Thursday, December 04, 2014

Heathrow fakes it

Gatwick airport claims Heathrow set up fake support group for new runway
Back Heathrow, which gets funding from west London airport, says it represents local businesses and residents

, transport correspondent, The Guardian,

Here's what happens when lobbies take over societies. In case you haven't been following, the story goes that way: government gives up on planning vital infrastructure (Maplin Sands, 1973, Labour), then privatises it (Tory, 1986), forces it to sell off assets (Tory, 2009), resulting in each of the SIX international airports around London being owned by different (often foreign) shareholders. The result is all of them pitching for their own (shareholders) interests -at the expense of greater public good. Ensues a lot of private propaganda, etc., but no one saying simple things such as high-speed rail being a good alternative for (2006, Labour).

Related posts

Thursday, October 16, 2014

What's up with TfL and shared spaces?

Saw Richmond Cycling Campaign's draft response to TfL’s consultation on changes at Manor Circus.
This consultation is a stark reminder of TfL's absolute incompetence when it comes to designing cycle lanes ; as well as its the fact those consultations are absolute farce since they fail to advertise them to users (no posters on the junction in question) or canvass local residents by way of letterbox flyers.
Thankfully they found out and their observations are mostly spot on.
This junction is a danger zone for cyclist, interrupting an important cycle path. As a result, many cyclists use the roundabout.
There's some merit to the proposals in the removal of the 3rd left filter lane on the Westbound A316 and the pavement widening, but the toucan crossings are ill conceived indeed and shared spaces are a recipe for disaster.


Here's my response
1. This is a masquerade consultation: why hasn't TfL bothered to post signs on the junction itself to the attention of its users? Why have residents not been leafleted?
2. The intent is laudable: this roundabout bisects an important cycling route and offers no provision for cycling. As a result, many cyclists use the roundabout. In particular, the removal of the Westbound filter lane goes in the right direction.
3. However the execution is ill conceived on many aspects.
3.1. Shared cycle-pedestrians space is in general not safe and should be eliminated ; which should be possible with the filter lane removal and pavement widening.
3.1. Cycle lanes should have right of way to private land entrance -specifically to the BP petrol station and Sainsbury's
3.2. Toucan crossings will introduce much delays and therefore will be ignored -scrap them ; They are set too far back from the roundabout and impose a detour.
3.3. Scrapping those toucan crossings won't impose a widening of the central reservation and thus allow wider pavements -see 3.1.
3.4. Bicycles should not have to give way when merging into Sandycombe road and Manor road
3.5. The cycle lane should have right of way on North road, just like it was decided on Elsinore way.

Previous posts on similar subjects:

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Pizza firms leaves crashed driver alone (but not the pizze)

We witnessed a pretty shocking behaviour from pizza delivery firm Papa John today. After one of its delivery man was knocked off, it sent another employee to collect its pizza's, leaving his colleague behind as he was being attended by three ambulance crew.

The accident happened at junction reported repeatedly by residents as dangerous at 1545 today. A high-powered white BMW M3 travelling South on Bicester road collided with the scooter going East on another branch of Bicester road, leaving slid marks 6.50 metres long.

A paramedic arrived ten minutes after on a bicycle, followed shortly by two police officers in a car. It took a full 30 minutes for an ambulance crew to be on site.

This crossing has seen several accidents and many near misses and reported as dangerous to the council by residents demanding a raised junction.
Police car and ambulance on the scene of the crash in Bicester road, Richmond

The high-powered BMW M3 sports car bearing signs of the impact

The Papa John's pizza delivery scooter after the crash

Monday, January 20, 2014

Elsinore and the A316 breadcrumb cycle path

Some more on the 316...

Transport for London has sent us another consultation, to re-re-re-do a portion of the A316.
To cut a long story short, they re-did a while back a cycle lane on the Lower Richmond Road. They got several things wrong, and fixed some a few month later -for instance they moved the bus shelters where the cycle path was between a shelter and the road (duh) or sign posts right on the middle of the path. Or the turning space discussed below which meant cars had to do a 2 or 3 point turn in lieu of a U-turn (re-duh).

Monday, January 06, 2014

Alice in Holland, or the tale of crap cycle lanes in Richmond

The Richmond Cycling Campaign (aka RCC, on Twitter at @RichmondCycling) has a great post on the A316 here:
The A316 – a correspondent writes …

I've wanted to write about that a long time ago, as this cycle path was redone a few years back, but to very low standards -a complete waste of taxpayer money IMHO. Some additional observations to what the RCC posted:
  • Shared paths are a stupid idea, period.
  • At the start, they had put bus stops across the path, and moved them after when it became obvious that it was a potential risk as bus users would just cross the cycle lane to board. This shows that TfL has absolutely no idea about cycle lanes best practices. Changes of course cost money.
  • I discussed those priorities to cars turning with the TfL engineer at a Richmond May fair and he mentioned that drivers "were not expecting to yield on turning." Obviously, they're not there to change minds and improve attitudes.
  • Lastly, the cycle lane surface isn't smooth at all and doesn't drain well -no one likes a bumpy ride and puddles aren't great either when you're cycling. Oh, and it's not cleaned very well -there were two Xmas trees obstructing it yesterday for instance.
See some pictures below. Oh, and don't forget to check this page from the Cycling Embassy on Crap Cycle Lanes (credit to the Warrington Cycling Campaign).

This other RCC post is also a must read: What the Cycling Strategy Should Say…

Cycle land on Lower Richmond Road, interrupted by Manor Grove ; see also bus stop dangerously close.

Cycle land on Lower Richmond Road (A316) interrupted by Sainsbury's entrance
Cycle land on Lower Richmond Road (A316) interrupted by Sainsbury's entrance.

Cycle lane stops at Manor Circus, where you need it most. Shared path with pedestrian is very narrow. At that point, the A316 is 3 lane + 2 lanes wide (left filter lane into Manor Road)

Richmond Circus approach -the A316 cycle lane ends there and there are no provisions to merge into traffic to get into the city centre.

Related post: