Sutton Cycle Forum June 2016

The second Sutton Cycle Forum meeting of 2016 (and the third since the borough’s Cycling Strategy was approved in November 2015) took place on 14 June. (You can read about the previous Cycle Forum meeting, that took place in March, here). The June meeting, hosted by Sutton Council, had a slightly different format. There was a one-hour discussion, chaired by Lynn Robinson, and this was followed by a ride along the proposed route of Sutton’s first Quietway. Here we give an overview of the meeting, and a review of the ride is available in Sutton’s proposed first Quietway: what is required to make it a success?

Scheme updates

These are given in the order they were presented. Some items, which had little direct relevance to cycling, have been omitted.

Worcester ParkNorth Cheam to Worcester Park path – this is complete (as far it goes – no lighting). A bollard has been moved from its original position (following a request from us, see June 2016 newsletter and images below (left: 13 May 2016, centre: 3 June 2016)). The path still needs direction signs and shared use repeater signs. We requested that the current footpath link to Boscombe Road be upgraded, so to be suitable for people on bicycles (i.e. remove barriers, improve surface, provide suitable interface between path and Boscombe Road (see image on right below: 5 May 2016).

Sutton North: Angel Hill / High Street – feasibility study on signalised pedestrian crossing is with a consultant (there was talk of a Toucan crossing, but not clear what purpose this would serve).

Beddington South: Woodcote Green – stage 4 safety audit being carried out.

The Wrythe: Green Wrythe Lane – work on pavement widening/ footway conversion to shared use between Wrythe Green (William Street) and St Andrews Road to start on 20 June. As first reported in November 2014, and most recently discussed in January 2016, Green Wrythe Lane footway conversion to shared use is not something Get Sutton Cycling endorses at all. However, Cllr. Stears wants it, so it’s going to happen. Let’s just hope that Cllr. Stears uses it.

Wandle ValleyPeterborough Road/Bishopsford Road (issues with vehicles parked across access point) – potentially a similar situation will need to be addressed at Newstead Walk / Bishopsford Road (St Helier ward, and the anticipated future Quietway alignment), so Peterborough Road may wait for the Newstead Walk design to be produced first as this is a similar layout. The NCN20 signs on Peterborough Road have not been removed yet (this relates to the anticipated realignment of NCN 20 away from Peterborough Road), but is a relatively much lower priority than resolving the blocked access issue). Cllr. Crosby does not want any parking spaces removed. (It is important to recognise that this is not about a reduction in parking allocation, it’s about parking relocation. It is as much a parking issue as a cycling one. Therefore, the cycling officer (of which there is just one) could (and it would be recommended that they did) seek assistance from one of the three members of staff who are apparently employed full time on parking).

Cycle stand locations – new cycle stands have been installed in Mellows Park [Beddington South], good news, but nothing yet for Wallington Square [Wallington South] (although this remains on the list apparently). Still waiting to hear from St Anthony’s [Worcester Park], which is one of the venues used for Local Committee meetings, to reply.

suttoncycleforumjune2016_p1260616_mellowspark_20160920

Mellows Park, where two shiny new cycle stands were installed in spring 2016. The joy! Of course, roads around the park remain generally hostile to cycling. 20 September 2016

Cycle shelters (Bikehangar) – installation for Dover Gardens [The Wrythe] still in negotiations, added double yellow lines (?). Suggested we would like a report detailing the (protracted) process necessary to bring this project to conclusion when it is finally completed! Apparently a Bikehangar has recently been installed in Alexandra Gardens [Carshalton South and Clockhouse].

TfL report summary not sent to TfL yet. However, Beddington & Wallington committee want to know progress (which is good news, all about keeping the conversation going). Officer is trying to arrange a meeting with TfL.

