Tuesday, 8 February 2011

I wrote to my councillors ....

Dear Katharine Mary Harborne, Richard James Montague and Lisa Carole Blakemore,

Richmond Cycle Club drew my attention to this piece of work from the council, concerning cycling: http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/2011/02/04/lbrut-proposed-cycle-map/

It seems to me that this is not only a waste of money, but it demonstrates that the council is actually not really committed to encouraging more cycling in our borough.

Here's some brief notes I made about the map:
1. It doesn't show routes, it shows bits of road the borough think are appropriate for either 'use for quiet rides or family groups' or other roads.
2. Who cares about car club parking on a cycle map?
3. Sheendale Road is shown as continuous across the railway track. It has steps on I think both sides.
4. Last time I took the A316 I saw multiple signs requiring me to dismount on the 'cycle path' heading to Twickenham. While parts of the route are marked with a path, large parts of it are narrow, unmarked, plainly dangerous to cycle on, or all three: it is utterly inappropriate to claim the A316 as a continuous cycle route.
5. If you followed the map, you'd think to yourself that there's about one safe place (excusing Sheendale Road) to cross the train line if you're in a 'quiet family group'.
6. Signs that say "No crossing facility"? What are those meant to tell map users?
7. Parts of the South Circular *do* have reasonably wide cycle lanes, but they're not even marked.

In a wider sense, though, I'd like to know what the borough is doing to encourage children to cycle to school? And by this, I mean the provision of safe cycling routes which connect their homes and schools: it's my impression that not a single primary school in the borough enables its children to cycle to their school without havng to mix with traffic, and our only solution seems to be giving pupils lessons.

My children won't be ready for school for another 3 years, but by then I expect my borough to support children of 6 and up to be able to ride to school without having to play Russian Roulette with buses, cars and trucks: if the average adult in Richmond is too scared to take the correct position on our roads, how do you think children feel?

Yours sincerely,

Tim Lennon.

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