Twickenham to Brentford cycleway

Consultation to improve cycling facilities between Ivy Bridge and London Road.

Please provide comments on CycleScape.

The consultation closes on 29 July 2019.

Our Response

Summary

Hounslow Cycling supports the proposed improvements to Quietway 75.  The route connects to CW9 along a known desire line for cyclists, one that was recognised as a high potential corridor in TfL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis.  The proposals will make it a safer and more enjoyable ride.  We do, however, have several comments and suggestions on the design.

We would prefer a segregated bike lane through South Street and Upper Square and believe that could be incorporated in the design with the loss of just a small number of parking spaces.  It is a matter of principle for us that the safety of cyclists and pedestrians should take precedence over the convenience of motorists.

We would like the section of the route through Syon Park to be more welcoming for disabled and family cyclists and those who may be nervous of personal safety after dark.  We will continue to work with the Borough to encourage the Duke of Northumberland estate to improve inclusivity.

Overall

Hounslow Cycling supports the proposed improvements to Quietway 75.  The route connects to CW9 along a known desire line for cyclists, one that was recognised as a high potential corridor in TfL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis.  The proposals will make it a safer and more enjoyable ride.  We do, however, have several comments and suggestions on the design.

We note that some 28 cyclist casualties have been recorded on Twickenham Road and London Road in the last five years and only 3 on the Quietway.  We anticipate that many cyclists will continue to use the main roads in order to avoid speed bumps, shared use and narrow sections.  We believe that bike safety on Twickenham Road (and particularly Busch Corner) will still have to be addressed more directly.

Ivy Bridge to South Street

We suggest that the Toucan crossing at Twickenham Road should be repositioned to the desire line at the south of the grass triangle.

Worple Avenue / Road is an uncomfortable ride at present.  Many cyclists choose to use Twickenham Road instead and most of the 17 or so cyclist injuries in the last five years have occurred on the main road.  We believe that the proposed improvements (including sinusoidal speed humps) will somewhat improve the attractiveness of Quietway75 but the risk posed by rat run and delivery drivers will still be problematic.  We would ideally have liked to see a segregated bike lane on the main road but the majority of our members accept that would be too controversial at the present time.  We ask instead that the borough continues to monitor cyclist volumes and casualties along Twickenham Rd.  If both remain high, then the Quietway 75 route will not have adequately addressed the requirements for a high potential corridor between Brentford and Twickenham.

Pavements are generally but not always quite narrow along this section of the route.  We would like to see more greenery where there are opportunities for planting. 

South Street and Upper Square

The public realm improvements in this section are particularly welcome.  The designers have evidently prioritised people over cars in this area, which is a traditional focus of local life.  We are, however, concerned about the proposal for shared use of pavements with pedestrians.  We accept that peaks for cyclists and school children and shoppers are time-separated but foresee cyclist/pedestrian conflicts in the school run periods in the morning and afternoon.  We know that such conflicts cause few injuries in practice but elderly pedestrians are genuinely scared of pavement cyclists.  Conversely, many cyclists are wary of pedestrians with mobile phone addiction and/or dogs.

We would prefer a segregated bike lane through this part of the route and believe that could be incorporated in the design with the loss of just a small number of parking spaces.  It is a matter of principle for us that the safety of cyclists and pedestrians should take precedence over the convenience of motorists.

Additionally, we suggest that the water fountain/ drinker in South Street should be refurbished so it can be used and the triangle and horse trough refurbished and softened with additional trees and baskets attached to the lampposts.  If shared use cannot be avoided then repeat shared use signs should be added to lampposts.

Swan Street to Syon Park

The junction to the north-east of the Bluecoat School is uncomfortable for northbound cyclists on Quetway 75 since some motorists on North Street are reluctant to give way at the mini roundabout.  We ask that the detailed design of the mini-roundabout be revisited with the aim of slowing drivers on approach and making it clearer that a cyclist on the roundabout has priority over approaching vehicles.

The closure of Church Street to cars eliminated rat running through this section and made it much safer (and consequently more appealing) for cyclists.  We welcome the proposed realignment of the planters as shown on drawing 04.

Syon Park

We recognise that this section of the route is on private land so that the Borough can only advise on design.  Our members do appreciate the amenity – it is a pleasure to cycle through green open space with low speed and volume of traffic.  We would, however, like to see two improvements made:-

  1. cycleway lighting in the evenings, and
  2. removal of the speed gates in Brent Lea Alley

We believe that lighting could be discreet enough to reassure cyclists who are nervous about their personal safety while avoiding undue impact on wildlife and night sky.  If Syon Park refuses lighting then we ask that reflectors to mark the edge of the cycleway are investigated.

We have previously reported that blocking mopeds with speed gates prevents use of Quietway 75 by those with cargo bikes, disability bikes and bikes towing child buggies.  The overall effect is that provision is good for most cyclists but poor for disabled and family cyclists.  If Syon Park refuses to remove the speed gates then we ask that two of the four be locked open in normal use.

We would like this section of the route to be more welcoming for disabled and family cyclists and those who may be nervous of personal safety after dark.  We will continue to work with the Borough to encourage the Duke of Northumberland estate to improve inclusivity.

23 July 2019