Make My Ward Better

What can you do in your ward?

RCC, Living Streets, RUILs

RUILs, Richmond Living Streets and Richmond Cycling Campaign have come together to ask you, our councillors, to use your new positions to make a difference in your wards. It’s a time of tight budgets, a climate emergency, poor air quality and a cost of living crisis. 
We want you to help your residents make ‘active travel’ choices: walking, cycling and wheeling by getting things done in your ward. Every journey you can convert to walking, cycling or wheeling cuts your carbon footprint, cuts congestion, and makes your residents healthier.

Can people cross your streets easily and safely?

Are there enough zebra crossings or traffic-light controlled crossings on your streets? Are they in places where people actually want to cross? The recent addition of a crossing on Richmond Bridge is an excellent demonstration of unfulfilled demand – we think there are many places in the borough where pedestrians could have a better deal on this.

Does everywhere have a safe dropped kerb?

If you’re using a wheelchair, a pram, if you have any sort of mobility issues, you’ll be used to kerbs that just end. Transport for All are asking councils to take the ‘Equal Pavements Pledge‘ and we support these goals: No-one should have to bounce off or up a kerb just to continue their journey.

Do your schools have school streets?

The school streets programme has been really successful in the borough, but there are still schools that could benefit: making it attractive and preferable for families and children to walk and cycle to school, rather than drive. Do you have any schools you can support to apply? Think about the traffic in your ward, and what it will look like when the schools are out over the summer, versus what it looks like when schools come back!

Can people park bikes safely? At the shops, at the surgery, at home … 

It’s hard to encourage people to ride for more journeys if there’s nowhere to park. Every street in your ward could have a bikehangar – half a car parking space allowing six residents to park their bikes safely. And when they get to their destination, they need somewhere to put it – can you ask for stands at surgeries? Outside local shops? People on bikes make more visits to your high streets than people in cars, and overall they spend more – how can you help deliver on the manifesto plan for 20 minute neighbourhoods?

Are your pavements smooth, safe and uncluttered?

To encourage people to make more journeys walking and wheeling, they need pavements they can use: are your pavements regularly obstructed by cars? Do they have uneven stones? Is there enough space for people to make their way down the pavement in a wheelchair or pushing a pram?

Have you asked for cargo bike hire or scooter bays nearby?

The community bike hire scheme has been a great success, but we only have three so far. Can you help find a local business and location for one? Using these, residents can (for example) do a tip run for free, and even save the ULEZ charge!

And the e-scooter trial run by TfL is being similarly successful with hundreds of thousands of journeys London-wide. Some of these are replacing walking journeys, but they’re also enabling people to make journeys they might not choose by car, and giving them other options: could you find more locations in your ward to help this?

Could your high street have a parklet?

The Barnes parklet has been a roaring success – capturing just a little bit of road space to focus on the people using their shops, and making it more welcoming. Living Streets has an excellent overview of why you should be finding locations for these – and they can be on any street! As a community space, somewhere with benches for residents to stop and chat, for shoppers to pause, for children to play. How can you re-focus your high street on people?