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Petitioning Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames

Support proposed New Malden to Raynes Park Mini Holland cycling and walking route

Plans for a great, and much needed, new traffic-free cycle route from New Malden to Raynes Park in South West London are under threat from some local residents who are worried about ‘illegal habitation’, ‘unexploded WW2 bombs’ and ‘aberrant golf balls’ and have got up a petition opposing the scheme.

Please show  Kingston Council that there is widespread support for this safe, traffic-free cycling and walking route and linear park to benefit the environment and community.  Persuade them to ensure that this route is completed by signing this petition.

More details

In 2014 the Royal Borough of Kingston was awarded £30 million in ‘mini-Holland’ funding from Transport for London for a series of projects to improve conditions for cycling and walking in the borough. The programme has now been christened “Go Cycle”.

The Council is planning to create a great new cycling and pedestrian link between New Malden and Raynes Park, using a strip of land (owned by Thames Water) that runs alongside the railway line. The proposed cycle track is about a mile long and will not take space from motor vehicles. It would create safe space for cycling, making local trips between New Malden and Raynes Park more accessible for people of all ages and abilities who want to ride a bike or walk. It will also link up with the existing Cycle Superhighway which starts at Colliers Wood and the proposed Transport for London Quietway to Wimbledon, Clapham and via Waterloo to Central London.

Kingston Council say “This space will be transformed into a safe, convenient and high quality cycle and pedestrian track, perfect for commuting, educational and recreational uses. The new path will be designed to work with the existing natural landscape, minimising the impact on local biodiversity, and neighbouring properties”.

We hope this area can become a linear park like the Crane river route in Richmond or the Parkland way in Haringey. It will reduce the severance  in this part of London caused by the A3 urban motorway which it will go under in complete safety and provide a rare alternative to motor journeys in suburban areas which suffer badly from traffic congestion.

However, a separate petition has been launched by a number of vocal local residents who are calling for the project to be cancelled. Please sign our petition and show the Council that there is widespread support for a safe, traffic-free cycle route from New Malden to Raynes Park and urge them to ensure that this project is completed.

The objectors have put forward a number of arguments and concerns, some legitimate (which are being addressed by the council) and some rather absurd. They claim that the route will become a ‘criminal corridor’ and will attract youths with guns who will shoot the birds. They say that the path will unearth unexploded WW2 ordnance and visitors will be at risk from golf balls from the nearby golf course. They also fear that the route will be at risk from ‘illegal habitation’ by people ‘sleeping rough’ and especially ‘settlement by illegal refugee groups’.

We believe that these fears are unfounded and the benefits of the route far outweigh any of the possible arguments against it. The cycle path will open up valuable green space for all ages to enjoy. The route will create safe space for cycling and walking and make local trips between New Malden and Raynes Park, in the neighbouring borough of Merton, easier for all.

Many other residents from wider surrounding areas are very supportive and enthusiastic about the scheme. We have found many supporters. It would be a shame for a vocal minority to disrupt these exciting plans that would benefit so many people.

Links

https://kingstoncyclecampaign.wordpress.com/category/current-campaigns/mini-holland-current-campaigns/

http://www.kingston.gov.uk/info/200355/go_cycle/1118/about_the_go_cycle_routes_and_projects/3

https://tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/improvements-and-projects/cycle-mini-hollands

http://lcc.org.uk/articles/stray-golf-balls-and-unexploded-bombs-dot-dot-dot-plans-for-a-new-cycle-route-spark-local-opposition 

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  • Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames

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