by Ruth, Marlene, and Steve on 27 July, 2020
The pandemic and the resulting lockdown has had a massive effect on our community and across the country. In Sutton it has also meant less traffic and better air quality. The Council is proposing to create what is often called ‘low-traffic neighbourhoods’ to cut the volume and speed of traffic in the area by reducing cut-through traffic.
The proposals will progress on the Cycleway scheme from Sutton to Morden, through Benhill Wood Road, Elgin Road, Grennell Road and through Greenshaw Wood. The Council has consulted on this over the last two years. There was very low attendance at the residents’ consultation meetings held in March this year, when people were asked to identify traffic pressure points.
The 20 mph zone and road closures will be trialled for six months, to see what the impact on traffic will be. The closures will be at:
The closures will involve a lockable bollard in the middle of the road, supported by other bollards, which allow cyclists (and of course pedestrians) through. They will not block accesses to residents’ driveways. Maps showing the specific closure are in the links above.
A traffic survey conducted in 2017 when the cycleway was first proposed showed 5,000 traffic movements a day through the area, with nearly 80% cut-through traffic. That amount of traffic is too high for safe cycling to be promoted. The road closures will re-route the traffic onto the main roads.
A residents’ survey undertaken at the same time showed 65% of respondents thought there was too much traffic in the area, 70% thought the borough should be doing more to address air quality and 87% thought the borough should be doing more to encourage walking and cycling to school.
We also want a borough that is so well-connected by public transport (buses, demand-responsive buses, trains etc) that people don’t feel the need to jump in their car for every journey they make. Sutton receives the lowest amount of public transport funding per resident in London and has done so for many years. We are continuing to use every opportunity to make the case to the Conservative Government and Labour Mayor that Sutton residents cannot continue to be ignored. We need better public transport infrastructure urgently!
The new measures will be introduced in September and be reviewed after six months. During this period they will be monitored with further traffic surveys and by asking residents to submit their views. At the end of the six months, the measures will be taken out or changed if they do not show the necessary reduction in traffic in the area. Any further changes will take place next summer.
Our view is that this is not the way to introduce such schemes. Our plan with the cycleway project was to have another round of consultation on specific proposals before going ahead. However, the government has removed funding for these schemes. And it has channelled available resources into this new approach, and they require trial schemes to be set up rapidly, without consultation.
The scheme will be monitored over the six month trial to see how well it works and you will be able to comment on the trial as it progresses with a dedicated section on the Council website. If it is successful and residents feel it is making a positive difference to their road, then funds may be sought to make the scheme permanent. Do let us know what you think during the trial.1 Comment