Update on Sustainable Transport Strategy – the strategy (update) is going to Environment and Neighbourhood Committee on 27 June, and the report is online now. (It is now a year since the strategy was published (June 2015), having been approved in November 2014). See E&N committee, 27 June 2016, agenda item 7. This update reports a cycling mode share of 2%, suggesting that the short term target of 2.2% set for 2017, against a baseline of 1% 2010/2011, has almost been met. (In our response to the Cycling Delivery Strategy consultation (September 2015) we recommended the the 4% target for 2025 be brought forward to 2022. It wasn’t).

suttoncycleforumjune2016_eandn_20160627_sustainable-transport-report-appendix-a_page01_20160614

Appendix A, a single page document, to the Update on Sustainable Transport Strategy report prepared for the Environment and Neighbourhood Committee meeting 27 June 2016, accessed 14 June 2016

Royal Marsden (London Cancer Hub) – with Development control (?) A report on the Sutton Town Centre draft Masterplan consultation is expected imminently.

Cycle counts – 29 locations completed (March 2016). A report on this was expected next week. (We had received a report ‘Analysis of traffic usage across Sutton 2007-2005’ dated July 2015 on 8 April this year. This raised more questions than answers).

Nonsuch Park to Worcester Park signing will be done soon.

A plan entitled “Proposed cycle routes” for the Felnex development at Hackbridge was now available (and, as a result, we subsequently published Felnex redevelopment –  an acid test for cycling). 

Two minor improvement locations have been added to LIP 2017/2018 (?)

20 mph zone being investigated for Cheam Common Junior School, Balmoral Road [Worcester Park]. Traffic counts for this area (March 2016) expected next week.

LIP schemes 2016/2017

All schemes for 2016/2017 are at the design stage. Consultation will happen soon. The only two cycling specific schemes (shared with walking) for the year are a second, shared-use, path for Overton Park (linking Overton Road, Overton School with Chipstead Close) [Belmont] and more footway conversion on Green Wrythe Lane [The Wrythe]. The effectiveness of cycle paths in parks that are gated is discussed in Idea’s for boosting Sutton’s cycling aspirations, and footway conversion in Green Wrythe Lane back on the agenda.

Beddington Lane – a major scheme (but a lot more is needed for cycling, see A cycle tour of Beddington Village).

Possible programme 2017/2018

Reference was made to “Local Implementation Plan Funding 2017/2018”, Appendix A, Summary of Schemes for funding by TfL in 2017/18 and Reserve List, Programme 2 – Corridors Neighbourhoods and Supporting Measures. Borough-wide details are provided in the report that is sent to all six local committees. Sutton Local Committee had received the report at their 7 June 2016 meeting. Nine cycle schemes were listed, and these were to be prioritised during the summer. The list here is the order as detailed in the document.

TfL has yet to announce funding levels for the coming year (normally this would be known by now) – the allocation could be just 70% of that of the current year. The document suggests that the allocation for these cycle schemes would be £150,000.

1. Bridge Road Wallington (WA) (reserve list) Part of our ‘ward ask’ for Wallington South had been for a re-assessment of Ross Parade/Bridge Road/Clarendon Road/Ross Road to ensure that the traffic-free Bridge Road interfaced well with surrounding trafficked streets.

2. Nonsuch Park (reserve list) ?

3. Sutton Common Park (parks) ?

4. Middleton Road review cycle lanes (reserve list) ?

5. Green Lane bridle path upgrade (reserve list) ?

6. Link Lane Wallington contra flow (WA) Our ‘ward ask’ for Beddington South had included “…protected space on Mollison Drive and Foresters Drive, two-way cycling on streets that are currently designated one-way (e.g. Link Lane), safe junctions,…” 

7. Greenway link on Roundshaw Downs – Overhill Road route and Plough Lane route (WA) Our ‘ward ask’ for Beddington South had included “…Greenway cycle links between Overhill Road and Imperial Way and between Plough Lane and Lancastrian Road..”

8. Camden Road Carshalton – contraflow (WA) Our ‘ward ask’ for The Wrythe had included “Improvements are required to the Colston Avenue/West Street roundabout (Carshalton), and these could be linked with the introduction of two-way cycling on Camden Road.”

9. Cycle Parking

—-

In reviewing this list, it was noted by us that engagement and conversation was the most important issue, and that this did not cost very much. The introduction of point closures on residential streets was not expensive either, but this clearly requires political will to make the case. 

