A series of rapid temporary measures will be installed on some of the borough’s busier roads and pavements to help people observe social distancing whilst making essential journeys.
Initially, temporary measures will be put in place at key pinch points from Richmond through to East Twickenham, as part of plans to assist residents with safe distancing from one another as they go about essential journeys on foot and bicycle.
In addition, over the next few weeks, as more people start travelling around the borough, a Rapid Response Team will be established internally to visit those areas that are highlighted as having problems supporting social distancing - with urgent action taken if required.
This is just the first in a series of changes in the coming weeks and months. Further proposals will be announced shortly regarding plans for other priority town centres, improvements to commuter cycling facilities and actions to support schools when they return. The full strategy will be presented to the Transport and Air Quality Committee on the 18th June 2020,
Alongside these immediate measures, the Council will be carrying out work on towpaths, including additional signage and trimming back vegetation. Further long-term measures for towpaths are also being considered to address pinch points.
Councillor Alexander Ehmann, Chair of the Transport and Air Quality Committee, for Richmond Council, said:
“Access to our roads and highstreets is critical during the pandemic, in order to keep people safe while they get food, medical assistance and to take daily exercise.
“We are getting started with a ‘pathfinder’ scheme in Richmond Town Centre / East Twickenham. The measures we are putting in place will deal with the critical pedestrian pinch-point of Richmond Bridge and aim to support this important shopping district.
“Our new Rapid Response Team will also be on hand to assess other areas in the borough that are identified as having problems supporting social distancing.
“These measures are the first of many, with officers exploring other locations and longer-term improvements that aim to make it safer for people to move around once public movement restrictions are eased.”
The urgent changes will be rolled out in Richmond Town Centre and East Twickenham, from the week commencing 17 May and include:
George Street, Richmond
- Two sections of safety barrier will be placed in the road to create additional space for pedestrians (outside M&S and on the approach to the Duke Street junction).
- The disabled bay outside Tesco will be suspended and two cycle parking spaces will be removed to create additional footway space around the frontage of the store.
- Bus stop A will be closed on George Street. All bus services to operate from bus stop B (outside Top Shop).
Richmond Bridge and East Twickenham
- A temporary loading bay in King Street will replace three existing pay and display bays (outside numbers 12 - 15), to relieve the loading pressure from George Street as more shops re-open.
- One-way pedestrian flow on each pavement across Richmond Bridge up to the Cambridge Road signalised crossing.
- A temporary extension of the traffic island at the Richmond Bridge/Petersham road junction to assist with crossing movements in relation to the one-way pavements.
- A temporary bus border at the Twickenham bound ‘Cresswell Road’ bus stop and suspension of the 3 parking bays between this stop and Cambridge Road to provide additional pavement width.
– from a Richmond Council press release - 13 May 2020