Kingston’s Transport Strategy contains ambitious aims to prioritise people walking and cycling above other methods of transport, and to increase the share of trips made by sustainable modes of transport over private motor vehicles. The Mayor’s Transport Strategy contains similar aims for London.
The aims of the proposals mainly focus on journey time savings for buses, which will equally apply to private vehicles. The scheme, therefore, fails to support the switch from private motorised vehicles to bus and active forms of travel, so is not in line with borough and London-wide transport objectives. It is a missed opportunity to reduce the amount of traffic, congestion, and air pollution in the area, and fails to tackle the climate emergency.
Traffic lanes/ bus priority
The consultation page states that there will be bus journey time savings of up to 11 minutes in the morning peak, which we support. However, no information is provided on the impact on private vehicle journey time. Given no bus priority infrastructure is proposed as part of the proposals, it is expected that the scheme will also improve private vehicle journey time, facilitating travel by car, counter to the stated aims of the transport strategy. The proposals should be revised to include extensive bus lanes and bus gates, ensuring travel by bus is prioritised over private vehicles.
We are particularly concerned by the proposed additional traffic lane for access to the A3, which increases the capacity for motorised traffic without priority improvements for buses.
We strongly oppose the proposed closure of the existing pedestrian and cycle subway access to accommodate a new traffic lane. This facilitates driving over walking and cycling, counter to all the stated aims of the borough’s and Mayor’s transport strategies. The scheme should be revised to reduce the number of private vehicle lanes, discouraging the use of cars and improving air quality.
Walking and cycling measures
We welcome the improvements for pedestrians and cyclists, including the new shared area for cyclists and pedestrians linking Tolworth Rail Station to Tolworth Town Centre.
However, these measures must be enhanced to match best practice:
- The new space for cyclists and pedestrians should be made wide enough to accommodate segregated provision for these user groups, especially given the large number of people accessing the station
- The introduction of countdown on pedestrian crossings will improve safety. However, staggered crossings should be replaced with straight-ahead, facilitating walking and cycling
- A continuous footway and cycle track should be provided across Donald Woods Gardens, which is a cul de sac
- Further consideration should be given to providing safe, high-quality cycle parking at the station, as well as trees and seating
- Further consideration should be given the continuity of cycling provision to the north and south of the scheme, in particular for journeys to the station.
If you require any clarifications or further information on our response, please email Ollie.More@sustrans.org.uk Policy Officer, London at Sustrans.