Wandsworth Common to Teddington Quietway (Q21), Part 1: Wandsworth

Wandsworth Council is currently consulting on its section of the Wandsworth Common to Teddington cycling quietway.  The consultation ends on 13 November 2017.

This post looks at Wandsworth Council’s section from Wandsworth Common to Richmond Park (about 7.5km), and includes some comments which I’ll submit in response to the consultation.  I’m not pretending to give an authoritative opinion, just the thoughts of a local whom Transport for London, Sustrans and Wandsworth Council believe might benefit from cycling along this route.

One wet autumn evening, I’ll write up some thoughts on the two other parts of this quietway:

(a)  Richmond Park (which was subject to a consultation by Royal Parks in October 2016), and

(b) Richmond Park through Teddington to the gates of Bushy Park (which was subject to consultation by Richmond Council in November 2016, with the consultation report published in July 2017 [item 113]).

According to the Mayor of London’s answer to question 2017/2894 from Assembly Member Tom Copley, the Wandsworth to Teddington Quietway will be numbered Q21 by TfL.  (To help create confusion, Richmond Council referred to the quietway in its consultation as Quietway 2 …)

This post is picture heavy, and covers:

  • What is a quietway?
  • Route of quietway Q21;
  • Wandsworth Council’s approval;
  • Each section in Wandsworth, based on Wandsworth Council’s drawings and consultation questions; and
  • Some concluding thoughts.

What’s a quietway?

In March 2013, the then Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, published “The Mayor’s Vision for Cycling in London: An Olympic Legacy for All Londoners” with a 10 year strategy for London.  I won’t critique the document other than to note, for a 10 year strategy published 4 years ago, it has not aged well.

The strategy defines quietways as (key bullets):

  • A cross-London network of high-quality guided Quietways will be created on low-traffic back streets and other routes so different kinds of cyclists can choose the routes which suit them. Unlike the old London Cycle Network, Quietways will be direct. They will be better-surfaced. They will be clearly signed, mostly on the road itself, making it impossible to lose your way. Each route will be delivered as a whole, not piecemeal. And they will not give up at the difficult places.
  • Barriers and ‘Cyclists Dismount’ signs will be removed as far as possible. Quietways will be particularly suited to new cyclists. They will stretch far into the suburbs, with both radial and orbital routes.
  • Where directness demands the Quietway briefly join a main road, full segregation and direct crossing points will be provided, wherever possible, on that stretch.
  • We will use judicious capital investment to overcome barriers (such as railway lines) which are often currently only crossed by extremely busy main roads. Subject to funding, land and planning issues, we will build new cycling and pedestrian bridges across such barriers to link up Quietway side-street routes.
  • The Quietway network will also include new off-road greenway routes through parks and along waterways to be used for recreation and family enjoyment, building on and expanding the existing network.

In December 2014, Sustrans was awarded a contract by Transport for London (TfL) to be the project managers for quietways across London.  The commitment was that the quietways would be built to London Cycling Design Standards (LCDS).

The routing and design of the quietways is a collaboration between TfL, Sustrans and each borough with resulting compromises of funding, ambition, local politics and each borough’s interpretation of design standards.

The route of Q21 between Wandsworth Common and Teddington

From east to west, the route starts in Heathfield Road by Wandsworth Prison, crosses Wandsworth to Tibbets Corner, and across Roehampton Vale into Richmond Park.  From the park, it crosses the Thames by Teddington Lock, and follows Teddington High Street to end at Bushy Park.

roe#2

The proposed route overlaps with and links to several existing cycle routes. These are of various quality, often being bicycles painted on the roadway and blue signs attached to lamp posts:

q21b#2

Q21#3

  • The eastern end of quietway Q21’s route in Heathfield Road links to Quietway 4 which is planned to run from Clapham Common via Earlsfield and the River Wandle to Wimbledon. This is supposed to be complete by the end of 2017/18 financial year;
  • The Wandsworth section of Q21 is largely parallel to London Cycle Route LCN3 between Wandsworth Common and Tibbets Corner.
  • At St George’s Park, Q21 links to National Cycle Network route NCN20, which runs from the River Thames to Brighton;
  • The section through Richmond Park to the River Thames follows National Cycle Network route NCN4;
  • Most of the route through Teddington to Bushy Park will be a newly designated cycle route, except for the Ferry Road and bridge across the Thames at the lock which are currently included on LCN75.

