Cycling campaigners have been left frustrated by changes to the first phase of Kingston’s Mini Holland project, reports This Is Local London. While early drawings depicted a segregated two-lane cycle path, revised versions show just a single lane separated by a white line.
Kingston was one of three London boroughs to win a share of a £100m pot from the Mayor of London’s Mini Holland cycling initiative with consultation on the first phase due to begin on Monday. The initial £1.3m project is focused on the addition of a cycle lane on Portsmouth Road, but campaigners have been left unimpressed after seeing the revised drawings.
Jon Fray, co-ordinator of Kingston Cycling Campaign, said:
“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 protective 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.”
Councillor David Cunningham, lead member for transport and environment, defended the plans, saying: “It is not a scheme to encourage cycling to the detriment of other road users.”
Committee chairman, councillor Richard Hudson, also chose to emphasise that the scheme wasn’t just about cyclists. “This scheme is there to benefit pedestrians and motorists as well as cyclists, and everyone will have the opportunity to give their opinions during the four-week consultation period.”
“On Portsmouth Road (north), a segregated two-way track will be provided along the west side of Portsmouth Road where there are no junction conflicts … On Portsmouth Road (south), semi-segregated cycle lanes will be provided in both directions.”
Semi-segregated was defined within the document as “cycle lanes that are at carriageway level, but separated by some form of light segregation device placed at regular intervals.”
Other major projects in Kingston’s Mini Holland scheme include a 700-metre boardway along the Thames and a pedestrian and cyclist-only plaza outside Kingston station.