A look at how well Kingston’s new Cycleways are being used

Whilst the network of Kingston’s new Cycleways delivered as part of the Council’s ‘Go Cycle’ project is far from complete, it’s interesting to see the large number of people who are using the parts of the network already completed.

Although we see lots of people using the network on a daily basis, it is always interesting to have a look at real data to determine actual usage and look for any trends that can be spotted. We have therefore compiled some data from the Council’s existing Cycle Surveys as well as some more recent data produced from Vivacity traffic counting monitors which Kingston Council has been trialling and which we’ve received limited access to.

So, what does the data show us?

New Malden to Raynes Park (Cycleway 31)

This excellent Go Cycle project created brand new walking and cycling paths alongside the South Western train mainline between New Malden station and Raynes Park recreation ground.

Kingston Council’s 2020 cycling survey stated that an average of 320 people were using this route for cycling each day. However, in 2021, The Vivacity sensor data trial shows that 542 people on average used it for cycling (between 14 May and 21 November 2021).

In addition to people using it for cycling, 703 trips by people walking have also been recorded on average each day. Given that before this route opened people couldn’t walk or cycle at all along this path, the data demonstrates how amazingly popular it has become in such a short amount of time.

The popular Beeline Way (Cycleway 31)

The popularity of the path is probably helped by it being away from roads meaning it has reduced air and noise pollution compared to alternative routes (for example, via Burlington Road).

Kingston to Kingston Vale (Cycleway 30)

This is the longest end to end Go Cycle project (4.5km) leading from the centre of Kingston to (almost) the Borough boundary with Wandsworth at the Robin Hood junction of the A3.

Despite construction being started in 2018, this Go Cycle route was only completed in full in early 2021 due to Covid related delays. However, parts of the route were open in 2020 and Kingston Council’s 2021 cycling survey stated the number of people using Kingston Hill for cycling was already increasing, with 363 people cycling on the route in 2020 compared to 211 in 2019 (noting that there had been a general increase in cycling in 2020 due to a national lockdown).

There isn’t a Vivacity sensor on Kingston Hill itself, but there is one on London Road near the end of the Go Cycle route by Tiffin School. This sensor shows an average of 1,521 cycling trips using the route a day (between 12 May and 21 November 2021). This compares with an average 15,467 cars being picked up by the sensor each day meaning, in the same year the route was completed, the number of cycle trips on this part of the route has already reached around 10% of the number of cars using the road!

The London Road section of the Kingston to Kingston Vale route (Cycleway 30)

Kingston to Surbiton (Cycleway 29)

This Cycleway was the second major road route to be completed as part of the Go Cycle programme (the first being Portsmouth Road). Unfortunately, this route suffers from many shared areas at junctions (where people cycling and walking mix in the same space), particularly along the Wheatfield Way part of the route. It therefore doesn’t provide direct, uninterrupted journeys for people cycling and its popularity as a cycling route is likely to be harmed as a result. Despite that, the Vivacity sensor on Wheatfield Way shows an average of 462 cycling trips on this part of the route per day (24 June to 21 November 2021) and 652 cycling trips on Penrhyn Road (6 May to 21 November 2021) based on a sensor near the Kingston University building.

A shared area section of Cycleway 29 at the junction of Wheatfield Way and Fairfield North

There is also a Cycleway ‘link’ route along Claremont Road towards Surbiton that connects to Cycleway 29 but isn’t the main Cycleway 29 route. The Claremont Road Cycleway is an indirect route as a decision was made to reroute the Cycleway around The Crescent rather than continuing it along the full length of Claremont Road (which would have required the removal of car parking spaces). The Vivacity sensor here recorded an average of 298 cycle trips per day (6 May to 21 November 2021).

The final Vivacity sensor we’ve seen data for on this route is on St Mark’s Hill though again, this is just a Cycleway ‘link’ and isn’t the main route for Cycleway 29. As with Claremont Road, due to the decision to keep car parking spaces, there is only a segregated cycle path on one side of the road (in the direction up the hill) reducing its popularity for people cycling. The Vivacity sensor here recorded an average of 359 cycle trips per day (6 May to 21 November 2021 (excluding 5 days in June where data recording appears to have failed)).

Surbiton to Kingston via Portsmouth Road (Cycleway 28)

This was the very first Go Cycle route to be built and was completed to a very high standard after Kingston Cycling Campaign successfully obtained improvements to the original plans.

This route features a two-way segregated cycle lane for most of its length and was extended in 2018 to take the two-way segregated cycle path along most of Kingston High Street (though unfortunately it does not yet reach the Ancient Market Place).

Sadly a Vivacity sensor has not been placed on this route so we need to look at data released as part of the Kingston Council Cycling Survey to look at numbers using this route. Helpfully, the 2021 survey provided average cycling figures for 2018-2020 (which we assume are from the automatic cycling counters the Council has installed on this road):

  • 2018 – 1,068 people cycling per day
  • 2019 – 1,114 people cycling per day
  • 2020 – 1,582 people cycling per day

As the survey notes, during the middle part of 2020 there was a large increase in cycling following a national lockdown (the number of cycle trips peaked at 3,891 on a single day during 2020!) so it will be interesting to see if this has increase has been sustained on Portsmouth Road for 2021. In any case, it is great to see an increasing number of people using this safer cycle route.

Is there any other data available for this route? Well, the Department of Transport also compiles traffic counts and has one for Portsmouth Road. Looking at the Department of Transport’s figures we can see an actual (rather than estimated count) was last completed in 2016. Whilst this is a ‘spot count’ (it only counts people using the road on a single day rather than averaging it over a longer period), it shows that there were only 815 people counted cycling using the road on the day the count was taking place out of 15,424 total number of vehicles counted. Compared with that ‘spot day’ and the latest Kingston Council figures, cycling along the route has therefore almost doubled between 2016 and 2020.

As with the Kingston to Kingston Vale route, assuming the total number of vehicles using Portsmouth Road has remained broadly steady since 2016, the number of people cycling on the route could again be around 10% of the total vehicles using the road!

Portsmouth Road – Cycleway 28

Any other data?

Some other quick statistics:

  • 1,370 walking or cycling trips on average per day across the new bridge taking people over the one-way system near Kingston Station (25 June to 21 November 2021 – Vivacity sensor data). Given this route was closed for over two years and only reopened earlier this year it’s already proving popular and allows for many more people to use it than the bridge it replaced.
  • 421 cycling trips on average per day using the South Lane underpass to cross the A3. This is one of the few safe and convenient crossings of the A3 in this area (6 May to 21 November 2021 – Vivacity sensor data).
  • Only 394 cycling trips per day on average on Coombe Lane West (2 May to 21 November 2021 – Vivacity sensor data). This route was removed from the first phase of the Go Cycle programme and therefore lacks segregated cycling facilities. This is despite it being a major desire route for cycling between Norbiton and Raynes Park. It also passes a number of current (and planned) schools as well as Kingston Hospital. We hope that Kingston Council will be successful in their funding bid for Go Cycle phase 2 which provisionally includes this route. Coombe Lane West could then see an improvement in cycling rates as seen on the Go Cycle phase 1 routes already constructed.
  • More Department for Transport data suggests that, as mentioned earlier, there was a large increase in cycling nationally during the middle part of 2020 following a national lockdown. However, nationally, the data states that cycling levels in 2021 have broadly returned to those at the beginning of March 2020. The apparent increase in people cycling in Kingston during 2021 is therefore even more impressive.

What does all this data tell us?

It is important to emphasise that the Vivacity sensors are under trial and the figures used above have not been audited. However, the Vivacity sensors do seem to pick up a similar number of vehicles per day as shown in other recent Council traffic counts which use different technology. A trial of these sensors elsewhere in London also showed they were up to 97% accurate.

