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Stag Brewery – truly an opportunity to be amazing …

This is the RCC submission on the Stag Brewery (Mortlake) development.

I am writing on behalf of Richmond Cycling Campaign to object to the current plans for the Stag Brewery development. 

old image of the brewery

Mortlake brewery from the Middlesex side of the river in 1931. Image from http://zythophile.co.uk/2015/12/03/goodbye-to-the-last-of-londons-million-barrel-breweries/

 
Our objections are based on the transport plans for the development and the area. It is 2020 and the world is facing a significant environmental crisis. London is facing linked pollution, congestion and inactivity crises. 
 
At the same time we have borough, national and London policies which seek:
·        Lower car ownership
·        Lower car use
·        Higher levels and rates of walking, cycling and public transport
·        Better air quality
·        Dealing with the climate emergency
 
We think the Brewery development is an amazing opportunity to properly implement these policies with an area which is blighted both by short car journeys that can be made by other modes, and by large volumes of through traffic. 
 
The layout of the area, in particular with the constraints of river and park, clearly funnels traffic, and there have been frequent small efforts to deal with this – witness the proliferation of one ways, banned turns, dead ends to prevent various rat runs. 
 
We think the Brewery development is an opportunity to look at the whole of the area as a series of low traffic neighbourhoods where through traffic is kept away from residential roads, and there is a clear, dense network of routes which are genuinely attractive for walking and cycling. 
 
Despite the extensive data collection and analysis done by TfL and the Brewery consultants, it is clear none of them have actually bothered riding a bike, or trying to ride with a child, on many of the routes through the area. With unacceptable issues like:
·        Maintaining the crossing at the north end of Clifford Avenue
·        the failure to provide a less-than-hostile pedestrian and cycling environment at Chalker’s Corner
·        The absence of appropriate walking and cycling routes for the school
·        The assumption that we should simply accept existing levels of car journeys as normal and acceptable
·        The removal of green space on Mortlake Green to provide a secondary cycle route which then has no convenient way to cross at Mortlake crossing
·        The failure to provide linked safe cycling routes to key destinations (Barnes, Richmond, Putney, stations, shops, parks, etc.)
It is clear that there’s no conception of a strategic route network in these plans, despite London, council and national policy making clear that this is required.
 
We propose that the development is rejected until at least the following have been done:
1.       A Chalkers Corner design which *reduces* motor traffic volumes
2.       Road plans which reduce pollution by taking away multi-lane routes, in favour of single un-obstructed lanes which include parallel protected cycle routes
3.       Chalkers Corner, Mortlake, train crossings A205 junctions all to include safe, separated cycling infrastructure (and not shared space)
4.       A travel plan which supports a majority of children arriving at school by walking or cycling
5.       The removal of car parking in the development, save for essential services and car clubs
6.       Funding to support full traffic consultations and fulfilment (i.e. construction and delivery) of Low Traffic Nieghbourhoods in the surrounding area
 
We believe the Brewery development could be a London exemplar of active travel and safe urban space where people are genuinely prioritised over cars – the interior of the development already proposes this, and we want to see this in the surrounding area, too.
 
Additionally, we are concerned that the absence of good travel planning could result in further significant disruption during the extensive development work, with insufficient designs for people to be able to properly walk and cycle while construction is going on.
 
Yours sincerely,
Borough Coordinator, Richmond Cycling
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