But the key bits you need to read are from page 45 of the reports pack.
There’s no diagrams included, but the key proposals now suggest:
- Introducing cycle lanes to both sides of King Street
- “Provide cycle lanes on London Road (between Arragon Road and junction of Whitton Road/London Road; including the retention of the mandatory cycle lane leading up to the railway bridge.”
- “Subject to a feasibility study/negotiations to strengthen/widen the railway bridge provide mandatory cycle lanes along both sides of the road.”
Which is a big improvement on where we were six weeks ago. And reading through the rest of the document, there are some other interesting things that come out. Earlier on, talking about bus stops, the report observes (p45, s3.17)
“It was identified in the pre-publication TAAP consultation that these stops contribute to the dominance of motorised traffic and cause ‘pedestrian congestion’ on the footways. Furthermore it allows the widening of the footways to provide valuable and much needed space for pedestrians, particularly those in wheelchairs or those less able to negotiate their way through crowded spaces. ”
Which is as close to an implicit acceptance as I’ve seen, that (a) motor traffic dominates Twickenham and (b) that this isn’t a good thing.
Unfortunately, the changes we’re seeing above – with the exception of what sounds like a full, dedicated cycle lane on both sides of London Road at the station – are still lipsticking the pig. We still have have four lanes of traffic entering Twickenham at each end, and nothing that’s going to encourage you to let your child, teenager, or probably yourself, cycle through there without being in fear.
While you’re reading the report though, do check page 47, section 3.34:
“By improving the cycle facilities, reducing congestion/conflicting movements it is anticipated that there will be a reduction in road traffic accidents, particularly in King Street. “
While it’s nice that there’s some acceptance that improved cycle facilities make things safer, what you have to ask yourself is this: how come it’s more than TWO YEARS into this project, and they’ve only just noticed this?
So, if you still think Twickenham can be a more pleasant place, pop over to see Paul James, who will show you a very attractive suggestion for the area, then take the opportunity to write to any of these people, and ask them why they think Twickenham is still going to be so well served by being a nice thoroughfare for going anywhere except Twickenham itself:
Cllr Chris Harrison – Cabinet Member for Highways and Street Scene Cllr.firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Chadwick – Director for Environment email@example.com
Andrew Darvill – Assistant Director for Environment firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Smith – Integrated Transport Planning Manager email@example.com