It is also interesting that the sensors can pick up ‘tracks’ of vehicles so can see what paths they are taking and which turns they make (see photo below). These images could help more easily determine the origin and destinations of journeys as well as helping understand whether people find the new cycling infrastructure useful or if they are avoiding it and are using the road instead.

Vivacity sensor image showing cycling ‘tracks’ along Beeline Way during a one hour period on 23 November 2021 and a picture of the sensor on a nearby lamppost

We look forward to hearing the results of the full trial of the Vivacity sensors and hope the Council will keep those in place on the Go Cycle network as well as filling in gaps in their coverage on the remainder of the network.

The data seems to show that the New Malden to Raynes Park has been very successful and also, that where there is continuous high-quality segregated cycle routes, e.g. Portsmouth Road and London Road, that cycling rates can be a substantial portion of the total number of vehicles using the route. However, where there are gaps in segregation for people cycling, for example Wheatfield Way, cycling rates seem to be lower. We therefore hope this data gives Kingston Council the drive to look at improving the continuity of exiting Cycle routes to provide direct and segregated routes, even through junctions.

Overall, the numbers of people cycling on the Go Cycle routes seem to be increasing. However, with Phase 1 of the Go Cycle network still not complete and Phase 2 currently unfunded, it will be some time before everyone in the Borough lives next to a safe cycling network. Until that happens, cycling levels in the Borough are unlikely to reach their full potential.

You can visit the Vivacity sensor website to find out more about their sensors.

You can read more about the Go Cycle programme at the following links:

The Council’s Go Cycle website

Our map of Mini Holland routes open, in construction and proposed

Our guide to new cycle infrastructure in Kingston

Mini-Holland: Progress in 2020

As we reach the end of 2020, we’ve taken a look at the progress that was made on Kingston’s Mini-Holland programme (also known as ‘Go Cycle’) during the year and finish with a look towards 2021.

Kingston to Kingston Vale

The Kingston to Kingston Vale cycle route is the longest in the Mini-Holland programme and started main construction in 2019. It was due to be finished this year but events of 2020 caused this timeline to become unachievable. Despite the difficulties of 2020, during the year the 2-way track along London Road between Queen Elizabeth Road and Manorgate Road was completed as well as the cycle tracks between Manorgate Road and Queen’s Road. Some ‘snagging’ (fixing minor issues) also took place on Kingston Hill and Kingston Vale on stretches of segregated cycle track constructed in 2019.

The reconstruction of the junction between Kingston Hill and Wolverton Avenue finished this year (new and before photos)
Cycle tracks added to Kingston Hill (between Queen’s Road and Manorgate Road) finished this year (before and after photos)
New 2-way cycle track along London Road completed this year

The only sections outstanding on this route are the junction of Kingston Hill with Queen’s Road and the separate junction with Galsworthy Road. These should be constructed in Spring 2021, and along with finishing the ‘snagging’ items, this will complete the 4.5km route from Kingston Town Centre all the way to the A3 which is close to the Borough of Kingston’s border with Wandsworth.

Surbiton to Tolworth

The Surbiton to Tolworth scheme along Ewell Road will link these two areas with a safer cycle route and started main construction at the beginning of 2020. The majority of the route was due to be completed by the end of the year. However, again timelines have changed and only Phase 1 was completed (St Mark’s Hill to Browns Road). Phase 2 (Brown’s Road to Tolworth Broadway) has had its plans tweaked to fit within a reduced budget provided by TfL and its construction could start early in 2021 subject to TfL’s final approval and funding. Phase 2 could then be completed in 2021 creating a safer cycle route from Tolworth all the way to Kingston Town Centre via Surbiton.

First phase of Surbiton to Tolworth cycle route along Ewell Road completed in 2020. Photos of new and prior layout.

Kingston Station

Kingston Station is the ‘hub’ of the new Mini-Holland network of safer cycle routes and has seen a lot of associated construction activity in recent years. The main progress this year has been continued construction of the Kingston Station bike storage hub which will have space for 450 bikes as well as bike maintenance facilities, lockers as well as a space for a cafe.

Photos of the new cycle and walking bridge which will take people from Kingston Station towards the Thames and the new Kingston Station bike storage hub which will have capacity for up to 450 bikes

Next to the hub is a new bridge which is approaching its final stages prior to opening. This bridge will better link Kingston Station to the Thames and towards Ham. Together with the Low Traffic Neighbourhood along Lower Ham Road and the due to be completed Surbiton to Tolworth link, this will mean there is a 7km safer cycling route (almost!) all the way from the Borough of Kingston’s border with Richmond upon Thames (at Ham Cross) to its border with Epsom & Ewell (near Tolworth).

Both the bridge and bike storage hub should be open by the end of January 2021.

Anything else?

Right at the beginning of the year, the finishing touches were added to the Kingston to Surbiton route (along Penrhyn Road) though that feels a long time ago now…

Outside of the Mini-Holland programme, due to reduced funding and other obvious priorities, there were few infrastructure improvements to the Borough’s cycle network outside of the Mini-Holland (and Streetspace) programme. However, we were pleased that Kingston Council listened to our suggestion and found time to install a dropped kerb next to a ‘toucan crossing’ (for people cycling and walking) near Kingston Station to make it easier for people to get to/from the cycle path underneath Kingston Railway Bridge.

New dropped kerb near Kingston Station making it easier for people cycling to get to/from the cycle track under the railway bridge

Finally, the excellent and very popular New Malden to Raynes Park walking and cycling paths had its first birthday in 2020!

The future

As above, there are bits of the existing Mini-Holland programme to finish off which should be completed in 2021 with the main construction activity due to be along Ewell Road as the second phase of Surbiton to Tolworth is completed. This leaves the proposed Kingston to New Malden cycle route as the only scheme that would remain outstanding….

Kingston to New Malden is the final part of the Mini-Holland programme but is yet to start construction. We understand that this scheme is ready to start construction as soon as Spring 2021 (it received approval from Kingston Council at the beginning of 2020) but it is currently unfunded. We understand Kingston Council continue to lobby TfL for the funding to be provided but until this is happens, the final critical link in the Mini-Holland programme will remain unbuilt. This is despite large housing developments being built along the route as well as its dismal record for safety for people cycling and walking. We will continue to campaign for this vital cycle route and hope TfL will be able to fund it at some point in 2021.

As a final note, we would like to thank everyone involved in the Mini-Holland programme (designers; project managers; construction crews; cycle lane sweepers; Councillors; TfL sponsors; members of the public who have provided feedback; Kingston Cycle Campaign volunteers and many more) for their hard work and contributions during a very difficult year.

Wishing everyone a happier 2021.

Further reading

The Council’s Go Cycle website

Our map of Mini Holland routes open, in construction and proposed

Our guide to new cycle infrastructure in Kingston

Mini-Holland update – Autumn 2020

In our last update in May, we looked at the impact that Covid was having on Kingston Council’s plans to improve the Borough for cycling and walking. Since then, we’ve seen various Streetspace measures installed around the Borough as well as a restart to the construction of Kingston’s remaining Mini-Holland (or Go Cycle) programme.

This post provides an update on the progress of Kingston’s Mini-Holland programme since construction was paused in March this year due to Covid.

Firstly, why did construction stop?

When Covid lockdown measures were introduced, construction worksites across the country were paused and this included all those in Kingston’s Mini-Holland programme.

After construction was paused, Transport for London (TfL) got in touch with Kingston Council with some bad news….

TfL has been funding all of Kingston’s Mini-Holland programme and during the time that construction was paused, TfL realised that there was going to be a huge hit to its budget as people stopped taking journeys on its transport network. TfL therefore instructed all Boroughs to cease any remaining construction on TfL funded projects until further notice as they sought to save money.