Quietway 21 does not link to:

Wandsworth Council’s approval.

The quietway route was approved at a meeting of the council’s Community Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 21 June 2017.   The committee paper and an appendix provide detail on the decisions made by the council, TfL and Sustrans to design this route, and the intended consultation.  I’ll refer to some of the comments in the sections below, running east to west, sections 1 to 13.

q21wands

gradients

Section 1 Heathfield Road

Council drawing 1 Heathfield Road

1 heathfield

Cost estimate £10,000
Council description In order to calm traffic in the 20mph area a series of cycle-friendly speed humps at 60-70m intervals are proposed for the length of Heathfield Road. At Alma Terrace the route would link up with Quietway 4 (Clapham Common to Wimbledon) which is already being implemented.

Cycle symbols in the carriageway would increase awareness of cyclists and help position cyclists in the primary riding position where they are more visible to motorists. There would be no restrictions or loss of road space to other vehicles

Some pictures of current road:

Proposed quietway starts in Heathfield Road, which today has signs for LCN3

Risk that legacy blue LCN/NCN signs and new Q signs will create confusion

Sec 1A
Link to Quietway 4 via Alma Terrace. The Q4 bicycle logo has already worn away Sec 1B
Quietway crosses narrow Heathfield railway bridge, where wall and single pavement show scars of motorised traffic Sec 1C

My consultation notes:

  • Heathfield Road is a popular rat-run past Wandsworth Prison between Magdalen Road and Earlsfield Road for motorists unwilling to use Trinity Road, Earlsfield Road and Garratt Lane. There is no need for through traffic on this road other than to visit the prison.
  • The narrow railway bridge at the north-west end of Heathfield Road is not a pleasant environment for people riding cycles. Cyclists adopting primary position – especially slower cyclists – are harassed by drivers, especially in rush-hour.  The vehicle scratches on the painted wall, and tyre marks on the pavement, are evidence of close passes between all types of vehicles on this road.
  • The “cycle symbols” painted in the carriageway earlier this year at the cobbled junction with Alma Terrace following the construction of the Quietway 4 crossing in Trinity Road have already worn away.
  • There is no attempt in this plan to reduce the number of motorised vehicles in Heathfield Road.
  • For Heathfield Road to be a quiet, “low traffic street” as promised in the Mayor’s 2013 Cycling Vision, this road needs to be filtered to motorised traffic, whilst giving legitimate access to the prison’s multiple entrances.

Section 2 Heathfield Road/ Windmill Road/ Earlsfield Road

Council drawing 2 Heathfield Road/Windmill Road/Earlsfield Road

2 quietway_heathfield_road

Cost estimate £10,000
Council description Addition of cycle advance stop lines at the existing box junction along with cycle symbols on carriageway to increase awareness of cyclists.

Some pictures of current road:

Current Heathfield / Earlsfield Road junction. ASL boxes will be added to all four arms, but not early release lights sec 2A
Again, lots of legacy signage for different cycle routes  Sec 2B

My consultation notes:

  • Along the whole quietway route, there are legacy signs for National Cycle Network, London Cycle Network and unnumbered cycle routes.  While many of these are still useful, the signs for the quietway need to be distinct and not create confusion
  • The Advanced Stop Line (ASL) boxes only benefit people on cycles if they are able to filter safely through motorised traffic to access them. This design does not provide adequate filter lanes.  Westbound motorised traffic (from Trinity Road), and northbound traffic in Heathfield Road usually forms two overlapping lanes at the traffic lights (to account for right-turning vehicles) which prevents cyclists accessing the proposed ASL boxes safely.  This needs to be addressed with mandatory – and enforced – cycle lanes into the ASL boxes, wide enough for non-standard cycles.  There is sufficient road space.
  • This proposal does not include early release lights for cyclists, which is inconsistent with the proposal for the Granville Road/ Brathway Road/ Merton Road junction in Section 5. My experience is that this junction has higher levels of traffic on all four arms compared to the current Merton Road mini-roundabout.  Early release lights for cyclists should be added on all four arms.