As to priority from the list, we suggested Camden Road contraflow [The Wrythe], the Greenway link on Roundshaw Downs [Beddington South], Bridge Road [Wallington North/Wallington South], and trying to progress safe routes to school (especially throughout Beddington South).

In order for the successful implementation of a contraflow for cycling on Camden Road [The Wrythe] – a key link – relocation of existing parking provision would be required. Just installing signs (like on The Broadway, Manor Lane [Sutton Central] earlier this year) would not be sufficient. Work would also be needed at the western end of Camden Road by West Street and at West Street with Colston Avenue.

Although the bridge at Bridge Road provides a welcome traffic-free section, the Ross Parade, Bridge Road, Ross Road, Clarendon Road intersection [Wallington South] is potentially dangerous for cycling through (especially when cycling north or south). People driving east on Ross Parade to the junction with Bridge Road / Clarendon Road often do not appear to expect crossing traffic (even though users of Ross Parade are expected to give way here). Improvements for safety are a priority here (and there is more on this in The Wallington Superhighway? An easy win). Essentially the area is a rat-run, so addressing the volume of traffic here needs to be a medium term priority too.

We requested negotiations to commence for the removal the gate on Oaks Track [Carshalton South and Clockhouse], part of the NCN20, to perhaps be replaced with a bollard.

—-

Quietways

Sutton’s first Quietway will link Morden with Sutton. In Sutton borough, the proposed alignment of the route, from Bishopsford Road (A217) to Sutton High Street, passes through three wards, St Helier, Sutton North and Sutton Central. In St Helier: Newstead Walk, joining Robertsbridge Road (LCN29), and across Wrythe Lane to Rosehill Park East. In Sutton North (continuing as the existing LCN29): Rosehill Park East, Grennell Road, Elgin Road, Benhill Wood Road, then crossing Oakhill Road into Sutton Central, Benhill Wood Road, crossing Benhill Avenue into Nursery Road to Manor Lane (joining the LCN75), and the link to cross Throwley Way into Lodge Place.

Lynn gave an update of what has been happening, so far, in respect to the development of the proposed alignment of the Morden to Sutton Quietway.

  • Sutton officers had already ridden the route with Sustrans and with Andrew Gilligan.
  • The alignment on the Merton section of the route had not yet been finalised (a choice between St Helier Avenue (traffic-free path) and Malmesbury Road (residential street)). As afar as Sutton was concerned there was no strong preference on route (but there were know issues with Rosehill roundabout).
  • TfL would like to promote the whole route (yes that is good, and was in the Mayor’s Vision for Cycling, March 2013), but it was recognised that sections of route in adjoining boroughs may not be delivered at the same time.A rather indistinct map was provided, to highlight the areas along the route for discussion.

From our point of view, we thought that it was important for the route to link with key destinations, including Morden (shops and underground), the David Weir Leisure Centre and with St Helier Hospital, and that these links/spurs would need to be designed to the same standard as the Quietway (London Cycling Design Standards).

Our two key points were:

  • Wide neighbourhood engagement would be required, that went further than just with residents living along the core route alignment.
  • Traffic levels are currently too high on sections of the route for it to qualify for Quietway status. For example,  a traffic count taken during the morning peak period in July 2015 suggests that up to 900 motor vehicles an hour pass though the Elgin Road / All Saints Road / Grennell Road / Benhill Road intersection. A priority, therefore, would be to find a way of  reducing the volume of traffic here. The introduction of point-closures, allowing access but preventing rat-running, is one way t do this. Again, it would need to be considered over a wide area, and in the bigger context of what is trying to be achieved in the longer term.

Following the meeting, attendees joined Ruth from Sustrans on a ride along the proposed alignment of the Sutton borough section of the Morden to Sutton Quietway. Read more in Sutton’s proposed first Quietway: what is required to make it a success?

v1: This post was first published on 21 September 2016.

v2: Updated, to include link to the report on the Quietway ride, on 11 November 2016

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