Despite TfL’s request to pause projects, for some parts of Kingston’s Mini-Holland programme, contracts had already been signed with contractors and/or materials purchased with a number of worksites half finished. For these half finished sections, once safe social distancing measures had been implemented by contractors, construction continued to complete these stretches. This is why some limited construction on Mini-Holland projects happened in late Spring.

Following the pause in construction, the Government provided some emergency funding to TfL. TfL then awarded Kingston (along with some other London Boroughs) reduced funding to complete the remainder of the Mini-Holland projects that were already in construction:

  • Kingston to Kingston Vale (Kingston Hill and Kingston Vale)
  • Kingston Station hub and bridge
  • Surbiton to Tolworth (Ewell Road)

Unfortunately, as TfL only provided Kingston with reduced funding compared to the original budget agreed, the existing designs for the remaining stretches of the Mini-Holland schemes had to be revised to reduce costs. This meant that work couldn’t start on these stretches until new designs had been prepared; had new safety audits completed; and then received further TfL approvals. This is the main reason why some Mini-Holland schemes are still not completed.

Kingston to Kingston Vale

This scheme has been in construction for some time. However, since the start of this year, the 2-way cycle track along London Road between Queen Elizabeth Road and Manorgate roundabout was completed. The 1-way cycle tracks were also completed on each side of Kingston Hill between Manorgate roundabout and Queen’s Road.

London Road 2-way cycle track on the Kingston to Kingston Vale route

Apart from snagging (fixing small issues on sections now completed) the three remaining areas to complete the 4.5km Kingston to Kingston Vale route are:

  1. Kingston Hill/Queen’s Road junction
  2. Kingston Hill/Galsworthy Road junction
  3. Section of one way cycle track between Robin Hood Lane and the A3

All the remaining sections of this route have been redesigned (to fit within the reduced budget) and are going through final approvals ready to be constructed. As the remaining sections involve two busy signalised junctions, we expect the Kingston Vale route will now not be complete until 2021. Once complete, the Council will need to ensure that this cycle route is adequately maintained as there are already regular accumulations of leaves and rubbish in the cycle lanes around the Kingston Vale part of the route as well as illegal parking on the new cycle track near Manorgate roundabout.

Surbiton to Tolworth

The first stretch of the Surbiton to Tolworth (between St Mark’s Hill and Brown’s Road) has recently reached practical completion with just snagging and a couple of crossings to finish this section. This stretch provides much needed segregation from cars, vans and lorries.

2-way cycle track on Ewell Road

The first section constructed features good continuous crossings over side roads (where people walking and cycling are given priority crossing roads to people in cars), has improvements to the bus ‘boarder’ design compared to the Kingston Vale route and includes new cycle parking.

As approved by the Council, unfortunately there are areas of shared use on this section (where people cycling have to share with people walking), particularly around the shops near Langley Road. This was done to keep car parking spaces which remains extremely disappointing and means some people cycling will prefer to use the main carriageway whilst others will find sharing with people walking very frustrating. We remain hopeful that this section will be revisted again one day to provide proper segregation.

Shared use area on Ewell Road

On the remainder of the Surbiton to Tolworth route (from Brown’s Road to Tolworth Broadway), this has had to be redesigned to fit in with the reduced budget provided by Transport for London. This redesigned section is currently going through the necessary approvals with TfL before construction can commence.

We understand that this resdesigned route will feature more ‘bolt down segregation kerbs’ vs stepped cycle tracks than originally planned. However, these bolt down segregation kerbs have worked well on the outer parts of the Kingston Vale route where they’ve already been installed. They have the clear advantage that they can be installed at a fraction of the cost of a stepped cycle track and can be added to the carriageway very quickly.

Cycle segregation kerbs installed on the Kingston Hill Cycleway

Kingston Station and hub

Again, more delays caused by funding being paused have held up completion of the widened pedestrian and cycle bridge over Kingsgate Road as well as fit out of the Kingston Station bike hub. However, the Kingston Station bike hub has had its plastic sheeting removed from the exterior and the installation of lighting, security measures and provision of a potential bike maintenance and cafe area has recommenced.

Once complete, the hub will allow the storage of hundreds of bikes and will include areas for cargo and non-standard bikes too (which are often larger and therefore cannot be secured easily to some of the cycle stands around Kingston currently).

Kingston Station bike storage hub being fitted out

Kingston to New Malden

This proposed cycle route was approved by Kingston Council at the beginning of the year. However, due to Covid, funding from TfL has been withdrawn and there’s currently no funding to complete this safe cycle route despite most of the design work having already been completed.

People cycling along the route (Cambridge and Kingston Roads) will therefore continue to be put at increased danger and many will continue to not even think about cycling along this route.

Whilst public transport options are reduced due to social distancing requirements and with climate change an increasing issue, prioritising improving conditions for cycling on these roads is even more important. We hope the Council can obtain funding for the improvements and we wonder whether contributions from property developments could be an alternative source of funds.

Kingston to New Malden route – very poor provision for people cycling currently

Anything else?

Improvements continue on completed Cycleways. Over the past few months, this has included:

  • Removing dangerous bollards from the middle of the 2-way cycle track on Portsmouth Road
  • Installation of green Cycleway signage on Wheatfield Way and in Surbiton
  • Improvements to loading bays on existing Cycleways to make enforcement of illegal parking easier
Spot the new green Cycleway sign on Wheatfield Way

Next steps

We’re looking forward to the schemes currently in construction being completed and hope that the remainder of the Ewell Road Cycleway will start construction soon.

We also want to see funding secured for the vital Kingston to New Malden Cycleway.

As always, if you have any comments or improvements you would like to see, let us know and we can pass them onto the Council. Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates too.

Further reading

The Council’s Go Cycle website

Our map of Mini Holland routes open, in construction and proposed

Our guide to new cycle infrastructure in Kingston

Happy 1st Birthday to the New Malden to Raynes Park Cycleway!

A few people from Kingston Cycling Campaign and Merton Cycling Campaign met on the New Malden to Raynes Park Cycleway this afternoon (socially distanced of course) to celebrate its first Birthday which is due tomorrow, 13 July 2020.

The New Malden to Raynes Park Cycleway

The New Malden to Raynes Park Cycleway (also referred to as ‘Cycleway 31’) has transformed cycling and walking between the two locations since it opened. It opened up previously underused Thames Water land allowing people to cycle and walk between the two locations in a safe environment for the first time. After our successful campaign, the Cycleway was built with separate walking and cycling paths (instead of a single shared path) reducing conflict for people using the route too.

This afternoon we counted over 130 people on bikes in just an hour using the Cycleway with over a third of these being children either cycling with family or friends. There were a similar number of people walking too. This level of usage clearly demonstrates the desire for safe cycle and walking routes.

It doesn’t seem a year since Will Norman (London’s Walking and Cycling Commisioner) formally opened the Cycleway (and what a year it’s been since…) but we are delighted that this new link is being heavily used by the community just one year after opening.

A map of the New Malden to Raynes Park Cycleway

We expect that this Cycleway would be even more popular if it connected to safe cycle infrastructure at both its ends. We therefore will continue to campaign for the construction of the Kingston to New Malden Cycleway along Cambridge and Kingston Roads.

The proposed Kingston to New Malden Cycleway would pass close to the beginning of the New Malden to Raynes Park Cycleway providing a safer link onto it. The Kingston to New Malden Cycleway was approved by Kingston Council earlier this year but currently does not have any source of funding to start construction. In the meantime, people will continue to be put off cycling on these busy and dangerous roads.