Section 3A & 3B Garratt Lane/Mapleton Road

Council drawing 3A Garratt Lane/Mapleton Road

3a quietway_garratt_lane_to_mapleton_road_a

3B Garratt Lane/Mapleton Road

3b quietway_garratt_lane_to_mapleton_road_b

Cost estimate £200,000 for 3A and 3B
Council description Proposals to assist cyclists across Garratt Lane and into/out of King George’s Park at Mapleton Road, including:

  • Use of existing cycle route through Wendlesworth Estate between Garratt Lane and Borrodaile Road
  • Toucan crossings at Garratt Lane/ Mapleton Road traffic signals
  • Shared use footway around junction to enable cyclists to avoid use of Garratt Lane carriageway
  • Removal of guard railing
  • New dropped kerbs
  • Revised two-way cycle lane on Mapleton Road near Garratt Lane junction
  • Contraflow cycle lane (westbound) on rest of Mapleton Road into King George’s Park
  • Change of priority (give way) at Mapleton Crescent/Mapleton Road junction

Some pictures of current road:

The mini-roundabout between Heathfield Road & Allfarthing Lane is retained. Sec 3A
Further west on Allfarthing, the quietway turns right into Vermont Road.  No works are proposed to this junction Sec 3B
Quietway turns left into Borrodaile Road, no clear whether on pavement or the roadway sec 3c
And then goes between blocks of flats to reach Garratt Lane sec 3d
Garratt/ Mapleton junction will be rebuilt. Current green paint cycle lane will be removed sec 3e
Mapleton Road will have priority at the Crescent junction sec 3f

My consultation notes:

  • This is the closest point on the quietway to Cycle Superhighway CS8 which starts in Ram Street. The section of Garratt Lane between this junction with Mapleton Street and Ram Street should be re-engineered to provide safe, segregated cycle lanes between this quietway and CS8.
  • The quietway is routed from Heathfield Road into Allfarthing Lane. Allfarthing is a busy rat-run between Garratt Lane and Trinity Road.  There is no effort in this plan to reduce the volume of motorised traffic.  My experience cycling on Allfarthing Lane is that motorists (especially van drivers) refuse to give way to cyclists who are cycling near the centre-line of the road to avoid the dangerous door-zone of parked cars.  For this to be a ‘quiet way’ further interventions are need to filter this grid of streets to prevent rat-running traffic.
  • At the junction of Allfarthing Road and Vermont Road (the right turn for westbound cyclists on this quietway), the kerb stones should be moved to reduce the radius of the corners to prevent motorists turning too quickly in/out of Vermont Street. The presence of parked cars close to all arms of this junction (abutting the yellow lines) means that people riding cycles will be on centre lines or even on the ‘wrong’ side of the road.
  • Diverting this quietway via Borrodaile Road and down an alleyway to the existing toucan crossing in Garratt Lane avoids the cost of building a proper junction at Allfarthing Lane. The alleyway and pedestrian path past houses’ front doors is too narrow, particularly if this quietway is intended to cater for non-standard cycles such as tricycles and cargo-bikes used as mobility aids and by parents.  There’s clearly no opportunity to widen the alleyway through the blocks of houses, and this will create householder / pedestrian/ cyclist conflict if user volumes increase (which is the objective of this quietway plan).
  • One minor improvement would be to reduce the heights of the hedges at the end of the path with Garratt Lane to improve sight lines for all users of the path.
  • The current southbound semi-segregated (green painted) cycle lane through this junction is removed and replaced with “shared use” space, which is a loss of facility for people cycling southwards on Garratt Lane.

Section 4 King George’s Park

Council drawing 4 King George’s Park

4 quietway_king_georges_park

Cost estimate £10,000
Council description Proposal is to allow cycling on an east-west section of path linking the existing Wandle Trail in the park to Brathway Road. This section of park path would be unsegregated shared use. Other changes are proposed to enable cycling to/from the Wandle Trail to the south. Measures would be introduced to reduce risk of cyclist-cyclist and cyclist-pedestrian conflict at the bottom of the ramp joining the east-west link.

Some pictures of current road:

In St George’s Park, the natural desire line will be westwards, towards Mapleton Road’s western spur. The quietway goes south sec 4a
Current cycle path west towards Mapleton Road’s western spur. Note the mishmash of tactile paving, failing bricks and worn cycle path paint sec 4b
Quietway will turn west in the middle of the park, where there is a ramp today on the north-south path sec 4c
The path and ramp will join the quietway to the existing north/south NCN4 cycle path sec 4d
A quietway user keen to enjoy proposed freedoms! sec 4e
Quietway exits the park at Brathway Road. Note signs prohibiting cycling in the park today sec 4f

My consultation notes:

  • After passing through the park gate at Mapleton Road, the natural desire line for someone cycling westbound on this quietway will be to continue west on the existing semi-segregated path (towards Mapleton Road’s western spur) and then southwards on the west side of the park. Under this proposal, this route will be illegal, as the path on the west side of the park will continue to exclude cycling.  I note from other consultations this year, Cllr Jonathon Cook’s desire to introduce £80 fixed penalty notices for people cycling on non-permitted paths in council parks.
  • It would be far simpler for people cycling, and administratively less bother for the Council, to permit cycling on all four sides of upper St. George’s Park.
  • I am concerned by the proposal for “speed reduction measures” on the east-west ramp, especially a no such measures are currently installed, nor needed, on the shorter and steeper north-south ramp. Any measures must be safely navigable by people riding non-standard cycles.

Section 5 Brathway Road/ Merton Road/ Granville Road

Council drawing 5 Brathway Road/Merton Road/Granville Road

5 quietway_brathway_merton_granville_road

Cost estimate £250,000
Council description Replacement of existing mini-roundabout with signalised junction layout to include early release for cycle movements on Quietway alignment. Some additional parking restrictions would be required on Granville Road. All accesses would be maintained.

Some pictures of current road:

Current mini-roundabout, looking west from Brathway Road sec 5a

My consultation notes:

  • I agree that a signalised junction is an improvement over the current mini-roundabout. However, I am concerned about the risks to people on cycles turning right at this junction, especially if north-south and then east-west signals are concurrent.
  • This proposal only provides early release lights for people cycling on the quietway route. Early release lights should be provided on all four arms of the junction.

Section 6 Granville Road/ Sutherland Grove/ Girdwood Road

Council drawing 6 Granville Road/Sutherland Grove/Girdwood Road

6 quietway_granville_road_sutherland_grove_girdwood_road

Cost estimate £10,000 + £50,000 for new mini-roundabout
Council description To encourage slower motor vehicle speeds, it is proposed to remove the centre line on Granville Road between Sutherland Grove and Brathway Road

In addition to the proposed Quietway measures as listed above, Council officers have been developing proposals for the junction of Girdwood Road, Granville Road and Sutherland Grove SW18 (West Hill). This location is on the proposed Quietway route and there have been long-standing complaints of “rat-running” through the junction. The Council’s highway engineers believe the best approach to deal with the rat-running problem is to provide a mini-roundabout at the junction, with associated pedestrian refuges on all arms assisting people crossing the road, including students attending the two nearby schools. This scheme is estimated at £50,000.

New mini-roundabouts are not supported by TfL for Quietways as they are generally considered less suitable for cycle routes, hence this would not form part of the Quietway proposals funded by TfL. However, the design produced incorporates cycle-friendly measures and is considered by engineers to be an appropriate balanced solution to address issues at this junction. It is therefore recommended that consultation is carried out on the mini-roundabout proposal. Because the junction is in the middle of the Quietway route, it is proposed that consultation on this scheme should form part of the proposed Quietway consultation. However, if implemented this proposal would be funded via the Council’s Local Implementation Plan (LIP) funding for Corridors and Neighbourhoods, in contrast to the Quietway schemes which would be fully funded by TfL’s dedicated Quietway budget.

Some pictures of current road:

Granville Road, from the mini-roundabout with Merton Road. This is a busy stretch. No effort is proposed to segregate cyclists or reduce motorised traffic. sec 6a
Looking back at the mini-roundabout at the junction of Granville/ Wimbledon Park Road. This MR is retained. sec 6b
Current junction at Girdwood/ Sutherland/ Granville Roads.  A new mini-roundabout will be built here, outside the quietway scheme. sec 6c

My consultation notes:

  • Paper 17-185 given to the Community Services Committee in June 2017 said that the centre line would be removed in Granville Road between Sutherland Grove and Brathway Road. The drawing provided for Section 5 (the current Merton Road mini-roundabout) for this consultation retains the centre line.
  • The eastern section of Granville Road is a busy road as it provides motorists and London buses with a route between Merton Road and Wimbledon Park Road to Southfields. There is no proposal in this plan to reduce traffic volume.
  • There is inconsistent adoption of cycle design standards regarding mini-roundabouts: the existing MR at Merton Road is replaced with a signalised junction, the existing MRs at Heathield/ Allfarthing and Granville/ Wimbledon Park Roads are retained, a new MR is proposed for Granville / Sutherland/ Girdwood, and the current MRs on Putney Heath and Priory Lane are replaced with raised junctions.
  • At the current Granville/ Wimbledon Park and proposed Granville/ Sutherland/ Girdwood mini-roundabouts, the gap between the kerb stones and the islands should be sufficient to enable vehicles to pass through, but narrow enough to discourage motorists from attempting close-pass overtakes by the islands of people riding cycles. Close-pass overtakes by traffic islands are one of the more frightening aspects of urban cycling, and (in my experience) a significant issue preventing people feeling confident riding on road carriageways.

