Council starts urgent work on first physically segregated cycle lane outside Kew Gardens

Release Date: 29 May 2020

Under emergency powers, single yellow line parking will be removed from Kew Road outside of Kew Gardens and protective barriers will be installed to create a 24-hour mandatory northbound cycle lane - all as part of the Council’s Post-Covid Transport Action Plan.

In light of the Government guidance encouraging local authorities to make active travel improvements and as part of Richmond Council’s continuing measures to support walking and cycling in light of COVID-19, the parking will be removed on the Kew Road, outside of the Gardens.

The water barriers installed outside of Kew Gardens will be a temporary, and will be replaced with semi-permanent measures that will preserve the cycleway and will not reinstate parking. 

The Council has engaged with Kew Gardens and have considered their emerging transport plan and their planned re-opening. The Council believes that these measures are crucial in discouraging unnecessary visits to the facility by car, as well as supporting much-needed cycling infrastructure at the same location.

Further upgrades to the cycling facility on Kew Road are part of the Council’s imminent bid to TfL for infrastructure funding and further proposals will be published in the coming weeks.

Recognising that the change could have wider impacts (particularly as visitor numbers increase), within weeks of these emergency changes, the Council will be consulting residents and businesses across Kew about the future operation of the existing Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) and on the possibility of implementing a new CPZ in the area around Kew Green.

Cllr Alexander Ehmann, Chair of the Transport and the Air Quality Committee, for Richmond Council, said:

“This change is long overdue. Kew Gardens is a global beacon of sustainability, but immediately outside the walls of this amazing institution lies a road that has been allowed to become a car parking lot. All provided via the creation of a sub-optimal cycle lane. Today that comes to an end.

“Covid-19 has changed the way we travel and looks set to do so for quite some time. We are delighted that Kew Gardens will be imminently re-opening, but this Council believes that we need to ‘build back better’. That means we need to back the role of cycling and walking with serious upgrades to our network.

“The measures on Kew Road are crucial.  Even the interim arrangements with water barriers make this cycle route, Richmond’s first-ever physically segregated cycle lane. I hope that this is the first of many such change and that cyclists – both new and old - will make use of this safer arrangement.”

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P194/20

Updated: 29 May 2020