Mini-Holland update – Part 3 – The World’s Changed

We planned to write about what could happen after Kingston’s Mini-Holland (or ‘Go Cycle’) programme of cycle and walking improvements came to an end. However, since our look in February at how Kingston and Cambridge Road could become safer, the world has changed. The top priority for travelling is now ensuring sufficient space for social distancing. This post looks at what this could mean for Kingston.

The problem

42% of all journeys in Kingston are made by car; 20% by public transport; 4% by bike; 33% by walking and 1% by other means (Source: 2019 Cycling in Kingston Report). However, with Covid-19, public transport capacity is currently significantly reduced. If just a small percentage of journeys switched from public transport to being taken by car, then Kingston’s roads are not going to be able to cope worsening Kingston’s air quality problem. Instead of switching to even more journeys by car, Transport for London are encouraging people to walk or cycle wherever possible. However, despite the Go Cycle (Mini-Holland programme), many of Kingston’s main roads remain unsafe for people cycling as they lack any measures separating people cycling from motor vehicles.

Away from the main roads, many of Kingston’s residential roads remain busy short cuts as they allow cars, vans (and often lorries) to save a minute or so on their journey by avoiding main roads and passing along local streets. With residential roads still clogged with this traffic, it makes it more difficult to keep to social distancing requirements as it can be unsafe to walk in the road (which is needed due to many narrow pavements) whilst these busy roads discourage walking and cycling too.

So what are the answers?

Enabling more walking and cycling would reduce the pressure on Kingston’s roads whilst encouraging healthier and more sustainable travel. There are a number of ways walking and cycling could be supported (as well as assisting with social distancing) and the rest of this post looks at some of the measures that could be used.

  • Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
  • Safe space for cycling
  • 20mph limits
  • School streets
  • Wider pavements
  • Reduced crossing times

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

As already mentioned, many of Kingston’s residential roads remain open to through traffic allowing cars, vans and lorries to take short cuts along residential streets to their destination instead of keeping to main roads.

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods can prevent motor vehicles using residential streets as short cuts by blocking their routes. This can be done very cheaply, for example installing a couple of bollards or, like in Croydon and Lewisham, putting in some planters. Residents, deliveries and emergency services can all still access the streets but through traffic is prevented from using the short cut and has to keep to the main roads.

By keeping short cutting traffic to the main roads, it makes the residential streets quieter and safer. Where there are narrow pavements, it becomes easier for people to walk in the road to maintain a sufficient distance from each other. The ‘blocks’ used to stop short cutting cars allow people cycling to pass through which allows safer cycling routes to be quickly created too as these roads are no longer full of cars and vans cutting through. There are examples already in Kingston that were put in place many years ago like on Springfield Road or Woodbines Avenue.

Kingston Council had already proposed introducing a Low Traffic Neighbourhood near Hook Road as part of their Healthy Streets plans. In addition, Transport for London has recently published a map of areas it thinks in Kingston could be made into Low Traffic Neighbourhoods based on their size.

LTN Kingston

TfL map of possible Low Traffic Neighbourhood locations in Kingston Source

This includes the Hook Road area (already identified by the Council); Hook; parts of Surbiton and New Malden; and North Kingston.

We have asked that the Council accelerates its plans for the area near Hook Road and looks at the other areas in the Borough which would be suitable for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.

Safe space for cycling

To encourage people to travel by bike for their journey, they need to feel safe doing do so. Kingston’s Mini Holland (or Go Cycle) programme has been upgrading many of Kingston’s main roads to provide safe space for cycling separated from motor traffic. However, this programme was due to finish next year with many Borough roads still untouched.

Transport for London did have additional funding available for London Borough’s looking to extend their cycle networks and could have provided additional funding to extend the safer cycle routes to more of Kingston’s roads. TfL were prioritising those listed in its Strategic Cycling Analysis as likely having the biggest impact. For Kingston, this included Richmond Road (Kingston to Ham); Queen’s Road (to Richmond Park); Coombe Lane (Kingston to Raynes Park); Brighton Road & Hook Road (Surbiton to Hook); and Malden Road (New Malden to Worcester Park).

SCA Kingston

Transport for London’s Strategic Cycle Analysis: Source

However, TfL has recently updated this map to include those cycle routes that it will be prioritising in the short term to provide safer space for cycling given the increased urgency there now is. In Kingston these routes include Malden Road (New Malden to Worcester Park) and Coombe Lane (Kingston to Raynes Park), dropping the other routes mentioned in the previous analysis. The map also includes prioritising Kingston Hill/Vale (though the Go Cycle route here is almost complete) and notes a safer cycle route on Kingston/Cambridge Roads is already planned.

SCA Temp Kingston

Transport for London’s Temporary Strategic Cycling Analysis: Source

We ask that the Council works with TfL to prioritise improvements to the Borough’s roads for safer cycling. In particular, TfL’s initial outline of priorities seem to exclude large parts of the Borough including Hook, Chessington and North Kingston. It is also unclear that TfL will be prioritising a safe cycle route for the Borough’s residents into the City. There is an indirect route marked via Raynes Park but this also requires use of Kingston/Cambridge roads where there isn’t (yet) a safe cycle route.

It is also currently unclear whether the current circumstances have implications for the Mini Holland (or Go Cycle) programme that was due to finish next year. Although some schemes are now finished, others still have parts to complete whilst another is awaiting the beginning of construction. Given these Mini Holland routes have been identified and agreed as providing big benefits to people cycling (and walking), it is important that these projects are funded to completion and if possible, accelerated to give quicker benefits.

It’s worth noting that other London Boroughs are moving ahead with plans to install segregated cycle lanes quickly, for example with temporary barriers or ‘wands’ on roads which are already wide enough for cycle lanes. These can be relatively inexpensive and are quick to install. They can also be upgraded to permanent measures at a later date.

Kingston Council needs to work with TfL to accelerate plans for Kingston/Cambridge road improvements and ensure the remaining Mini Holland projects are completed as soon as possible. It should also work to obtain additional funding for further segregated cycle lanes (temporary or permanent) across the rest of the Borough.


Malden Road. People cycling are not adequately separated from motor vehicles but there is room to do so

20mph roads

Kingston Council launched a Borough wide 20mph consultation on 6 January 2020. This consultation proposed to introduce a 20mph limit on all roads in Kingston noting that the highest proportion of injuries on the Borough’s roads occurred on main roads and therefore it was important these were included too for the biggest potential benefit.

If it had not been for recent events, we would have been expecting the results of this consultation to have been published and for the Council to be making its first steps towards implementing any plans it had agreed (taking into account comments from the consultation). We still don’t know what the consultation results are. However, we think it is now even more important that these proposals go ahead. Reducing speeds on roads across the Borough will encourage people to walk and cycle whilst making it safer for them to do so.

We await news from the Council on the 20mph consultation though note that our neighbour Richmond has been rolling out 20mph limits to nearly all its roads whilst Merton continues to extend 20mph limits to the majority of its roads too.

Borough wide 20mph limits are an obvious way to reduce traffic speeds to support safer walking and cycling. We therefore hope the Council will announce steps to implementing its proposals shortly.

School streets

School streets are now found across London and Kingston’s first can be found on Mansfield Road (for Lovelace Primary School). These school streets prevent access for cars at drop-off and pick-up times for children (sometimes with an exception for residents for the street). This means that children cannot be dropped off outside the school gates encouraging parents to take their children to school on foot or by bike. By reducing the volume of motor vehicles, it also makes the road outside the school much safer for walking and cycling further encouraging people to use sustainable travel types.

Kingston Council had previously proposed to extend its school streets programme to four more streets including:

  • Oak Hill Terrace
  • South Bank Road
  • Alexandra Road
  • Latchmere Road

We ask that the Council rolls out the required measures to these streets in time for any return to school by children. School streets usually just require a couple of signs; notification to parents and local residents as well as a camera for enforcement. There are many other potential school streets in the Borough so we also ask the Council to look at these as soon as possible too.