Section 7 Girdwood Road/ Skeena Hill

Council drawing 7 Girdwood Road/Skeena Hill

7 quietway_girdwood_road_to_skeena_hill

Cost estimate £100,000
Council description Proposed change of priority at junction so that Skeena Hill traffic would give way to Girdwood Road; along with an advisory cycle lane on Girdwood Road this would assist cyclists travelling uphill on the Quietway route. Proposals also include parking restrictions on Girdwood Road and entry treatments at Girdwood Road/Skeena Hill and Skeena Hill/ Beaumont Road.

Some pictures of current road:

Current junction Girdwood Rd and Skeena Hill. At this junction, you’ve climbed 20+ metres coming up Girdwood Road, putting you above roof lines of Girdwood’s houses. My GPS data puts gradient here at 16% sec 7a

My consultation notes:

  • Change of priority at the junction of Girdwood Road and Skeena Hill, whilst of benefit to people cycling, also benefits motorised traffic ‘rat running’ between the Tibbets housing estates and through the chain of mini-roundabouts between Girdwood Road and Merton Road.
  • I know there are no flat routes from Sutherland Road to Tibbets Corner, but I ask the planners to reflect on the westbound gradients on the roads proposed for this scheme and see if better features can be installed for people cycling slowly. Unless you are strong, fit and riding a standard cycle, anyone cycling up these roads will be labouring, and wobbling to some degree.  This puts them at risk versus motorised vehicles.
  • For example, the junction of Girdwood Road and Skeena Hill (where priority will be changed to support the quietway): the gradient at the junction between the two current roads is 16%. When you reach Skeena Hill and look backwards, you are above the roof lines of the houses in Girdwood Road – Girdwood rises 20+ metres across its full length.  I do not believe a painted advisory lane is sufficient to support people cycling westbound through this bend.  A better solution might be a stepped track, distinct from the main carriageway, so that westbound cyclists have safe space to labour up the hill around this bend.

Section 8 Castlecombe Drive/Beaumont Road

Council drawing 8 Castlecombe Drive/Beaumont Road

8 quietway_castlecombe_drive_to_beaumont_road

Cost estimate £5,000
Council description Double yellow lines at junction to improve visibility.

Some pictures of current road:

Parked cars on Castlecombe Drive mean that two way traffic uses one lane. Several blind bends.  “SLOW” warnings to drivers do not inspire confidence. sec 8a

My consultation notes:

  • Per previous note on gradients, Castlecombe Drive has a maximum gradient of 13%.
  • I have cycled Castlecombe Drive several times: it is packed with parked vehicles for most of its length at all times. Consequently, this scheme has people cycling slowly uphill plus motorists sharing one lane, through a series of bends with poor sight lines.  More work is needed to reduce the number of parked vehicles, and to improve visibility around the bends.

Section 9 Withycombe Road/Princes Way

Council drawing 9 Withycombe Road/Princes Way

9 quietway_withycomb_road_to_princes_way

Cost estimate £150,000
Council description Proposals would segregate cyclists from motor vehicles via an extended section of shared use footway where cycling would be permitted. This shared use footway would run from Princes Way to Withycombe Road where it would link with the cycle route under Tibbet’s Corner junction.

Some pictures of current road:

Council suggests converting pavement on Princes Way to shared-use for the quietway – it is too narrow sec 9a
Council suggests turning bus shelter around creates extra space for the quietway – it doesn’t sec 9b

My consultation notes:

  • The pavement in Princes Way and beside West Hill is not wide enough to provide safe space for people walking and cycling in both directions. Turning the bus shelter around does not provide any extra space.
  • If the council is determined to proceed with “shared use” pavements, then this section needs to be redesigned to reallocate space from the road carriageways to widened pavements.

