Last week I went to the local Police Liaison Group. For an activity which provides 5% of Richmond transport (according to our local cycling champion), cycling certainly turned up in a lot of complaints and issues.
Firstly, a gentleman asked about Manor Road:
As you can see, it’s bisected by a train line which can cause extensive delays for traffic and pedestrians, but the question raised was around cycling on the pavements, especially at the beginning and end of the school day. The gentleman who asked was concerned that the narrow pavements are entirely unsuitable for cycling, but was concerned that children then needed to share a road with either very heavy queueing traffic which was impossible to pass, or moving vehicles which have usually waited for the crossing to change, and are then wont to bully their way along the road, forcing cyclists into the gutters. (Google got the road on a quiet day in the picture below, but you can see that it’s very poor for cycling.)
The council doesn’t appear to have any plans to deal with this, although a footbridge has been on the offing for about three years – needless to say, this isn’t likely to make any difference to children seeking to cycle to school.
Secondly, another attendee raised concerns about the cycle lane running (on the pavement) all along the A316, like this:
He recounted an incident where, driving up his road to an intersection which looks just like this, a child on a bicycle had ridden straight across in front of him.
And who can’t sympathise? TfL have built the cycle lane so that cars can park almost on top of it, making it impossible for either side to see clearly:
Needless to say, the Police are effectively powerless to deal with either of these issues: they’re not keen to go around ticketing children on bicycles – even though they’re breaking the law by cycling on the Manor Road pavements – and they’re not planning to devote resources to clean up TfL’s mess at junctions like this.
Still, Richmond is a cycling paradise, overall!
(If you’re interested, the other key item of complaint: dog mess.)