What are your views on the proposed Thames boardway at Kingston?

I'd like to hear some views from members of LCC and non-members about whether they think a boardway built in the Thames at Kingston between the Portsmouth Road in the south up to Thames Side (by the empty Slug and Lettuce building/ John Lewis) would be useful?  The purpose would be to provide a cycleable north-south link that means people on bikes wouldn't have to go through the market place and use Wood Clarence Street and Wood Street.     More details in the Kingston mini-Holland bid here Mini-Holland bid. (pages 26 & 27), Regards, Jon

This post was edited by Jon Fray KC at 7:37am 15 April 2014.


  • By showes at 12:17am 12 April 2014

Its a gymic  and unless its enforced for cyclists only (not shared space) it wont be any use other than for leisure cycling.

  • By bigpete at 9:55pm 13 April 2014

Provided it could be done well I think this is a fabulous idea.

Four metres wide sounds adequate but this width must be maintained as much as possible with an absolute minimum of obstructions.

Access to the route must have smooth radius curves with no sharp bends or drops. The route must have a feeling of subjective safety for its entire length. It must be cyclists only and this must be clearly and unambiguously signed.

The original artist’s impression from the RBK bid document looks much better than the picture from the LBC website. The path is straighter, it’s closer to the bank, has a clear delineation between the cycle path and a walkway for access to moored boats. The cycle path must not be “shared use”.

Any riverside route must not preclude improvements to routes through the town centre (Wood Street, Clarence Road etc.) or the need for segregated cycle tracks along Portsmouth Road. This must not be seen as THE north-south route. In fact a riverside route would encourage people onto their bikes and would only make the case for clear continuous routes through the town centre even stronger.

Done properly this really could be a flagship scheme that draws people to cycle in and around Kingston. The routes approaching Kingston along the river are quite good. Once you hit the town centre though you are rather left to your own devices. This route would make arriving in Kingston by bike a pleasant experience and give it a real Wow! Factor.

It’s a valuable route in its own right but the real value could be in putting Kingston on the map as a cycling town.

  • By phufbl at 10:29am 14 April 2014

Assuming there is already a pedestrian walkway (which from the image it appears there is) then it should be single use. Otherwise it would just end up leading to conflict between pedestrians and cyclists. We shouldn't fall into the trap of excluding pedestrians just for the sake of it though, otherwise we would be making the same mistake that road designers have made when excluding or not considering cyclists.

I am not sure why it is so zig-zaggy in the picture? You would end up cycling twice as far as you would need to! Is this an attempt to limit cycling speed? It sounds like a good idea, but in reality if you take measures to limit speeds then people will probably just use a different, faster, possibly more dangerous route. If the route was straight with good visibility ahead I don't see why a straight route wouldn't be a safe option.

Is there a good way to get onto and off the cycle way which will not cause conflict with pedestrians or other users of the riverbank?

It does sound a bit like a gimmick, but I am not really familiar with the area or how useful it would be or not. I have tried to cycle through Kingston once before and found it was an absolute nightmare of multiple lane one way systems, confusing road layouts, slip roads and difficult junctions, so I absolutely support something to be done to improve things for cycling in Kingston. I have absolutely no idea if this is the right thing though, or whether the money could more effectively be spent.

I've added a different, newer, image and location map. Also removed the link to the image to the artists impression that was out of date at the LBC site. I think that orginally it was shown as zig-zaggy in an effort to keep the speed of bikes down and make it more interesting visually. The Council's bid document says that the Boardway would be for cycling only with access across it to allow people to get to the moorings. Am not sure who would enforce a 'no pedestrians' policy. Seems to me that would be unlikley to happen. 

Brisbane in Australia is having its Riverwalk re-built after their floating route was washed away. As for access to and from it I think there just isn't the detail yet, but I would think it could be designed well.

Regards, Jon


Was at a meeting in November 2013 at City Hall with Andrew Gilligan where a GLA member, not from Kingston, raised the potential of clash with Kingston rowers.

While the ambition for boots and pedals as daily efficient utility transport boosting the Kingston economy was not referred to in the comments, the homage to be accorded sport rowing did appear more attractive. No reasoned explanation for this view was expressed.

Not being from Kingston, I hesitate to highlight this oar being put in. In case I catch a crab. Having rowed there, I can't see any problem in shifting eights or sculls that's new.

Post a reply

Sign in to post a reply.