Thursday, 16 April 2015

An update on the Merton Park level crossing

MCC finally get a promise of action on ‘multiple failures’ Level Crossing

Risk life and limb and stand in the middle of the Tramlink crossing of Kingston Road in Merton Park and your feet will be in 3 wards at the same time. Merton Park, Dundonald and Abbey wards meet here, each represented by a different political party. But there is even greater risk to life and limb if you try to cycle over this badly neglected but very busy level crossing.

After 3 years of unsuccessful attempts to get the Council and TfL to sort this political no-mans-land out MCC finally brought in the Constituency MP and the Greater London Assembly representative. This has resulted in the Council admitting to multiple failures: failure between the tracks, failure of recent resurfacing leading up to the tracks and failure round utility boxes.

As a result of MCC’s latest intervention, Merton met Tramlink on site, for the first time, on April 2nd to discuss scope of the works and a temporary fix. The full works can only take place at night after the trams have stopped running; Tramlink admit that the only window available to do the work is in October. Until then MCC recommends that cyclists should continue to expect a rough and dangerous ride over this crossing.

Monday, 13 April 2015

The Raynes Park to Wimbledon Town Centre Cycle Route

MCC member Harry Cole takes a closer look at one of Merton's present day cycle routes.

With the news that Kingston Council have had a public exhibition of their plan for a Cycle Path from New Malden Station to the Car Park at the Raynes Park Social Club, and are apparently keen to press ahead with the construction phase, I decided to take a critical look at the existing path it will connect to from Raynes Park Station to Wimbledon station.

This is a shared path throughout its length, except for the short sections at Wyke Road and Alt Grove before it joins St George's Road in Wimbledon. It is a generally good quality Tarmac surface with the railway fence on one side, and the rear fences of properties along the other. The railway fence is a good quality one, more than can be said for many on the other side with are generally in poor repair and covered in graffiti. There are lampposts along the whole length, though I imagine that in the dark it might seem rather unsafe.

My main concerns are the crossings by the Raynes Park and the Lower Downs Road tunnels, the variable width in places, and the ending of the path in Wimbledon.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Bicycle storage locations

Merton Council have advised the MCC that they have placed an initial order for eight Bikehangers in order to test their use in the borough.

The Bikehanger is a secure cycle parking device designed by Cyclehoop. Each unit can hold six bicycles, protecting them from theft, vandalism and providing shelter from rain. They can be installed in place of a car parking space on street, or away from the road such as within the grounds of a residential estate.

Merton Council would welcome suggestions for where these first eight Bikehangers could be best used. If you have a proposal, please email info@mertcyclists.org or tweet @LCCinMerton with your ideas.

Following this initial set of eight units, the total order will eventually amount to thirty seven for the borough of Merton.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

New Malden to Raynes Park Link

Our neighbouring borough of Kingston is holding a drop in session today to show the next stage of their Mini-Holland programme. This will provide a new route from Raynes Park in Merton to New Malden in Kingston for those on foot and on bicycle. Described as a "green link", it will run parallel with railway tracks and pass under the A3 away from motor vehicle traffic.

The plans can be seen today (25th March) at the Methodist Church Hall, New Malden High Street, from 4:30pm to 7:30pm. Staff from Sustrans and the Royal Borough of Kingston will be attending to answer questions and listen to comments.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Wimbledon Town Centre Gyratory

TFL's relationship with Merton is described as a "partnership" by TFL's Commissioner Hendy. What might have been a Mini-Holland cycling partnership, is now a Local Implementation Plan (LIP) partnership to improve Wimbledon Town Centre. In 2015-2016 this means £200,000 towards improving cycling conditions in Wimbledon Town Centre, to include "identifying" how the gyratory can be madesafer and easier for cyclists and pedestrians.

  • Newham have £1m to remove Stratford gyratory.
  • Haringey have £1m for green spaces and 20mph zones.
  • Hammersmith & Fulham have £0.6m for cycling improvements and 20mph zones.
  • What will Merton make of their £0.2m?

The Mini Holland proposals for the Town Centre appear to have bitten the dust as the "partnership" seems intent on a gyratory, but with "safe" gyrations, and the funds are to include "identifying" how. Which sounds like another expensive report and little else…

BUT WAIT…Merton Voluntary Service to the rescue, they headlined this as
"Merton set to make cycling provision reality'

They proudly herald TfL's 2015-2016 allocation and state that: "the Council will look at the best ways to spend this funding to make cycling as safe and convenient for everyone, including children and families, as it is in the Netherlands". So that's alright.

Hugh Morgan

Sunday, 1 February 2015

The Merton Cycling Campaign needs volunteers!

At the Merton Cycling Campaign, we are simply ordinary residents of Merton who are passionate to see cycling become a safe and accessible of transport for everyone in the borough.

We wish to see riding a bicycle become a fully normal way of travelling in the borough, as is the case in Denmark, Holland and Germany.

We are volunteers and have limited time and resources. We can always do with extra help!

We welcome all Merton residents who want better cycling facilities to help us out:
  • Helping us at events
  • Accompanying us at local rides
  • Leafleting
  • Sending us ideas on how to improve the cycling experience
  • Sending us write-ups of your experiences cycling in Merton
  • Web developing/editing skills
  • Cycle infrastructure design skillls and ideas (Photoshop, AutoCAD)
Would you be able to help us? Please come to our monthly meeting on the first Thursday of every month @ 8pm, All Saints Centre, All Saints Road, Wimbledon,SW19 1BX to find out more.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

London's first Women's Cycle Forum

On Thursday 23rd October, the LCC will host London's first Women's Cycle Forum.  The event will welcome a panel of policy-makers, practitioners, politicians and advocates.  Booking is free and open to the public.  
6:30-8:30pm, Westminster University (Baker St Tube), registration required
Further details and booking on the LCC website here http://lcc.org.uk/pages/upcoming-seminars