Wider pavements

One option to provide more space for social distancing is to provide more pavement space. A number of other London councils have recently introduced temporary barriers to increase pavement space including in Lambeth and Greenwich. In many cases, additional pavement space can be made by taking car parking spaces or excess carriageway space. Examples could include Victoria Road (Surbiton) which is usually a busy shopping street but has narrow pavements in places alongside a number of car parking spaces or along Clarence Street near Wilkos where a narrow shared pavement reduces the ability for people walking and cycling to stay apart whilst the carriageway is 3 lanes (or around 9 metres) wide.

Wilko narrow

Shared pavement outside Wilkos, Kingston narrowed by barriers being used by the store to ‘aid’ social distancing

Kingston Council could also consider suspending any pavement parking in busy areas (particularly where it is unsafe to walk in the road) which would allow people greater space to pass each other on the pavements. One busy area of Kingston with pavement parking is King’s Road near Richmond Park which often has many people walking to and from the park.

Update (22 May 2020 at 7.30pm) – Kingston Council have announced that they will be introducing temporary barriers to provide more space for walking and cycling along certain parts of Clarence Street, Fairfield North, Wheatfield Way and Kingston Bridge in the next ten days. Our map of these roads can be found here.

Update 23 May 2020. To aid social distancing, overnight one vehicle lane in each direction on Kingston Bridge has been dedicated to people cycling

Reduced crossing times

People walking and cycling often have long waits at crossings over roads as traffic lights are usually timed to prioritise motor vehicles. This can lead to long waits as well as large gatherings of people waiting to cross. One easy change would be to reduce the wait for people walking and cycling. This will reduce waiting times, decrease the likelihood of people crossing when it’s unsafe as well as encouraging people to walk and cycle.

Traffic signals in London are the responsibility for Transport for London. However, the Council could work with TfL to prioritise traffic signals which need their timings revised. Just a few of the examples of crossings which currently have long waits include:


There are a large number of measures Kingston Council could take to assist walking and cycling in the Borough reducing the pressure on the roads and assisting with social distancing. We have passed lots of ideas to the Council and hope that these will be swiftly introduced.

In the meantime, Kingston’s Go Cycle programme to introduce safer walking and cycling routes on main roads has been continuing with the Kingston Hill/Vale route nearing completion and the Ewell Road scheme reaching the junction with Langley Road. We await news on whether the timescales for the remaining Go Cycle programme have changed.

Mini-Holland update – Part 2 – Making Kingston & Cambridge Roads safer

This is the second in a three part series on the Mini-Holland programme in Kingston. The Mini-Holland (or Go Cycle) projects are designed to provide safer and more accessible cycling (and walking) paths along a number of roads across the Borough of Kingston. This post looks at the proposals to make Kingston and Cambridge Roads, which link Kingston to New Malden, safer. The previous post looked at the Mini Holland schemes constructed in 2019. The final post in this series will look at what could come next after the Mini-Holland programme comes to an end.

Part 2 – Making Kingston/Cambridge Roads safer

One of the key features of the Mini Holland programme is to make key roads across the Borough of Kingston safer and more convenient for cycling (with measures added to benefit walking at the same too).

A number of Mini Holland schemes are already complete including Portsmouth Road and Kingston High Street where the number of people cycling has significantly increased since improvements were completed. Construction is currently taking place between Kingston and Kingston Vale (along Kingston Hill) and has also recently commenced between Kingston and Tolworth (along Ewell Road). A direct Cycleway from Kingston to New Malden has also been proposed and is the subject of this post. This route would be along Kingston and Cambridge Roads linking to the new 2-way cycle track recently constructed on London Road.

CamRd Map

Map of the proposed Kingston to New Malden Mini Holland route (marked in grey; existing Mini Holland routes and Cycleways are marked in green)

What is proposed for the Kingston to New Malden route?

The proposed cycling and walking improvements will connect at one end to the Kingston Vale Cycleway (along London Road) joining the route to Wheatfield Way for direct connections to Kingston Station; Kingston town centre; and Surbiton. At its other end, the proposed improvements will reach New Malden and the edge of Cycleway 31 for a direct, mainly off-road, path to Raynes Park.

Along Kingston and Cambridge roads it is proposed that there will be:

  • A 2-way segregated cycle track along Cambridge Road between London Road and Hawks Road junctions
  • A 1-way segregated cycle track on both sides of the road along Cambridge Road (from Hawks Road junction) and Kingston Road to just after the junction with Connaught Road
  • Improvements at side roads to make it safer for people cycling and people walking by introducing measures to reduce vehicle entry and exit speeds as well as providing priority to those cycling across the junction and, in many cases, providing priority to people walking across them too
  • Improvements at signalised crossings to allow people cycling easier access to nearby destinations

Space for the new cycle track, and better crossings for pedestrians, will come primarily from the carriageway space currently used by motor traffic. In many parts of the road, it is already wide enough for a segregated cycle lane to be built and therefore bolt-down kerbs cycle segregation kerbs may be used like the ones recently introduced on Kingston Hill. In other places there will be some changes to kerb locations; parking; loading; and bus lanes to make room for the upgrades. We understand that Kingston Council has been working closely with Transport for London to minimise any disruption on bus journeys as well as speaking to local businesses to maintain loading and parking access.


Current Kingston Road, New Malden. Advisory cycle lane markings have been heavily worn by passing motor traffic with no form of segregation for cyclists and no clear priority over side roads for pedestrians

Why are these improvements needed?

Unfortunately both Kingston and Cambridge Roads have been the location of many collisions causing injury to people cycling and walking. There have been over 120 people walking or cycling reported to have been injured (as well as one death) between 2005 and 2017 along the route following a collision with one or more motor vehicles.


A map showing locations of reported collisions injuring (or killing) a person walking or cycling along the proposed Kingston to New Malden route from 2005-2017 Source: cyclestreets.net

This map does not include any collisions not reported and therefore the number of injuries along the route is unfortunately likely to be even higher. The Mayor of London is rightly targeting ‘Vision Zero’ (the aim for there to be no deaths or serious injuries on London’s road network by 2041). To achieve this aim, something needs to be done to make these roads safer for vulnerable road users.

Why should we be encouraging more cycling and walking?

Kingston already faces motor traffic congestion particularly at peak times. As the Borough grows, this could get even worse. However, cycling and walking are very efficient modes of transport with people cycling and walking taking up much less room than a person taking a car to their destination. By getting more people to walk and cycle, this can reduce congestion on the Borough’s roads.

Cycling and walking are also very sustainable methods of transport as they don’t require any petrol or diesel to get the person to their destination. As the Borough of Kingston has declared a Climate Emergency, it is more important than ever that people switch to sustainable methods of transport. However, they will only do this if they feel safe using them!

The other benefit of switching away from petrol or diesel powered vehicles is the improvement to air pollution this brings. Kingston has a number of issues with the amount of air pollution in the Borough. With walking and cycling producing close to no air pollution at their source these ways of travelling should be encouraged to reduce the level of air pollution that the Borough suffers. Even electric cars produce substantial amounts of air pollution through tyre and brake wear.

What are our thoughts on the proposals?

We are really excited by the proposals for Kingston and Cambridge Road. Whilst not perfect (for example, we would like loading on certain parts of the route to be restricted), the proposals will be a huge upgrade on the current sub-standard and dangerous cycling and walking facilities on the route. These improvements will make people feel safer, it will calm the environment and will encourage more people to walk and cycle in the area.

