Thursday, 18 June 2015

New Malden to Raynes Park link, community event this Saturday

Community event on footbridge between Alric and Dukes Avenue
Saturday 20 June 10am to 1pm

The New Malden to Raynes Park link is a project progressing under Kingston's successful Mini-Holland bid. The aim of the event is to provide local residents with detailed feedback from previous engagement events with particular focus on safety and local ecology issues. Sustrans, who are developing the route on behalf of Kingston Council will be attending, along with LCC representatives from Merton and Kingston.

Please do join us to find out more about the project and have your questions answered.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Become a FreeCycle 2015 Marshal.

Last year, our volunteer marshals helped to successfully lead over 2500 riders into Central London from over 30 London Boroughs. These rides are aimed at giving less confident cyclists the opportunity to ride into the event in the company of experienced cyclists, and on a pre-planned quiet route. For many people these rides provide the confidence to start cycling regularly.

We’re looking for friendly, helpful and chatty people who want to encourage others to join us in our shared love of cycling. You don’t have to be a pro, but some experience of marshalling led rides would be desirable along with having reached Level 3 Bikeability. Your main role will be to work with your Ride Leader to ensure the ride is safe and the participants enjoy the experience.

Marshals will be expected to be available for both inbound and return rides, and in return for their help will be given a RideLondon t-shirt, a marshal tabard, access to the marshal welfare area and a packed lunch.

If you are interested, please sign up by Sunday 5th July

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Around London, a review of the Cambridge Junction proposals in Westminster

Westminster Council are consulting on changes to the Cambridge Circus junction, where Charing Cross Road meets Shaftesbury Avenue. An MCC member takes a closer look at the proposals

First of all, the practice of redesigning isolated junctions is inherently hostile to cycling. In the absence of a plan for cycling that covers the West End, it is difficult to say how changes to this junction will affect cycling. However it is possible to say that encouraging cycling will benefit pedestrians, by encouraging modal shift away from motor traffic.There are many pedestrians who would like to cycle but are put off by the road danger they witness. If the West End were more cycle-permeable, a lot of cyclists would likely avoid this junction. The point being - considering pedestrians and cyclists as separate groups, and treating a junction as if it were not affected by the surrounding environment - is flawed. Hopefully that will be clearly illustrated by the following comments.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Wimbledon Quietway

The Wimbledon Town Centre to Plough Lane section of the London Quietway network is currently being planned for delivery in 2016. The work is at an early stage, and will continue to change before formal public consultation.

This article takes a look at the current configuration of Merton Councils planned route, along with an alternative route in order to examine the problems and benefits of each. The Merton Cycling Campaign have not yet taken a position on its preference, and would welcome comments from anyone interested in this important project.

The New London Quietways

The London Quietway network was first announced in the Mayor's Vision for Cycling published in 2013. Intended to compliment the high capacity Superhighways, the Quietways would be designed for those wanting a more relaxed journey on low-traffic side streets.

The Mayor declared the following objectives for these new routes:

  • They will be direct.
  • They will be better-surfaced.
  • They will be clearly signed.
  • Each route will be delivered as a whole, not piecemeal.
  • They will not give up at the difficult places.
  • Barriers and ‘Cyclists Dismount’ signs will be removed as far as possible.
  • 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.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

VoteBike replies from Merton's election candidates.

In the run up to the General Election the national cycling charity CTC encouraged voters to contact their candidates to ask them their views on cycling and five specific policy measures as recommended in the "Get Britain Cycling" parliamentary report.

Increase levels of cycling to 10% of trips by 2025 and 25% by 2050.

An average government spend of at least £10 per person per year on cycling.

Design standards
Create consistently high design standards for cycling in all highway and traffic schemes, new developments and planned road maintenance work.

Measures to improve cycle safety by strengthening road traffic law and its enforcement and revising the Highway Code.

Positive promotion
Support positive promotion of cycling, including cycle skills training, for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

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.