Sections 10 Telegraph Road/Putney Heath & 11 Putney Heath

Council drawing 10 Telegraph Road/Putney Heath

10 quietway_telegraph_road_to_putney_heath

11 Putney Heath

11 quietway_putney_heath

Cost estimate £100,000
Council description Replacement of mini-roundabout with a raised table at new priority junction at Telegraph Road/ Putney Heath. Parallel cycle/ pedestrian crossing on Putney Heath east of junction, along with short sections of shared use footway to enable cyclists to make safe right turn into Telegraph Road. Provision of advisory cycle lanes on Putney Heath, where the centre line would also be removed to encourage slower vehicle speeds.

Some pictures of current road:

Quietway uses existing routes through Tibbets Corner sec 10a
Existing path needs maintenance, e.g. vegetation cleared away sec 10b
No improvements are proposed to Putney Heath’s car park, which is muddy and potholed

The car park has no street lighting

sec 10c
Current mini-roundabout at junction Telegraph Road/ Putney Heath is replaced with parallel crossing sec 11a
On Putney Heath, plan is to remove the centre line, add advisory cycle lanes sec 11b

My consultation notes:

  • From Tibbets Corner, the quietway uses the cycle track on the southeast corner of the Putney Heath through the car park by the Telegraph pub. The track is poorly maintained, with a lot of vegetation overgrowth which needs to be cleared.  The unpaved car park is potholed, muddy and unlit. This area needs further investment to make it a safe and attractive space for all users.
  • If you are cycling from Tibbets into Richmond Park (and on to Teddington) you are quicker to continue cycling on LCN3 down A3 Putney Vale and entering Richmond Park at the Robin Hood Gate. This should be signposted as part of this scheme.  The shared-use pavements on both sides of A3 Putney Vale need to be swept to remove the vegetation overgrowth which is narrowing the pavements.
  • Similarly, at Tibbets, the signage in 2019 should indicate the route down A3 Putney Vale to join Kingston Council’s re-engineered cycle route from the Robin Hood roundabout to Kingston.
  • The design to replace the mini-roundabout on Putney Heath looks reasonable. (The design for Section 10 does not includes a dashed blue line for a “proposed dropped kerb” for an eastbound cyclist to access the parallel crossing.)

Sections 12A & 12B Roehampton High Street

Council drawing 12A Roehampton High Street

12a quietway_roehampton_high_street_a

12B Roehampton High Street

12b quietway_roehampton_high_st_b

Cost estimate £50,000
Council description Advisory cycle lane east of Dover House Road; cycle bypass westbound and contraflow cycling on Roehampton High Street; change of priority at Treville Street/ Roehampton High Street to protect Quietway cycle route flow from turning traffic.

NB consultation on elements of these proposals was carried out jointly with TfL in late 2016

Background notes:

  • TfL conducted a consultation on the junction of Roehampton Lane and Roehampton High Street in late 2016. The consultation report and TfL’s response to issues raised was published in July 2017.
  • Overall, the response to the TfL consultation was positive. The main objections related to loss of parking in the High Street, and the risks of contraflow cycling.  The contraflow risks stem from the presence of parked, motorised vehicles, and there is some tinkering in the design to better delineate parking spaces.
  • Looking at the designs provided by Wandsworth Council for this consultation, I note that some of the suggested improvements that I gave to the TfL consultation have been addressed in this design. For example, these new designs have improved access to the contraflow lane in the High Street from Putney Heath. Which proves that someone does the stuff we respond with, suck the end of a pencil, and sometimes make the designs better!

Some pictures of current road:

From Putney Heath westwards into Roehampton High Street, there will be a contraflow cycle lane sec 12a
The Roehampton Lane/ High Street / Danebury Av junction was addressed in a separate TfL consultation sec 12b

My consultation notes:

  • I note the improved design, improving the original TfL proposals, for accessing the contraflow cycle lane in the High Street when cycling from Putney Heath. Thank you to the planners for acting on feedback to the TfL consultation.

Section 13 Danebury Avenue/Priory Lane

Council drawing 13 Danebury Avenue/Priory Lane

13 quietway_danebury_ave_priory_lane

Cost estimate £75,000
Council description Conversion of existing roundabout to priority junction, along with short sections of shared use footway adjacent to junction to enable cyclists to make safe turns in and out of Danebury Avenue. Parallel pedestrian/cycle crossing proposed east and west of junction to assist pedestrians and cyclists. Centre line removed on Danebury Avenue.