Subject to the outline plans being approved, we will continue to work with Kingston Council as they progress to the detailed design stage. We have already successfully campaigned for some changes to the plans which will benefit people cycling (and walking) and we will continue to campaign to get the best possible cycle infrastructure for the route.

Next steps

The proposals to make Kingston and Cambridge Roads safer are due to go to Council Committee for approval on 11 February. We will continue to strongly support the proposals to make this road safer for all road users and hope local Councillors will too.

The Kingston to New Malden Cycleway is the final Mini Holland scheme proposed. After this has been completed, the Mini Holland programme will come to an end.

11 February 2020 updateKingston Council approved the construction of the Kingston to New Malden Cycleway. Construction could start in Summer 2020 subject to final TfL approval and completion of detailed design.

What about the rest of the Borough?

There are many parts of Kingston Borough that will not be next to a Mini Holland route and people will therefore continue to be put off cycling (and walking) if the local road network is not made safe for them to use. The final part of our series on Mini Holland will therefore look at what could come next after the Mini Holland schemes have been completed.

In the meantime, if you are local to Kingston and Cambridge roads and would like them to be made safer, why not contact your local councillor to let them know?

Mini-Holland update – Part 1 – A review of 2019

This is the first in a three part series on the Mini-Holland programme in Kingston. The Mini-Holland (or Go Cycle) projects are designed to provide safer and more accessible cycling (and walking) routes along a number of roads across Kingston Borough. This post looks at what was achieved in 2019. The next in the series will look at the proposed Kingston to New Malden route and the final post will look at what could come next after the Mini-Holland programme comes to an end.

Part 1 – A review of 2019

After all that was achieved in 2018, what has happened in 2019?

New Malden to Raynes Park

The main event of the Mini-Holland programme this year was the opening of the excellent New Malden to Raynes Park cycle and walking link. This completely new route which mostly follows the train line between the two locations has opened up new opportunities for travelling between the two neighbouring areas. We are delighted that our campaign to get separate cycle and walking paths (rather than a shared path) was successful. You can find further information on the route in our post marking the opening of this new link. The new route has been named Cycleway 31. Cycleways are Transport for London’s new branding for cycle routes across London and this signage will be rolled out to existing routes such as Portsmouth Road too.

Penrhyn Road

The first phase of the Kingston to Tolworth route started construction earlier this year and is now almost complete with resurfacing and signage to follow early in 2020. The first phase of the route links the Wheatfield Way Mini-Holland scheme at College Roundabout to Surbiton Crescent using a 2-way segregated cycle track for the majority of its length. We worked with the Council to extend the amount of segregation from the original plans wherever this was feasible.

We are discussing with the Council possible locations for additional cycle parking along the route (some more are already planned next to the Surbiton Road parade of shops) so let us know if you have any suggestions for locations.

The second phase of the scheme along Ewell Road will start early in 2020 and will transform a road for cycling whilst improving facilities for people on foot too. Unfortunately, in recent years the road has been the location of many collisions causing injuries to people on bikes and people walking so it is great news that work to make it safer will commence soon.

Kingston Station

Following completion of the enlarged Station plaza, work has been taking place on the widened pedestrian and cycle bridge over Kingsgate Road which was lifted into place earlier this year. Work has recently commenced on the new cycle storage hub next to Kingston Station which will have space for at least 200 bikes. We are discussing with the Council how the facility will be monitored and maintained.

Work has recently taken place near Kingston Bridge as the crossing over Horse Fair is upgraded as well as a new cycle and pedestrian crossing being built over Clarence Street. Work will recommence in the new year after the Christmas break. When finished, there will be additional cycle stands in this very popular area for cycle parking.


New cycle storage hub being built next to Kingston station

Kingston Vale

Construction on the Kingston Vale route started during Winter 2018/19 and the route is now almost complete between Galsworthy Road and Derwent Avenue. This route saw a new type of cycle segregation kerb used which bolts into the carriageway surface. This allows large amounts of cycle segregation to be provided at a much lower cost than a stepped (raised) cycle track.

Work has recently being taken place on London Road as signalised junctions are upgraded to provide separate signal stages for people on bikes as well as providing space away from cars, buses and lorries. Work will continue on this route in early 2020 (from Manorgate roundabout to Galsworthy Road) with it due to be fully complete by Summer 2020.

Wheatfield Way

This route between Kingston Station and College roundabout (linking to the first phase of the Kingston to Tolworth scheme, above) also finished this year. This route has new 3m wide segregated cycle tracks although we were unsuccessful in our campaign for cycle segregation across all the junctions on the route. This means that people on bikes share junction areas with people walking. We continue to campaign for better signage and wayfinding at these junctions to improve the usability of the route.

IMG_20190706_120932 (1)

Wheatfield Way segregated cycle track with shared use areas at junctions

Next steps

There is a lot of work to do in 2020 to finish off the schemes currently in construction although the majority of work in Kingston Town Centre has now finished. 2020 should see the completion of the Kingston Station scheme (and the opening of the Cycle storage hub); the completion of the Kingston to Kingston Vale route; construction commencing on Ewell Road on phase 2 of the Kingston to Tolworth scheme as well as small improvements to existing routes as ‘snagging’ items are fixed by contractors. Signage should also be installed on some of the new routes which will be key to helping people find and enjoy the new routes.

We speak to the Council regularly to highlight areas we think are good on the Mini Holland schemes as well as areas that we think need improvement. Please get in touch with us if you have any comments on the schemes that have been built or which are in construction.

Anything else? We hope that the Kingston to New Malden route along Cambridge and Kingston Roads will be approved for final design and construction in the new year by Kingston Council and TfL. We have seen how popular the new routes are when completed (see Portsmouth Road and New Malden to Raynes Park) and that they can both be safer for people walking and cycling as well as encouraging a switch to sustainable transport. Part 2 of this series will look at the plans for the Kingston to New Malden route to show why improvements are needed there too.

Further reading

The Council’s Go Cycle website

Our map of Mini Holland routes open, in construction and proposed

Our guide to new cycle infrastructure in Kingston

Our other Mini-Holland updates published during 2019:

  1. Mini-Holland (Go Cycle) – 2019 plans
  2. Mini-Holland (Go Cycle) – March 2019 update
  3. New Malden to Raynes Park route opening Sat 13 July 2019
  4. New Malden to Raynes Park cycle and walking paths – now open!
  5. Mini-Holland (Go Cycle) – September 2019 update
  6. Horse Fair crossing changes: September to November 2019

Horse Fair crossing changes: September to November 2019

Kingston Council will shortly be commencing work at the Horse Fair/Clarence Street junction in Kingston (near TK Maxx). Works will involve changing the current staggered pedestrian crossing over Horse Fair to a wider, staggered Toucan crossing (one that can be used by both people walking and people on bikes). This will also replace the separate cycle crossing which is only traffic light controlled half way across Horse Fair which we consider a current safety issue.

These works are taking place as part of the Mini Holland (or Go Cycle) projects in the Borough. The works in this area are due to be completed by mid-November 2019.

We asked for the Horse Fair crossing to be ‘straight across’ the road when it is changed rather than continuing to be staggered (in 2 stages). However, traffic modelling of this change suggested it would have caused delays to motor vehicles and therefore unfortunately became a discarded option. We will nevertheless continue to campaign for people taking sustainable options to travel being prioritised above cars as this is the best way to create positive changes in the way people choose to travel across Kingston.


Current staggered crossing over Horse Fair

Changes in this area will also involve building a new pedestrian and cycle crossing over Clarence Street (outside TK Maxx) to join the Horse Fair crossing to upgraded cycle parking outside TK Maxx and an enhanced cycle path towards the West side of Kingston Bridge.

Whilst the works are underway, the cycle parking outside TK Maxx will unfortunately be unavailable but we have been informed by the Council that temporary cycle parking will be installed on the opposite side of the road near to John Lewis.

