Cycling Improvements in London Road, Kingston upon Thames

Residents and business’s in and around Norbiton Hall, London Road and surrounding roads were sent a letter (May 2009) from the Directorate of Environmental Services of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, titled:-

PROPOSED NEW TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT AND CYCLING IMPROVEMENTS IN LONDON ROAD BETWEEN QUEEN ELIZABETH ROAD AND STATION ROAD
Ref KT/YH/LSS/LR

In this proposal, the council wish to introduce shared use surface cycling facilities, on the footpath. In other words, the existing pedestrian footpath will be reduced in width so that a cycle way can be introduced.

The introduction of cycle ways within London is part of the Mayor of London’s scheme to get people on bikes. I believe there are incentives for the local authorities who create cycle ways, even if they are only 10 yards in length.

On many occasions I as others, have been confronted by cyclists who insist in using a FOOTpath to get from A to B, so bike riders already use the FOOTpath involved.

So is this proposal a waste of money?

In the space of one hour I took a few photographs that Mr Roy Thompson (Service Director, Royal Kingston) and Younes Hamade (Traffic Engineer, Kingston Town Traffic Engineering Team) may consider. Email :- younes.hamade@rbk.kingston.gov.uk

Firstly, closer into Kingston town center along London Road, there has already been installed a cycle only facility, that is a green sectioned portion of the road.

In ten minutes I observed two people on bicycles using the green cycle way, but others not, they are still using the FOOTpath.

Bike riders using the footpaths in London Road, even though a cycle way has been provided        Bike riders using the footpaths in London Road, even though a cycle way has been provided

Bike riders using the footpaths in London Road, even though a cycle way has been provided        Bike riders using the footpaths in London Road, even though a cycle way has been provided

Bike riders using the footpaths in London Road, even though a cycle way has been provided
Bike riders using the footpaths in London Road, even though a cycle way has been provided


What about other obstructions?

Street furniture, that means lamp posts, traffic lights and their control boxes, telephone and communication boxes, vehicle entrances to buildings and the Norbiton Hall Estate, will have to be moved at great expense.

How about the normal day to day traffic and parking?

The local offices have many deliveries during the day, with vans and lorries parking on the FOOTpath, deliveries to the apartments facing onto London Road of Norbiton Hall also have deliveries, again meaning lorries and vans often park on the FOOTpath restricting usage.

Deliveries to Clarendon House London Road        Restaurant collect outside Italian Reataurant Londond Road, restricting cylceway

Lorries parked on the footpath outside Norbiton Hall and Clarendon House, London Road, Kingston upon Thames        
Lorries and vans parked on the footpath outside Norbiton Hall and Clarendon House, London Road, Kingston upon Thames


How about parents with pushchairs, they take-up most of the FOOTpath now, so what will happen with even a narrower FOOTpath.

Then there are the many mobility cart users. They often use the FOOTpath as a raceway.

Two mobility vehicle users and street furniture including traffic lights control box outside Norbiton Hall
Two mobility vehicle users and street furniture including traffic lights control box

There is only one cycle way leading out of Kingston towards London, and none entering or on the opposite side of the road. Should cyclists use the only cycle way, as there would be not enough space for two bikes to pass each other?

I consider that the proposal is flawed and needs more consideration, and a strict enforcement of what is in place already, as a FOOTpath should be what it says for feet and pedestrians.

FOOTpath =’s Footpath (right of way), in the UK, a path on which the public have a legally protected right to travel on foot.

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