Posted: 23.11.21 at 14:36 by The Editor
A TEMPORARY cycle lane on Hampton Court Road brought in last year to help with social distancing has now been made permanent by Richmond Council.
The lane, which goes from the Kingston-bound stretch of road from Hampton Court roundabout to Bushy Park's Lion Gate, was brought in to encourage cycling amid the social distancing concerns of the pandemic.
It was also intended to deal with the road's 'poor record' of collisions involving cyclists - later revealed to be 5 crashes (one serious) in 5 years.
However, the lane has been criticised by locals for squeezing neighbouring car traffic from two lanes to one.
Complainants objecting to the scheme say it has increased traffic congestion in the area and nearby school Hampton Court House has raised a formal objection.
In contrast, respondents to a Council phone survey of a representative sample from Richmond borough showed broad support for the lane.
Last week at a meeting to decide its future, members of the Transport Committee voted to approve the lane being made permanent.
However, officers agreed they would redesign the scheme and admitted that a solution of a shared cycle facility on the Palace side of the road is a better solution. Funding will be sought for this next year.
Another new cycle scheme in Barnes was also made permanent at the meeting.
Cllr Alexander Ehmann, Chair of the Transport and Air Quality Committee said: "We are constantly looking to improve our cycling infrastructure to make cycling the transport mode of choice when travelling around Richmond upon Thames.
"We introduced both schemes at the request of Government and in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Having provided these upgrades, we now know from resident research how well supported these facilities are.
"We’re pleased that the schemes are being made permanent to help make cycling safer in Hampton and Barnes. Our aim is to improve and expand facilities like these wherever possible."
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