Richmond/Sheen (Upper Richmond Road West) Consultation

Post Updated – 24 Dec 2012
The timing of the consultation couldn’t be worse, but if you need some inspiration to ponder over after your Christmas pud, this great summary put together by a local parent who cycles in this area with his children should help – Upper Richmond Road West Consultation Comments.

Don’t forget, deadline for the tick box online form for the consultation is 28 December – details at the bottom of this post.

Original Post – 11 Dec 2012

We spotted another LBRUT consultation on their website this month.

Richmond to Sheen Consultation – Deadline 28 December

Feeling the pinch?

This affects Upper Richmond Road West from the junction of Manor Road to the junction of Clifford Avenue (the South Circular) (Map Link). This is a busy and dangerous section of road with a shocking 29.38 collisions per kilometre in the past 5 years. Have a look at this shocking map of incidents from 2000 to 2010.

The main physical changes are:

  • Realignment and widening in parts of the existing cycle lane
  • Narrowing of the overall carriageway in sections by use of kerb build outs
  • Relocation of bus stops
  • Addition of pedestrian islands in the centre of the road

The consultation states that they “have discussed this scheme with cycle group representatives” but we have had no involvement in the plans in recent times.

We commend the council in addressing the dangers on a road that is an important link for cyclists going from Richmond to Sheen and beyond, but we don’t believe the proposals address the key problems:

  • Several pinch points exist on this route, in particular at the pedestrian crossing near Sheen Common Drive. These often result in cyclists being hit by motorists who don’t give them space with tragic results as this fatality showed
  • The danger at the main junctions with Manor Road and Clifford Avenue is not addressed
  • At Clifford Avenue end, cyclists going straight on have to go into the middle lane. An ASL is provided but no safe way of getting to it. Imagine cycling to school with your kids through that junction
  • Conflict with bus stops is not dealt with
  • Conflict with parked cars still exists – ‘Dooring’ incidents result in many fatalities
  • Proposed cycle lane width does not meet the London Cycling Design Standards in a number of areas. They should be 2m wide and certainly no narrower than 1.5m
  • Narrowing the road to slow traffic is in effect using cyclists as mobile traffic calming measures. I’m sure a cyclist doesn’t want to be thought of as a moving sleeping policeman
Going straight on with your kids to school? Brave the outside lane.

Given the space available, there is an opportunity to introduce a safe, separated cycle lane on both sides of the road, with a width of 2m and priority over side roads – something you would be happy to cycle with your kids to school along. Camden Council have recently proposed a similar scheme (some background here) and the same could be achieved here, though it needs to be of a high quality and continuous. As a minimum, the pinch points and Clifford Road junction need to be dealt with, otherwise the proposals will have little effect in reducing incidents on this stretch.

Full consultation details online –
Maps showing the changes – Map 1 and Map 2

Please take a couple of minutes to complete the tick box online consultation, to highlight that more needs to be done to improve safety for cyclists on this route –

Some useful resources to consider:
If you don’t design for cycling, conflict is the outcome – Hush Magazine and Copenhagenize
“Pedestrians and cyclists should be considered before other user groups in the design process [not] as an afterthought” – Recent NICE Guidelines
Businesses overestimate how important car parking is – Sustrans
Financial benefits of investing in cycle infrastructure – New York City and Bristol reports