analysis as likely having the biggest impact. For Kingston, this included Richmond Road (Kingston to Ham); Queen’s Road (to Richmond Park); Coombe Lane (Kingston to Raynes Park); Brighton Road & Hook Road (Surbiton to Hook); and Malden Road (New Malden to Worcester Park).

SCA Kingston

Transport for London’s Strategic Cycle Analysis: Source

However, TfL has recently updated this map to include those cycle routes that it will be prioritising in the short term to provide safer space for cycling given the increased urgency there now is. In Kingston these routes include Malden Road (New Malden to Worcester Park) and Coombe Lane (Kingston to Raynes Park), dropping the other routes mentioned in the previous analysis. The map also includes prioritising Kingston Hill/Vale (though the Go Cycle route here is almost complete) and notes a safer cycle route on Kingston/Cambridge Roads is already planned.

SCA Temp Kingston

Transport for London’s Temporary Strategic Cycling Analysis: Source

We ask that the Council works with TfL to prioritise improvements to the Borough’s roads for safer cycling. In particular, TfL’s initial outline of priorities seem to exclude large parts of the Borough including Hook, Chessington and North Kingston. It is also unclear that TfL will be prioritising a safe cycle route for the Borough’s residents into the City. There is an indirect route marked via Raynes Park but this also requires use of Kingston/Cambridge roads where there isn’t (yet) a safe cycle route.

It is also currently unclear whether the current circumstances have implications for the Mini Holland (or Go Cycle) programme that was due to finish next year. Although some schemes are now finished, others still have parts to complete whilst another is awaiting the beginning of construction. Given these Mini Holland routes have been identified and agreed as providing big benefits to people cycling (and walking), it is important that these projects are funded to completion and if possible, accelerated to give quicker benefits.

It’s worth noting that other London Boroughs are moving ahead with plans to install segregated cycle lanes quickly, for example with temporary barriers or ‘wands’ on roads which are already wide enough for cycle lanes. These can be relatively inexpensive and are quick to install. They can also be upgraded to permanent measures at a later date.

Kingston Council needs to work with TfL to accelerate plans for Kingston/Cambridge road improvements and ensure the remaining Mini Holland projects are completed as soon as possible. It should also work to obtain additional funding for further segregated cycle lanes (temporary or permanent) across the rest of the Borough.

IMG_20200504_091242

Malden Road. People cycling are not adequately separated from motor vehicles but there is room to do so

20mph roads

Kingston Council launched a Borough wide 20mph consultation on 6 January 2020. This consultation proposed to introduce a 20mph limit on all roads in Kingston noting that the highest proportion of injuries on the Borough’s roads occurred on main roads and therefore it was important these were included too for the biggest potential benefit.

If it had not been for recent events, we would have been expecting the results of this consultation to have been published and for the Council to be making its first steps towards implementing any plans it had agreed (taking into account comments from the consultation). We still don’t know what the consultation results are. However, we think it is now even more important that these proposals go ahead. Reducing speeds on roads across the Borough will encourage people to walk and cycle whilst making it safer for them to do so.

We await news from the Council on the 20mph consultation though note that our neighbour Richmond has been rolling out 20mph limits to nearly all its roads whilst Merton continues to extend 20mph limits to the majority of its roads too.

Borough wide 20mph limits are an obvious way to reduce traffic speeds to support safer walking and cycling. We therefore hope the Council will announce steps to implementing its proposals shortly.

School streets

School streets are now found across London and Kingston’s first can be found on Mansfield Road (for Lovelace Primary School). These school streets prevent access for cars at drop-off and pick-up times for children (sometimes with an exception for residents for the street). This means that children cannot be dropped off outside the school gates encouraging parents to take their children to school on foot or by bike. By reducing the volume of motor vehicles, it also makes the road outside the school much safer for walking and cycling further encouraging people to use sustainable travel types.

Kingston Council had previously proposed to extend its school streets programme to four more streets including:

  • Oak Hill Terrace
  • South Bank Road
  • Alexandra Road
  • Latchmere Road

We ask that the Council rolls out the required measures to these streets in time for any return to school by children. School streets usually just require a couple of signs; notification to parents and local residents as well as a camera for enforcement. There are many other potential school streets in the Borough so we also ask the Council to look at these as soon as possible too.

