Way finding in Kew
Pedestrian accessibility improvements; Kew Gardens station forecourt
We have followed up our comments to Richmond Council on the changes proposed to the Kew Gardens Station forecourt with two meetings and a further letter highlighting our concerns. The Council are reviewing all comments made and will be making a decision they say before Christmas. You can see our follow up letter here: Pedestrian accessibility improvements letter to Cllr Buckwell
Richmond Council have started a public consultation on plans to improve the way finding from Kew Gardens station to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Separate but related plans are being developed to improve signage which we hope to see soon (see the background to this below).
We were pleased that Richmond Council engaged with us before the consultation was made public but disappointed that our comments do not appear to have been taken on board. You may want to consider the comments we made here: Pedestrian accessibility improvements
Have your say by 19 November here
Richmond Council have been in touch with us to discuss their proposals for improving the signage around Kew Gardens station to the Royal Botanic Gardens, the National Archives, and Mortlake Crematorium which we have suggested, in our experience, are the key destinations visitors look for alongside Kew Green, Kew Pier and Kew Bridge.
New signage installed at the station entrances/exits and the subway are an improvement but we agreed more could be done beyond the immediate station plaza and forecourt. The Council propose using a combination of ‘minilith’ style pillars and pole-mounted ‘finger’ signs to guide visitors from the station to locations where the path to the key destinations are more obvious. This would include miniliths on Station Approach and outside Victoria Gate (with links back to the existing Legible London scheme at Richmond Circus and Richmond Town Centre). Another ‘minilith’ pillar may go in on the South Circular Road near the junction with High Park Road, supported by finger signs, to clarify the route to the crematorium and also highlight access to the National Archives and Kew Bridge/Pier/Green for pedestrians.
There are also more extensive proposals being planned for consultation next year to improve the way finding along Station Approach and Station Parade to the Botanic Gardens. Associated with this the Council intend to pare down the 2 or 3 signs outside the front of the station on the Botanic Gardens side of the station, with the existing information board removed as part of the forecourt improvement scheme they are working on in partnership with London Underground. On the Kew Plaza side they intend placing new signs pointing down West Park Road/Burlington Avenue towards the National Archive and/or crematorium as the existing finger sign is not obvious from the subway or the footbridge; They are also discussing with Transport of London signage for the footbridge over the station.
The main aims are to use the Legible London signage which visitors are familiar with, to de-clutter the front of the station and provide a safer, more obvious pedestrian route from the station entrance towards Station Parade and Lichfield Road.
The work on the signage is likely to be complete in the Spring/Summer, in time for the main visitor season. It will mean losing some heritage style signage but should improve way finding for visitors and de-clutter signage not serving its purpose.