New bike railing things... thoughts anyone?

10 years ago...

The council are in the middle of replacing the old steel bike railings, which had a certain 'character', with a bland modern design (possibly made of aluminium)
All the old ones needed was a fresh lick of paint IMO, but I guess that steel is worth more than aluminium after all... ahem!

To my reckoning, it does seem a bit of a 'contradiction' to do replace something 'traditional' with something modern in design in a supposed 'Conservation area'.
So, is it only a conservation area when it suits Kingston council's needs, aims & objectives?


Please will someone stop the reckless expenditure on "gentryfying" Surbiton with so much street furniture,the town has already been partially mutilated by appalling modern buildings.

Instead use the monies to reduce shop rent and rates and rubbish charges and so encourage more
small shopkeepers and businesses with the addition of more free and low cost parking so that the would be shoppers are not harassed as they are now.

I agree. The new lamposts on Victoria and Claremont Roads are a joke. The old ones may have been a bit anachronistic, but these are plain hideous.

You do know that the actual lanterns on the new posts are only temporary. Apparently the suppliers ran out of the more classical ones so will be fitting them late September 'at no extra cost to RBK'.

What erks me is that the new lampposts bear little resemblance to the ones we apparently voted before. I can see the logic of all those extra bars and struts to hang banners and baskets but they look so ugly — not a patch on the elegance of the old ones which helped give the town its distinctive character.

I didn't know that, thanks. I wonder why they bothered doing it at all until they were ready?

I agree, the bars and struts make the design too complicatedwhich is exactly the opposite of what street furniture should be.

The hanging baskets on the lower bars look ok, but what are the higher ones to be used for - event notices, advertising?? I think that they will end up like the Christmas Tree brackets that were put up on Surbiton shopfronts a few years ago - a nice idea, but after a while people can't be bothered to use them.

The difference is, those brackets can be removed (and most have), it will take a lot more to tiday up these new lamposts.

I totally agree Bloodaxe. The council needs a good kicking for allowing these shoebox flats being built by CNM and others. The
What exactly have the council done to encourage new businesses to the area? Could someone please tell me?

I suppose that they think building the flats will increase demand for shops and services in the area so will bring in more businesses?

I am all for more residential houses or flats in our area,what I cannot understand is how the architects manage to design such bland "ocean liner" style buildings.

Why not replicate some original Edwardian designs but of course with up to date interiors and most importantly plenty of underground parking as most 2 person households in this area seem to have at 2 cars.

Totally agree. The problem is that the planners lost control of design during the 1960s/70s resulting in a lot of slab-fronted blocks of flats replacing the original Victorian/Edwardian architecture. There is no excuse for repeating the same mistakes again, but I guess it makes it harder to refuse plans if they are better than a lot of the 50 year old blocks already in existence.

I still think that Kingston/Surbiton would have been one of THE nicest looking suburban areas in the whole country if these mistakes had not been allowed to happen. When the Cambridge Estate was built in the 60s, the council boasted of removing Victorian 'slums' to create modern homes for poorer people in the borough. If those 'slums' had been allowd to survive they would have been renovated by keen homeowners and that area of Kingston would probably be a favoured area to live rather than the run down mess it is at the moment.

It seems a real shame to me. The original ones were sturdy and matched the balustrades around the roundabout. The new ones look out of keeping within the conservation area and as they are less substantial will be tripped over by unsuspecting pedestrians when not in use.

tested the replacement ones with a magnet.... they're aluminium.

Nowt wrong with aluminium, it's a great material, but somewhat out of kilter with a supposed 'conservation area'.
It's the hypocrisy of the council that gets my back up, as they've banned things on the basis of it being a conservation area.
One rule for them and another for the rest of us, as per usual.

As ever, these things are always going to be a delicate balance of aesthetics, practicality and cost. Maintenance of an ever-growing number of cycle-hoops is understandably something RBK would want to reduce to the minimum, a paint-free finish supports that. These hoops seem to be a little thicker too, certainly thicker than the cross-member on the old stands which also had two supporting end-pieces that meant bikes wouldn't sit alongside them without rubbing. These are a more practical solution for cyclists in my humble opinion.

As for the street lights it's worth bearing in mind that the lights need to 'fit in' along a series of streets that are not uniform in their architecture. You have more contemporary mid-century buildings on the South end of Victoria Rd., you've got the Art Deco station and the Victorian Gothic of the Northern end in to Claremont Road. No one single design would work perfectly. Perhaps high quality lanterns, less upward light projection and a more robust maintenance schedule will sweeten the pill?

In any event, the awful faded red that the railings, balustrades, poles and loops were painted in can give way (mostly) to a nice metropolitan utilitarian conformity of gloss black. Now if only RBK and customers could encourage shop owners to do the kind of neatening up job on their façades that we saw in Mile End ... [link]

That is exactly how it works - it is a conservation area when householders or retailers want to make a change, but not so much when the council want to do something on the cheap.

I don't mind the new replacements in this case. The onle ones were better, but were hardley ever painted so were always covered in rust spots and bare patches. At least these new ones should stay looking reasonable without any maintenance.

I hope they don't remove the lampposts, though. I don't particularly like them as they are a bit 'garish 80s' as opposed to the traditional ones they are supposed to be, but at least they hark back to a time when the council were prepared to give a bit of thought to town centre development. If they are replaced now, we will be stuck with cheap, plain, utilitarian ones for the next 20 years.

It seems a real shame to me. The original ones were sturdy and matched the balustrades around the roundabout. The new ones look out of keeping within the conservation area and as they are less substantial will be tripped over by unsuspecting pedestrians when not in use.

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