Article

Active Travel and the Brewery Site


By Tim Lennon, Richmond Cycling Campaign

The redevelopment of the Mortlake Brewery site is a wonderful opportunity for the Borough to say ‘no’ to the continuous growth of traffic, air pollution and congestion, and ‘yes’ to more places in the borough where we prioritise walking, cycling, clean air, and liveable streets.

The main development site already has plans which focus on walking and cycling, and Richmond Cycling Campaign have discussed an attractive and compelling route which links the towpath and access to Chiswick Bridge with Mortlake Station. In addition, most of the designs of the site itself seem to focus on active travel (i.e. walking and cycling) rather than driving.

But to complement this, and to genuinely encourage people to walk and cycle – and to make walking and cycling attractive options – we need routes that lead from the development as well. These routes need to fulfil not only the journey needs of new residents, but also of school children at the new site, and locals who need to get around.

One of the things that has been a focus of the consultations has been Chalkers Corner. Most locals would agree that it’s a traffic-choked hell-hole, yet the only design we’ve seen so far is to spend £7m pushing more traffic through the junction. There’s no new cycle lane, there’s nowhere new to walk or cycle, and there’s nothing which says ‘we’re going to have cleaner air and better places to live’.

The changes that need to happen should be driven by Transport for London and the council. TfL has responsibility for the TLRN – the Transport for London Road Network – and the council is responsible for all the other roads in the area. This means that they two need to collaborate, especially on the changes to Chalkers Corner.

7 per cent of all journeys in Richmond are currently made by bicycle, but the road designs around the Brewery development, and indeed generally in the borough, don’t reflect this.

RCC would like to see, as part of this development:

  • A separated, safe cycle route which leads from the development all the way to Richmond so that people can cycle from the development area (and proposed school) all the way to Richmond, without having to share with dense car traffic.
  • Safe, protected and quick access at all junctions of Chalkers Corner – cycling and walking need to be just as important at this junction as driving.
  • A protected route to Mortlake Station and on to Richmond Park – one local forum saw the suggestion that Sheen Lane is actually closed to motor traffic except for access.