Wider pavements

One option to provide more space for social distancing is to provide more pavement space. A number of other London councils have recently introduced temporary barriers to increase pavement space including in Lambeth and Greenwich. In many cases, additional pavement space can be made by taking car parking spaces or excess carriageway space. Examples could include Victoria Road (Surbiton) which is usually a busy shopping street but has narrow pavements in places alongside a number of car parking spaces or along Clarence Street near Wilkos where a narrow shared pavement reduces the ability for people walking and cycling to stay apart whilst the carriageway is 3 lanes (or around 9 metres) wide.

Wilko narrow

Shared pavement outside Wilkos, Kingston narrowed by barriers being used by the store to ‘aid’ social distancing

Kingston Council could also consider suspending any pavement parking in busy areas (particularly where it is unsafe to walk in the road) which would allow people greater space to pass each other on the pavements. One busy area of Kingston with pavement parking is King’s Road near Richmond Park which often has many people walking to and from the park.

Update (22 May 2020 at 7.30pm) – Kingston Council have announced that they will be introducing temporary barriers to provide more space for walking and cycling along certain parts of Clarence Street, Fairfield North, Wheatfield Way and Kingston Bridge in the next ten days. Our map of these roads can be found here.

Update 23 May 2020. To aid social distancing, overnight one vehicle lane in each direction on Kingston Bridge has been dedicated to people cycling

Reduced crossing times

People walking and cycling often have long waits at crossings over roads as traffic lights are usually timed to prioritise motor vehicles. This can lead to long waits as well as large gatherings of people waiting to cross. One easy change would be to reduce the wait for people walking and cycling. This will reduce waiting times, decrease the likelihood of people crossing when it’s unsafe as well as encouraging people to walk and cycle.

Traffic signals in London are the responsibility for Transport for London. However, the Council could work with TfL to prioritise traffic signals which need their timings revised. Just a few of the examples of crossings which currently have long waits include:

Summary

There are a large number of measures Kingston Council could take to assist walking and cycling in the Borough reducing the pressure on the roads and assisting with social distancing. We have passed lots of ideas to the Council and hope that these will be swiftly introduced.

In the meantime, Kingston’s Go Cycle programme to introduce safer walking and cycling routes on main roads has been continuing with the Kingston Hill/Vale route nearing completion and the Ewell Road scheme reaching the junction with Langley Road. We await news on whether the timescales for the remaining Go Cycle programme have changed.

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.

    MVIMG_20180208_132439

    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

Suggested response to Mini Holland Consultations July 2016

Kingston Council have four consultations open until 18 July 2016 on their Go Cycle or Go Programme (previously Mini Holland).

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

The schemes need real improvement. So please complete all four and call for the routes to be completed and cycles to be separated from both motors and pedestrians.

These are our brief suggested responses which please feel free to use as the basis for your own responses. Do complete the “comments” sections – the questions asked are closed and will not allow you to seek what cyclists really want.
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Consultation on mini Holland routes in Surbiton

This is the middle section of the Kingston to Surbiton to Tolworth route via Surbiton Crescent and Avenue Elmers. We are told Kingston Council will consult on these proposals in mid June 2016.

Heading south on Surbiton Crescent a modal filter for bikes and buses, at the junction with Surbiton Road, is to be trialled for 3 or 4 months. The route then continues on Avenue Elmers which will get a quietway treatment with logos and humps and consultation on 20mph (where it is currently 30mph).

Links to Surbiton station are provided by Claremont Road and St Marks Hill. On Claremont Road a two way segregated track is planned on the west side with the footway routed through Claremont Gardens. On St Marks Hill a segregated cycle track will be provided on the uphill but only logos on the downhill.

This looks very promising to us. A modal filter should work and Avenue Elmers is a quiet road. The scheme does need to get riders safely across Maple Road. The consultation does not include the sections of the route along Penrhyn and Surbiton Roads to the north nor on Ewell Road to the south. Plainly unless those sections are dealt with, and the crucial junction of Surbiton Hill Road and Ewell Road, so the route is continuous, then these schemes are of little value. Our understanding is that those sections will be consulted on in due course.

The links to Surbiton station will only be complete if the mini roundabout outside the station is tackled. We are a little concerned that logos on the downhill side of Saint Marks Road are sub standard and provide no safe space for cycling on a busy road. The Claremont Gardens footway should be sufficiently attractive and direct to ensure pedestrians use it not the cycle track.

We look forward to details of the consultation in June.