The latest consultation to close at Richmond Council is for re-developing the station forecourt area. And with just a little bit of effort, they’ve managed to make people vote to make the station area even less useful for pedestrians and cyclists.
How did they manage this? Wimbledon, after all, has just pedestrianised its entire station forecourt area, easing access for the millions who use it every year. Richmond station is used by some 6m people a year, arriving primarily by bus and foot, yet the council thinks its Ok to spend more space in Richmond station kowtowing to taxis and people who want to be quite literally driven to the station door, than to spend that space on making it easier for people to walk from their bus to the station.
And heaven help you if you use a wheelchair or any other mobility aids, because the chosen solution barely improves on the current terrible layout.
And that’s because Richmond Council loves your car. Since the new administration arrived, endless council time and money has been spent on replacing the very pale green Co2 car parking charges of the last lot with handy ‘park free for half an hour’ plans for locals, encouraging the people who least need to drive to the shops … to do so.
And that’s on top of the current consultation, for Twickenham, which makes minor proposals to increase the street-scape for pedestrians, whilst also bending over backwards to ‘keep traffic moving’. Don’t worry about cycling there: it merits less than half a dozen mentions, and a nice picture in the consultation document of cycle stands in the middle of the street.