The third route from Kingston in the Go Cycle Autumn Consultations is from Kingston to Tolworth. This follows a busy route to the A3, passing along two shopping high streets.
You’ll notice there’s a massive gap in the middle: more on this later.
As before, here are the links to fill in the consultation. It’s vital that Kingston council receive as many responses as possible.
Link to PDF of the route (copied and scribbled on in this post)
Summary of Responses
My responses to the consultation are below. A more detailed view of the proposal follows.
In Depth Comments
The scheme continues from Wheatfield Way, past the university on Penrhyn Road.
This scheme is largely sound, but some areas require thought. The continuous footways we saw across junctions on the Kingston Vale route are missing here. The crossing to the university should also be made available to cyclists as it is likely that this will be heavily used once cycling is made more subjectively safe.
The scheme avoids Surbiton Hill Road, which makes sense. This is a narrow hill with an unsighted bend and a 20mph limit that many drivers view as advisory. However, details on the actual route for cyclists are scant: Surbiton Crescent is presently undergoing a trial closure to through traffic, while Avenue Elmers is a designated “quiet road” yet there are no provisions to ensure the road is quiet. This will be of particular concern at school times; we should be aiming to encourage school children to ride to school rather than retaining the status quo.
Once onto Ewell Road, the scheme is largely sensible. The cycle route is sensibly positioned behind parking spaces. There isn’t any note of cycle parking provision; this should be investigated.
And again, continuous footways are required. These are vital for pedestrian welfare; it means that people pushing buggies or those in wheelchairs don’t have to negotiate awkwardly placed drop kerbs or constantly cede priority to motorists.
Further down the road there are two staggered traffic islands. No doubt these will have railings, giving the effect of caging in pedestrians and cyclists. Care should be taken to ensure that cargo bikes and bikes with trailers can easily negotiate these islands – this is not the case with the current island.
The route ends at Tolworth, with a curious centre cycle lane that is presumably designed to link up with the existing green centre space on Tolworth Broadway.
There is a gap from the shared crossing over Ewell Road to the single-width lane towards Kingston. A continuous footway over Lenelby Road would resolve this. And yet again, continuous footways are needed throughout the scheme.
Here’s where the route ends up.
The plans indicate that cycles will be routed down the green island in the middle of the road. The island is presently used as a safe haven by pedestrians attempting to safely use the advisory crossings. It is to be hoped that formal crossings will be put in place to allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross safely.
A far better solution would be to continue the single carriageway cycle lanes on the pavement side of the parking, put in some proper crossings, and remove the centre island. Forcing the traffic closer is known to have a calming effect on speed and would help ensure that the 20mph limit is observed (the photo above suggests that Google’s car wasn’t…). Given that this area was recently renovated, I suspect that won’t be an option.
Again, a reasonable route but this definitely needs more work in places. The gap between Surbiton Road and Ewell Road needs addressing, as does the lack of continuous footways.
Road crossings need particular attention, especially where a two stage crossing is used, to ensure that they’re suitable for all types of cycle as well as less able pedestrians.