Kingston's Mini Holland Plans

Kingston’s initial £1.3m project is anticipated to introduce protected space for cycling on Portsmouth Road.

Worryingly, initial proposals showed a cycle lane separated from motor traffic by nothing more than a white line, for the considerable majority of the route. Campaigners were dissapointed but following a consultation process and the concerted efforts of our local group, Kingston Cycling Campaign in early 2015, Kingston Council have revised proposals for the Portsmouth Road mini Holland scheme.

LCC and others expressed concerns with the initial plans, which would not have provided the safe and inviting space for cycling which is badly needed on this busy main road. Councillor Richard Hudson, Chair of Infrastructure, Projects and Contracts Committee, and Lead Member for the Council’s mini-Holland Programme, said: “Over 700 people took part in the consultation on our first set of plans and we thank all of those who took the time to consider our original proposals and get involved. I believe that this second proposal shows we’ve listened. There was a clear desire for more segregation between cyclists and motor vehicles and the new plans have increased this segregation from 20 per cent originally, to 85 per cent now."

These proposals are a considerable improvement on the original proposals. We will be seeking further assurances about the design but are generally supportive. 

The northern part of the revised scheme is a two way cycle track on the river side of Portsmouth Road. This has some impressive features; fully protected space, floating bus stops, refuges for turning cyclists and a well thought out link to Surbiton via Palace Road. The southern section of the route is light segregation by plastic ‘armadillos’. Detailed design is continuing and the current programme is for construction work to start winter 2015 and be completed Summer 2016.  Read more on the revised plans from Kingston Cycling Campaign.

Initial Mini Holland bid plans looked promising

The frist set of revised plans before March 2015 left much to be desired. 

New Malden and Raynes Park Link

The next Mini Holland project, following Portsmouth Road, from RBK, is a connection between New Malden and Raynes Park; a new walking and cycling route. It will run alongside the railway on Thames Water supply pipes and go under the A3 dual carriageway. The new route is planned to open up an area of valuable green space for all ages to enjoy, cycle, walk, learn and relax; making it quick and easy to travel on a traffic free route between the two town centres in a way that has not previously been possible. Read more from Kingston Cycling Campaign.

Initially Thames Water appeared to want £1m plus apparently to check this link won't damage any of their pipes! Following a meeting with TfL and RBK we understand Thames Water accept they can't use the greenway as an opportunity to replace their infrastructure at the taxpayer's expense. There are also local protesters who do not want the route built. We look forward to engaging with them during the consultation in due course.  Kingston Cycling Campaign currently have a petition running in support of the plans, to try to counter the local opposition.

Other major projects in Kingston’s Mini Holland scheme include a 700-metre “boardway” along the Thames and a £6m plaza outside Kingston station, but these aren’t due for completion until 2017.

There are also a number of promising cycle route proposals and it is important that these incorporate substantial protected space for cycling, at present the details are not known.

 Jon Fray, co-ordinator of Kingston Cycling Campaign, commented on the initial project proposals:

 “We were led to believe that there was going to be some sort of barrier between the cyclists and traffic, but now it is just a white line. This scheme is supposed to encourage people to cycle and ease congestion but they won’t do that if they don’t feel safe. Our main concern is there is not enough protected space for cyclists.

“The council is certainly not presenting a Holland-style cycling space at the moment. Cyclists want complete segregation to feel safe. If this is how the council is treating the first phase, we don’t hold out too much hope for the other phases.”

 Following the publication of revised plans for Portsmouth Road in March 2015, Kingston Cycling Campaign said:

"We would like to thank RBK Councillors and Officers involved in the Mini Holland Project. They have listened to, and taken account of, the views expressed in the Consultation. There is no doubt they are working hard, and in good faith, to deliver schemes which can be implemented and will, so far as possible, satisfy the needs of all."

 

If you'd like to get involved with Kingston Cycling Campaign, please contact kingston@lcc.org.uk

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