Transport And Air Quality Committee – 17 April, 2023

Notes from Richmond Cycling Campaign on specific items in the papers.

Committee details are here.

Item 6: Teddington Lock Bridge

To note that the lock bridge takes thousands of bike journeys a week. Presently the entire journey across the lock and river includes multiple chicanes which make the use of non-standard bikes (including cargo bikes) on this connection very inconvenient indeed. It would be very helpful if any works could also look at how to make access for those seeking to cross the river with their cycle more convenient than it is now.

Teddington Lock Bridge

(Image of the lock bridge courtesy Thames Path)

Item 7: Cargo Bikes

(Generally this is a great idea!)

Would like to evaluate if there’s a way to be in contact with people when they move to the borough – that’s the time to take behaviour change opportunities.

Parking bays: we think parking should probably not be cargo-bike specific: while it’ll be great to provide ground anchors, we suggest that the council uses existing guidance from TfL and Active Travel England on cycle parking, which we understand includes parking for various types of cycle.

Support more school street parking, but would like it to be general, not cargo bike specific. Providing this parking on school streets is both a clear further indication of intent, and a significant improvement in convenience for families choosing to cycle. 

Maintenance: welcome the ideas contained, but would urge the council to work with local bike shops. A number can provide some or all of the maintenance required by cargo bike owners, and it would be great to be able to actively support our local businesses.

Designing in: welcome the intent here, but would point the council towards the design envelope popularised by Wheels for Wellbeing and others. If routes and spaces are designed for cycles within this design envelope, that will automatically include cargo bike users.

We also welcome the work to look at how cargo bikes can be used to decarbonise delivery, etc. 

We are concerned that the paper states that cargo bike riders prefer to use the road with motor vehicles. We don’t think this is universally true – especially for parents taking children around the borough. Cycling infrastructure needs to be suitable for cargo bikes as well.

Finally, we would ask that the council involves the ATAG with officers prior to commissioning the report, to help provide the best focus and timeliness.

Item 8: South Twickenham (Strawberry Hill area)

Engagement should be with the ATAG as well for this. (4.3 says ‘key stakeholders’, but this isn’t specified – we think the council should be clear about who it’s planning to talk to, and why.)

Generally, the council already has a number of enforcement options, and should be seeking – regardless of any separate engagement and consultation work – to use its powers, and to press police to use theirs, for the purposes of full enforcement. For example, if parking in the bus lane is a problem, allocate multiple parking wardens to the area at key times.

The A310 is identified as a location with a high number of collisions involving injuries to cyclists, yet the offer in this report is a separate study which isn’t even specifically about dealing with this identified issue.

There’s no date for completion of this study, and no obvious timescales on the other studies going on. This seems too vague for what appears to be a collection of quite important issues. Given the initial community conversation was in March 2021, we think the council should be able to move quickly on this.

In the section on ‘wider corporate implications’, we suggest that this needs to be spelled out in the committee’s decision: that any analysis and proposals need to actually deliver the promised improvements in air quality, lower traffic volumes, and improved walking and cycling options.

Item 9: Forward Plan

The borough has been told its allocation nearly £2m apparently – and it would be good to see some of this in the forward plan, or to understand why the forward plan looks so thin.

We know there are a lot of other things going on, but the forward plan seems incomplete and unclear.