When the works are complete, the current cycle stands will be re-installed and additional ones will be installed too. This will significantly increase the number of bikes that can be parked here. We are really pleased that more cycle stands will be installed in this extremely popular area for bike parking.

As demand for cycle parking in Kingston town centre increases, we’ve provided the Council with other suggested locations for cycle parking and await a response on which, if any, will be taken forward. Please let the Council know if you have any suggestions for bike parking in the Borough.

Our guide to new cycle infrastructure in Kingston

With the Mini Holland projects now well underway (and many finished) in the Borough, there are lots of new types of cycle infrastructure that have built. This post provides an explanation of the following:

Cycle segregation kerbs


There are many types of cycle segregation kerbs but generally they bolt on to the surface of the carriageway providing a barrier to discourage motor vehicles from using the cycle lane. These cycle segregation kerbs can cost less than a tenth the cost of stepped cycle tracks (cycle tracks which are built higher than the carriageway level) and therefore provide segregated cycle infrastructure where costs could otherwise make segregated cycle infrastructure prohibitive. The segregation kerbs may be supplemented by ‘wands’ or poles which are reflective and warn road users of the placement of the kerbs.

We like that these segregation kerbs can be quick to install and are can provide large lengths of cycle segregation at relatively low cost. This makes it more likely that cycle segregation can be installed.

Where can they be found in Kingston? On Portsmouth Road and on Kingston Hill and Kingston Vale. The ones on Kingston Hill and Kingston Vale contain reflective studs which work in a similar way to ‘cat’s eyes’ which are commonly used on roads and provide extra visibility of the kerbs at night.

Stepped cycle tracks


Stepped cycle tracks are cycle paths which are higher than the level of the carriageway and are usually separated from the carriageway by a solid kerb. In Kingston, stepped cycle tracks are always at the same level as the footway. To help separate the footway from the cycle track, ridged dividers have been installed. To clearly indicate it is a cycle track, they generally have painted bike logos at regular intervals; tactile paving at the start and end of the track; and blue signs at their start.

Stepped cycle tracks offer a higher level of segregation than cycle segregation kerbs (above) but are much more expensive to construct as a new solid kerb needs to be installed and the existing kerb may have to be removed too. Stepped cycle tracks can also face issues at driveways/crossings and junctions depending on how much room there is for separate cycle facilities at these crossings/junctions.

Generally our preference is for stepped cycle tracks as they provide a higher level of separation than stepped cycle tracks. However, they come at a much higher cost and require careful design to integrate them at junctions.

Where can they be found in Kingston? Although stepped cycle tracks have existed for a long time in parts of Kingston they have generally been in short lengths. Large lengths of new ones have been installed as part of the Mini-Holland projects on Wheatfield Way, Kingston Hill, Penrhyn Road and will feature in parts of future schemes too.

Parallel crossings


These crossings allow both pedestrians and cyclists to cross the road in parallel to each other. Cars and other vehicles should give way to people waiting to cross but it is advised to wait for other vehicles to stop before crossing the road.

Where can they be found in Kingston? They can already be found on Portsmouth Road and are currently being installed on Kingston Hill near the University campus.

Shared use areas

Shared use areas are designated areas where people on bikes can mix with people walking. Areas of shared use are often placed at junctions where there is insufficient room for segregated cycle facilities. The advantage of shared use areas is that it allows a continuous off-road cycle route for people on bikes. A disadvantage is that both cyclists and pedestrians have to mix in the same space. This can make cycle routes with lots of shared use less attractive than those with fully segregated facilities.

Shared use areas should be clearly marked with signage (and tactile paving) to indicate to pedestrians and people on bikes that they should be aware of each other in this area.

Shared use areas have been used successfully in parts of Kingston for many years, for example in Kingston Market Place. However, Kingston Cycling Campaign are clear that we would like shared use areas to be minimised wherever possible to aid the usability of cycle routes and reduce pedestrian/cyclist conflicts.

Where can they be found in Kingston?  New shared use areas have been added on the Wheatfield Way route; at the junction of Maple and Claremont Roads and at Manorgate roundabout on the Kingston Hill route.

Shared crossings

These crossings look like ordinary zebra crossings but are shared crossings where there is a shared use area on either side of the crossing. These shared use areas allow both pedestrians and people on bikes to use them and then also to use the crossing. It is advised to wait for other vehicles to stop before using these crossings.

We generally prefer parallel crossings to shared crossings but there is not always room to fit a parallel crossing in. In addition, in some locations, it is difficult to separate cyclists and pedestrians each side of the crossing meaning a shared crossing may be more appropriate.

Where can they be found in Kingston? They can already be found at Manorgate Roundabout on the Kingston Hill route (although it is currently awaiting signage).

Toucan crossings


These are signalised crossings which allow both pedestrians and cyclists to cross the road. The crossings usually join shared use areas on each side of the crossing which allow both pedestrians and people on bikes to use them. You usually need to push a button to trigger a change in the signals.

Toucan crossings are well established types of crossings although generally mean that there is shared use areas each side (for pedestrians and cyclists). Where room allows, we would prefer separate pedestrian and cycle crossings to reduce potential conflict between people walking and people on bikes.

Where can they be found in Kingston? They are already found in many places in the Borough with new ones recently being installed in a number of locations on the Wheatfield Way route.

Low level cycle signals


As their name suggests, these are cycle specific signals at a ‘low level’ so they are eye height for most people on bikes. They may be linked to an early release but otherwise may be located on cycle tracks where other vehicles are not permitted.

Where can they be found in Kingston? The first ones in the Borough have been installed installed at the junction of London Road and Queen Elizabeth Road. Others will be installed at other signalled junctions in the Borough as they are upgraded for people on bikes.

Early release (at signals)

These are cycle specific signals at junctions which give cyclists an advance green light. This allows cyclists to get ahead of other vehicles at the junction. There are usually low level cycle signals at junctions with early release.

Early release can help provide a safer passage through a junction for someone on a bike, particularly when they reach the junction when the lights are red. However, if a cyclist reaches the junction when the lights for motor vehicles are already green, then their crossing across the junction isn’t protected. Early release can be combined with other junction improvements such as two stage right turns and cycle segregation on each side of the junction to provide safer cycle journeys.

Where can they be found in Kingston? There isn’t currently a junction with early release in the Borough but it will be installed at the Kingston Hill/Queen’s Road junction. It may also be used on Ewell Road between Surbiton and Tolworth. Early release is also used at many junctions elsewhere in London.

Where can I find out more? See the video from Transport for London below.

Two stage right turn (at signals)

Two stage right turns at junctions allow cyclists to make right turns in two stages. This means that you don’t need to cross a flow of other vehicles and then wait in the centre of a busy junction to turn right. Instead, at approaching the junction,  you should stay left and make the turn in two stages. Firstly, after the green light on entering the junction, you should head for the designated waiting area and reposition yourself for the second move across the junction. When the signal you are now facing turns green, you can then head across the junction completing the second stage of the turn.

Two stage right turns mean that someone on a bike has to take an indirect, two stage journey when crossing the junction and therefore may not be the right approach in all circumstances. However, a two stage right turn can be a relatively easy upgrade to a junction to provide safer right turns for cyclists.

Where can they be found in Kingston? There isn’t currently a junction with a two stage right turn in the Borough but one will be installed at the Kingston Hill/Queen’s Road junction. There are also many two stage right turns elsewhere in London. There is always a blue sign ahead of the junction where a two stage right turn is in operation.

Where can I find out more? See the video from Transport for London below.

