Being in Weybridge, we at Dakota do often go out to Kingston and the surrounding area, be it out shopping on the weekend or going for drinks in The Mill after work. Kingston is, in our opinion, a wonderful place and is excellent for both pedestrians and vehicles, however it is fairly busy which makes cycling slightly harder. So when we heard that works to transform Kingston station’s forefront into a cycling-friendly gateway to the borough have been given the final go-ahead and will begin next month, we felt that we had to share it with everyone.

The construction works, which are expected to last until late 2018, will see a total remodelling of the forecourt, a “green link” for pedestrians and cyclists, and a new 250 space cycle way built. The plans are part of Kingston Council’s £33m mini-Holland cycle scheme, which has so far angered residents due to controversial schemes in Surbiton Crescent and New Malden’s fountain roundabout.

Cllr Terry Paton, deputy leader and borough’s mini-Holland head, said: “The commencement of works at Kingston station marks the continuing investment and regeneration in the borough as part of the developments. “These works will significantly transform the station forecourt area and provide better connections between the station and the historic town centre, with benefits to cyclists, pedestrians and road users.”

Consultation over the plans took place over summer last year, with Kingston Council stepping up its efforts to complete the Transport for London (TfL) funded scheme having been forced to scrap plans to demolish New Malden’s fountain roundabout amid fierce protests from residents.

Ben Plowden, TfL’s director of surface strategy and planning, said: “As part of the Mayor’s ambition to make streets in London healthier for walkers and cyclists, we awarded Kingston funding to transform the area around the station into a more attractive, accessible and people-friendly environment. “We are delighted to support the roll-out of the Go Cycle programme which will bring wider economic, health and environmental benefits to the community and support more walking and cycling.”

Construction on the Kingston station plans, which will begin in April, will take place in three phases, starting with the station forecourt, then a green link to the river and finally the western gateway connections to Kingston Bridge.

Opposition leader Liz Green said: “I’m still not happy with the amount of shared space that is around there and the Wheatfield Way one. The Portsmouth Road one took forever. I support the mini-Holland stuff. We need to encourage people to cycle more, but I don’t like the idea of supporting one form of sustainable that hinders the others.”

Dakota loves the mini-Holland-esque scheme that is going to be implemented in Kingston; we think it will increase the number of cyclists in the area, which is excellent! Time for us to go and dust off our bike and start re-learning how to cycle!