Some pictures of current road:

The existing mini-roundabout at Danebury Avenue and Priory Lane will be replaced with a parallel crossings sec 13a
If travelling westwards on the quietway, you reach Richmond Park’s Roehampton Gate, where Wandsworth Council’s section ends sec 13b

My consultation notes:

  • I note the design of the parallel crossings on this junction (which put the cycle crossing on the outside the junction) versus the design of the parallel crossing on Putney Heath (which puts the cycle crossing on the inside). I take it that cyclists exiting Richmond Park are assumed to use the crossing to the west to access Danebury Avenue, and cyclists exiting Danebury Avenue northbound into Priory Lane use the crossing to the north-east.
  • In June 2016, the Community Services Committee approved the recommendations in paper 16-251 to consult on re-engineered cycle lanes in Priory Lane. If implemented, the proposal would make a significant improvement to the experience and safety of people cycling in Priory Lane, and reduce the speed of motorised traffic.  What action has the council taken since, as no progress has been reported against this action to the Community Services Committee since?

Conclusions

Put aside Cllr Jonathon Cook’s frequent pronouncements that cycling is growing in Wandsworth: the latest modal share statistics for Wandsworth (July 2017, page 28) report that cycling’s modal share fell by 1% (5% to 4%) between 2015/16 and 2016/17, whereas other London boroughs reported rises.  Investments like this and other quietways are needed to reduce vehicle dependence, improve health and achieve the Mayor’s strategic transport goals.

So, what does Wandsworth’s section of Quietway 21 achieve?

  • Q21 doesn’t work as an end-to-end route: it is not direct, contrary to The Mayor’s Vision for Cycling. From the south side of Richmond Park to Wandsworth, you’d be better cycling along the A3 Putney Vale and West Hill’s share-use paths.  From Tibbets to Wandsworth Common, the old LCN3 route is more direct and, arguably, flatter.
  • Q21 does work if the objective is to expand Wandsworth’s cycling grid i.e. to provide 1-2km long useful links to join up schools and shopping centres. But that’s a useful grid, not a quietway.
  • Wandsworth’s decision to include a new mini-roundabout in Sutherland Road is contrary to London Cycling Design Standards (LCDS).  The treatment of mini-roundabouts along the quietway is inconsistent.
  • Little of Q21 in Wandsworth is filtered to restrict motorised traffic: it is not quiet. With the exception of St. George’s Park, you’re cycling on busy back streets which are popular rat-runs.

Whether this quietway helps grow Wandsworth’s modal share depends on the last point: will people new to cycling, less confident cyclists, or children be happy cycling on roads with rat-running motorists?  I’m not the target audience for this quietway, but I’m very doubtful.

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One thought on “Wandsworth Common to Teddington Quietway (Q21), Part 1: Wandsworth

  1. Via Twitter, @matt_stephen has pointed out things I’ve missed, and adds several ideas to make this a better scheme:

    Section 3A & 3B Garratt Lane/ Mapleton Road
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    * Need to amend traffic signals to reduce cycle time at junction. Currently a long wait for the toucan phase of the crossing.
    * Ensure that the two-way cycle lanes on the bridge over the River Wandle at the east end of Mapleton road are wide enough for two passing lanes of non-standard cycles.
    * Change parking restrictions outside leisure centre to “disabled only at any time”. There is a large car park already nearby. Reducing on-street parking will reduce collision risk.
    * Add give way markings onto exits from car parks near to King Georges Park
    * Add raised table to junction between Mapleton Road and Mapleton Crescent to reduce speeds.

    Section 4 King George’s Park
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    For consistency with existing paths, consider semi-segregated lanes for pedestrians and cyclists on the new paths in the park.

    Section 5 Brathway Road/ Merton Road/ Granville Road
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Room permitting, provide mandatory cycle feeder lanes to ASLs on all arms of the junction.

    Section 9 Withycombe Road/Princes Way
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A widened pavement along the length of this section could allow semi-segregation from pedestrians. This would then link into the semi-segreged shared-used paths currently on West Hill.

    Sections 10 Telegraph Road/Putney Heath & 11 Putney Heath
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Additional measures required to keep traffic to 20mph on this route as this area often has speeding motor vehicles.

    Section 13 Danebury Avenue/Priory Lane
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    New parallel pedestrian & cycling crossings should be raised to level of pavement (“raised table”) to slow traffic. This would be consistent with the Putney Heath crossing Section 5.

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