We were delighted by the turnout and participation at the Travel and Streets workshop on 9th January, which is one of a series of events intended to finalise policy in the community’s Neighbourhood Plan.
Feedback from previous consultations raised traffic congestion, traffic speed, vehicle parking, bus services, cycling and walking as issues concerning residents. As there is no scope (or appetite) to increase the road infrastructure, the Neighbourhood Plan proposes to enhance the walking, cycling and bus network, which would contribute to reducing congestion and parking on the roads.
The school run adds to rush-hour traffic and puts pressure on local parking at drop-off and pick-up times. The German School and the Russell School already have accredited Gold and Bronze, respectively, School Travel Plans. At the workshop we asked what would encourage sustainable and active travel to school. Children offered lots of ideas including segregated cycle routes, which would make them feel safe. Locations for additional road crossing points were also raised and the majority were in favour of 20mph limits to generally improve the environment for walking, cycling and vulnerable road users.
There is heavy demand on the Petersham Road which is narrow and busy, discouraging would-be cycle users. Intermittent and constricted pavements make it difficult when pushing buggies or using wheelchairs. At the workshop we mapped options for a quiet Richmond-Petersham-Ham-Kingston cycle link, which would provide a lit, non-tidal alternative for all types of cyclist including children. One of the routes linked schools and local shopping parades with the potential of assisting School Travel Plans and increasing trade to local shops.
The possibility of a new foot and cycle bridge crossing the Thames received overwhelming support from visitors to the workshop. Despite the proposed Crossrail II route, which will make Teddington Station a new fast link to London and Surrey, most people preferred a location at the end of Ham Street to give the most direct route to Twickenham town centre, buses and fast train line.
All the comments are being collated and will be available on the Neighbourhood Forum website. You are also welcome to email the Neighbourhood Forum with any further ideas or comments.
By Justine Langford