Kingston Council has produced its Draft Riverside Public Realm Supplementary Planning Document (‘Riverside SPD’ for short). The area it covers is the riverside from around Hart’s Boatyard in the south to the end of Canbury Gardens. It seems rather arbitrary not to include the whole of the borough’s river frontage as it excludes the important Seething Wells Filter Beds site and Kingston’s part of the Ham Lands.
The SPD is a 90-page document with a supplementary ecology report, lighting audit, and a newsletter. There is also an audio file. Information starts from this page: https://www.kingston.gov.uk/riverside
The riverside to the north of Kingston Bridge is clearly of interest to Ramblers as it also the Thames Path.
Much of SPD is uncontroversial, promoting variously walking, cycling, fishing, bats, views, and a more natural river’s edge.
However, the workings of the council are so poor that the council officers who wrote the SPD appear oblivious to the fact that the riverside path through Canbury Gardens is Bridleway 48 and so have come up with this proposal:
“The designated cycle route adjacent to the water’s edge is to be removed, with considerate cycling allowed to use all paths within Canbury Gardens.”
Cyclists have a perfect right to cycle on a bridleway (but must give way to horses and pedestrians). Therefore, the council is, in effect, proposing either the closure of the bridleway or somehow turning it into a footpath.
I hope members will have a look at the SPD and respond to the consultation. In particular, please make the point that you are opposed to any closure or change to Bridleway 48.
The public consultation on the Riverside SPD runs until 19 March.