Continuous crossings


Continuous crossings are being installed at less busy junctions and give pedestrians and cyclists priority over turning motor vehicles. The best continuous crossings have the pavement and any cycle track continuing uninterrupted across the side road. Motor vehicles should give way to any pedestrian and cyclist using the pavement or cycle track. Tactile paving may also still be installed on the pavement to indicate to visually impaired people that they are crossing a side road.

Although continuous crossings are very common in Europe there have not been very many installed in the UK so far. As such, their design can vary as UK highway designers learn what works best.

The key to successful continuous crossings is the detail of the design. When looking at a continuous crossing, it should be clear that the footway and cycle track continue across the junction unimpeded. This should then indicate to other road users that pedestrians and people on bikes have right of way. Putting in place steep ramps before and after the continuous crossings for motor vechicles and reducing the width of the junction mouth can also help reduce vehicle speeds.

Where can they be found in Kingston? There are different types of continuous crossings being installed on a number of routes in Kingston. A continuous footway crossing can be found at the junction of Weston Park and Wheatfield Way and they are also being installed on Penrhyn Road in a number of locations. There are also likely to feature on future Mini Holland routes including Ewell Road.

Bus boarders


Bus boarders are areas of shared use for people walking and people on bikes. They are being installed at a number of bus stops in Kingston to allow a cycle route to be continuous rather than with gaps where cyclists would need to rejoin the road. Bus stop boarders are clearly marked with signs and tactile paving to ensure people entering the area are aware it is a shared area. Pedestrians should be mindful of bikes passing through the area and cyclists should also be aware of pedestrians (particularly any alighting from buses).

Bus stop boarders have been used successfully for many years in a number of locations in London and are essential to allow continuous cycle routes where space doesn’t allow a bus stop bypasses. We would prefer bus stop bypasses to be used where room allows but on many narrow roads bus stop boarders are the only solution. We have been speaking to Kingston Council about how minor changes to the bus stop boarder design could make them clearer for everyone to use.

Where can they be found in Kingston? Bus stop boarders can be found on Portsmouth Road; Kingston High Street; St Marks Hill and Kingston Hill/Vale.

Bus stop bypasses/bus stop islands


Bus stop bypass (in construction)

Bus stop bypasses are created on cycle routes where there is sufficient room to fully separate people waiting for buses; people walking past the bus stop; and people on bikes. The main feature of a bus stop bypass is that there is a separated waiting area next to the carriageway where passengers wait for buses. A bike track is placed between this waiting area and the main pavement which keeps bikes away separated from the waiting passengers. People who want to get to the bus waiting area use the designated crossing point on the pavement to cross the cycle track. Bus stop bypasses have been built in large numbers in London over recent years with lots of research subsequently undertaken to ensure they are safe.

Where can they be found in Kingston? A different type of bus stop bypass to that described above is located in Surbiton and allows taxis to bypass the bus stop waiting area. A bus stop bypass for cyclists is currently being built on Penrhyn Road near the Kingston University campus.

Cycleway signage


Signage is being installed on new cycle routes in Kingston using Transport for London’s green Cycleway branding. This signage helps guide cyclists along the route and provides key information including estimated time to destinations and what direction to follow at crossings and junctions.

This Cycleway signage replaces purple Quietway signage that was installed on the first Go Cycle routes built in Kingston. Existing Quietway signage will be replaced with the green Cycleway signage over the coming months, as is happening across London.

We are asking Kingston Council and Transport for London to improve the wayfinding and signage on current Mini Holland routes to make it easier for people on bikes to navigate along routes.

Where can they be found in Kingston? Cycleway signage is already in place on the New Malden to Raynes Park route (numbered Cycleway 31) and will be installed on the remaining Go Cycle routes over the coming months.

Old quietway signage can currently be found on Portsmouth Road and around central Surbiton.

Where can I find out more? See a map of the current Cycleways in London here. Note that the map is not up to date for Kingston and you may instead prefer to use OpenCycleMap which contains maps of all current cycle routes in the area.

Mini-Holland (Go Cycle) – September 2019 update

Following our update earlier this year on Kingston Go Cycle schemes, what has happened over the past few months?

New Malden to Raynes Park

The biggest milestone passed in the past few months has been the opening of the off-road New Malden to Raynes Park cycle and walking paths on 13 July 2019. We are delighted with the opening of this route and are very pleased that our campaign to get separate cycle and walking paths (rather than a shared path) was successful. You can find further information on the route in our post marking the opening of this new link. We’ve already noticed how popular this new route is and we look forward to it being enjoyed by the community for many years to come.

Kingston to Surbiton

Most work has now been completed on Wheatfield Way with it being declared officially open in the past couple of months. This was the 4th Go Cycle route to be finished (New Malden to Raynes Park is the 5th) and we have been pleased to see line markings being added to the segregated cycle tracks to make these areas much easier to identify. We will also be asking the Council to look at improving the wayfinding on this route to better guide people on bikes through the five junctions the route passes through along the way.


New 2-way cycle track installed on Wheatfield Way

Work has been continuing at some speed along Penrhyn Road which is the Go Cycle route connecting Wheatfield Way to the Surbiton ‘links’. When the Penrhyn Road scheme is finished it will link Kingston Station to (almost!) Surbiton Station. We were pleased to see that the Council has been listening to ours (and others) feedback and has reduced the amount of shared use areas along the route although some will still remain where space is constrained. We will continue to ask the Council to look at all possible ways to reduce shared use on remaining Go Cycle routes. We also continue to speak to the Council about how they plan to address the missing link between St Marks Hill and The Crescent (i.e. between Surbiton station and Waitrose).

Kingston Vale

This is the longest Go Cycle project which will go all the way from Old London Road (next to Wilko’s) to the Robin Hood Junction on the A3 linking a number of key destinations  (Kingston Town Centre; Kingston Hospital; Kingston University campus (Kingston Hill); Richmond Park).

Most of the work between Galsworthy Road junction and Derwent Avenue on the route is now complete with some final snagging work underway (including picking up some points that we wanted improved) as well as workers putting the finishing touches to five new zebra crossings on the route. We have been impressed with the short amount of time taken to install a new type of segregation kerb on Kingston Hill. At less than a tenth the cost of stepped cycle tracks, these bolt-in kerbs make cycle segregation possible in many places where costs would otherwise be prohibitive.


New cycle segregation kerb that has been installed on the Kingston Vale route

Work has almost been completed at Manorgate roundabout where five new shared crossings have been installed though signage is yet to be installed. Over the Summer holidays, construction focussed near Tiffin School upgrading the crossing from Old London Road to a new 2-way segregated cycle track which will run along London Road to Manorgate roundabout.

Kingston Station

On the weekend of 23/24 March, the new pedestrian and cycle bridge was installed. This 4m wide bridge replaces a narrow 1.8m shared use bridge previously in place. Works around Kingston Station since March have focussed on building the paths each side of the new bridge to link Kingston Station to the Thames as well as Ham & Richmond via Skerne Road and Lower Ham Road.


New cycle and pedestrian bridge near Kingston Station

Preparatory works have also started for the new cycle storage hub next to Kingston Station. We are in discussions with the Council about how this cycle hub will be managed when it opens (due to be some time in 2020).

Future progress

Construction of the Penrhyn Road scheme is expected to complete in early 2020 which will complete a new cycle route from Surbiton to Kingston Station. Early 2020 should also mark the time that construction moves to Ewell Road as work starts from Surbiton towards Tolworth which will, when complete, link Tolworth to Kingston Station with a 3 mile long cycle route.

Work will also continue into next year on the Kingston Station and Kingston Vale schemes. We also expect to see further progress announced on the Kingston to New Malden scheme along Kingston and Cambridge Roads which currently feature narrow advisory cycle lanes and which have unfortunately been the location of many collisions involving cyclists and other vehicles.

Links to further information from Kingston council: