Consultation on initial proposals
A public consultation took place between 19 June to 17 July 2017 on our initial proposals for the New Malden to Raynes Park route.
The consultation leaflet was available online and posted to 30,848 households across Kingston (13,673) and Merton (17,175) based on catchment areas. During the consultation period four drop-in consultation exhibitions for businesses and residents were held along with eight further pop-up engagement events held at school gates, the railway stations and public spaces and thoroughfares near the proposed link.
A total of 1,703 survey forms were returned during the public consultation, with 52% of respondents from Kingston, 36% from Merton and 2% from other areas. The remaining 10% had insufficient information to allow analysis of their location.
Review the initial consultation documents
Read the full independent consultant's report
The aim of the consultation was to get feedback and insight to the initial design concepts.
Key findings from the consultation include:
The consultation leaflet asked three key questions to find out frequently the link would be used and to gain views on the extent of the community benefits that the link might provide.
What you said:
- The consultation feedback indicates that the path will be used frequently (593 at least daily or weekly) with 1,500 people supporting the statement that the new link would be a green and pleasant to visit.
- 1,328 people agreed the link would make it easier to access the train stations.
- Views were sought on six additional design features: a majority of respondents would like to see wild flower planting (1,545), nature trail features (1,461) and seating (1,458).
- Participants were also invited to add further details of how they would envisage using the path. The most popular response was to use it for cycling, followed by running or jogging.
Respondents were asked if they had any further comments or suggestions for improvements to the proposals. Feedback has been grouped into key themes.
- 307 responses received were statements of support for building the link
- 228 responses focused on issues of personal safety in relation to crime and antisocial behaviour on the path.
- 14 respondents raised specific concern about security for the houses backing onto the path.
- 171 respondents commented on the theme of the shared use of the path, with the majority preferring segregation.
- 170 comments referred to accessibility and connections to the wider network, including concerns about access points, accessibility for wheelchairs/tandems/bikes with trailers, and how the path links up to wider transport and cycle networks.
- 153 comments brought up issues relating to the ongoing maintenance of the path, particularly that it should be well maintained and requests for additional features such as dog waste bins.
- 137 responses brought up nature and wildlife in their comments. 79 were positive references to the provisions included and further suggestions for enhancing biodiversity. 50 were concerns about the impact on local wildlife.
- 109 comments related to use of public spending; 91 concerned with expenditure on cycle schemes in general, 14 comments to ensure that cycling provision was not compromised by other features.
- 59 responses received were statements of opposition to building the scheme for various reasons, - some included more than one reason; 31 objections that the scheme is waste of money, 14 objected against Go Cycle/cycle schemes in general, 8 objected because of concerns for wildlife, 8 objected with no further explanation.
What we are doing about it:
- The better used the path is, by a variety of users, the more confidence people will have that it is a safe space. The link will be designed and promoted to encourage walkers, cyclists, runners and families to occupy the space throughout the day and into the evening. The path will be lit during core hours. The path will be designed to avoid blind turns and has clear sightlines. The Local Safer Neighbourhood Team and Met Police ‘Designing Out Crime’ team have been involved in the development of the scheme.
- Over the past two years liaison has taken place with local residents who live adjacent to the proposed link to ensure that the proposals have been developed and modified to reflect their concerns. It is now proposed to install a ‘weld mesh’ security fence between 2.2m and 3m high to protect properties. Liaison will continue with local residents as the proposed fencing and planting options are developed.
- A number of comments were in favour of segregating cycles from pedestrians. Most comments came from pedestrians concerned about or intimidated by sharing the space with cyclists. However cyclists also wanted a clear route for commuting and not wishing to come into conflict with pedestrians. The council is now constructing a segregated path to match the existing arrangement in The Cut.
- The entrances to the path will be well signed, open and accessible. Additional access points can be explored in the future as resources and landownership allows. At New Malden station, the path will connect with The Cut and on to Kingston Town Centre. In Merton, the path will connect with the proposed Quietway route that would extend to Wimbledon and Wandsworth. Merton Council are currently developing plans for infrastructure changes to the junction of Taunton Avenue and West Barnes Lane, which will provide cyclists with safe access onto the existing cycle route on Coombe Lane.
- The path surfaces will be maintained, keeping it clear of leaves and free of litter. Dog waste bins will be provided. Consideration will be given to measures that require dogs to be kept on a leash on the path. Additional elements will be considered as the design progresses, including cycle parking and wayfinding.
- Opportunities to improve habitats for wildlife will be explored with Thames Water. Advice has been sought on the most compatible street lighting technology to minimise disturbance to bats and the path being lit during core hours only. More generally, this site will not be left unmanaged for nature to overgrow. Major underground water pipes run beneath the land and the corridor must be kept clear of vegetation so that roots do not damage the Thames Water assets.
- Funding for the Go Cycle programme has been approved by TfL and ring-fenced to improve cycling facilities. Money cannot be spent on other improvements.
- The corridor owned by Thames Water is not currently accessible to the public, and the proposed layout is a better use of the space. It seeks to meet the aims of the Go Cycle programme and the Mayor’s Healthy Streets agenda to get more people walking and cycling. It is accepted that not everyone will support schemes of this nature but, where appropriate, the details will be amended to reflect valid concerns.