Sutton North Lib Dem Councillors

Cllrs Ruth Dombey, Marlene Heron and Steve Penneck working hard for Sutton North all year round Learn more

Councillors ask for All Saints Road Barrier to be removed

by Ruth, Marlene, and Steve on 20 September, 2020

We have received a lot of feedback from residents on the trial Low Traffic Neighbourhoods scheme, mostly critical.  We have spent the last few days listening to the concerns of the people who have contacted us and discussed the problem with Council officers and other councillors.

Clearly the barrier in All Saints Road has resulted in excessive traffic in Woodside Road, and also in Woodend/Greenhill and Aultone Way: roads that are not able to cope with the increase in vehicles. Also Oakhill Road has taken much more traffic from vehicles that would have used All Saints Road, causing congestion along the road and at the High St junction.  As a result, we have asked the Council to remove this barrier and this has now been done.

As you know we have four road closures in our local area. Most of them are to reduce traffic in support of the Cycleway scheme running from Sutton to Morden. When the idea was recently proposed for the closure in All Saints Road, we raised our concerns about the likely impact on neighbouring roads but were told the closure needed to go ahead for the scheme to work and that the impact could be monitored.  

It is clear that the All Saints barrier has not achieved the desired outcome of moving traffic from smaller roads onto the main roads – in fact it has done the opposite. We are sorry about the disruption that has been caused over the last week and have impressed on Council officers the need to remove the barrier as soon as possible.

We will be monitoring the impact of the other barriers to see if they are achieving the desired outcome of diverting the through traffic onto the main roads.  We will continue to monitor them and listen to the views of local residents to see if we need to make further adjustments.

Further background to the schemes and the reasons why they have been introduced at speed all over the country are here.  All Councils were asked by the government to introduce these schemes quickly given the concerns at rising traffic levels given the COVID-19 pandemic.  The speed required meant that it was not possible to consult fully on these proposals, as we would normally do (and did for the parking schemes) but to monitor and ask for feedback during the trial.  We know that residents received notification of the proposals very late.  This was not the plan and we apologise for that.  

The scheme is designed to tackle heavy through traffic and speeding in our area, and we hope that the remaining road closures will do that.  A traffic survey conducted three years ago showed 5,000 traffic movements a day through the area, with nearly 80% of this cut-through traffic.  

The scheme remains experimental and will be reviewed over the next six months – that means it will either be confirmed, modified or removed.  The test will be whether it has had the effect of reducing traffic overall in the area. 

In the feedback some people are telling us that their journeys are taking longer.  This was to be expected.  The test will be whether the closures are deterring drivers from outside our area from driving through, and whether the reduction in traffic overall makes up for this.

You have also asked about traffic monitoring.  We understand that officers monitored the number of traffic movements in Oakhill Road, Benhill Wood Road, Elgin Road, Benhill Road, Grennell Road (top and bottom), All Saints Road, Woodend, Montrose Gardens, Aultone Way and Rose Hill Park West just before the closures were put in place and planned to do so again in November, to allow several months for traffic movements to settle down. Traffic movements in the first few days of closure will not be typical of longer term patterns, as drivers take some time to find new routes.  However given the extreme changes to traffic in the first week, we have asked that traffic be continuously monitored during the trial so the need for any further adjustments can be assessed.

Some of the immediate impacts of the scheme have been quite worrying, with cars being driven over the pavement to get round the closures, and an increase in traffic speeds and we have alerted the police to this behaviour.  And we have asked for more 20mph speed signs.

Please continue to let us know what you think through the Council’s consultation page.  In addition to this, subject to the COVID restrictions not worsening, we will also be calling on residents to get your feedback.  


10 Responses

  1. Tracey says:

    Well done Sutton Council !! Grennell Road is now safe for motor bikes to race down the hill straight through the gap between the planters and post!! Matter of time before someone gets killed…..

    The junction of Grennell and Edinburgh Road is now a nightmare at school times …cars park anywhere blocking the area up and with their engines running!

    The rat run is through Edinburgh Road and always has been.

    Can you explain why Grennell Road has planters ? Are the council going to maintain these…ie water them and take out the rubbish that the kids chuck in them ?!

    What a total waste of tax payers money ….it would be more useful to renew the CYCLE and WALKING PATHS that go from Rosehill Park West to Wrythe Lane through the woods…these are in such a bad state they are unsafe and used by lots of people and school kids!

  2. Stefano says:

    Please can you let us know how the traffic will be continuously monitored throughout this trial and at what locations.

    Many thanks

  3. Simon says:

    This is a real shame as a local resident the quiet streets have been wonderful. The use of the surrounding roads as a rat run will return and once again Monksdene Gardens and Montrose Gardens will be plagued with traffic driving at excessive speeds during rush hour.

    I doubt anyone will stick to the 20mph limit and I assume there will be no police to enforce this.

    I struggle to see how after 1 week a decision is being made to reverse this closure, hardly giving people time to adapt.

    If the real issue is with dropping of children at the school then open the road at certain times to allow this which I think is reasonable.

    • Jack Perry says:

      What planet are you living on? You need to wake up and see what the barriers impact is on all of the roads in North and East Sutton. Thinking just about Montrose and Monkesdene Gardens is frankly being selfish. You should consider the reopening of Angel Hill Drive if you’re that way inclined.
      The over all impact of the barriers has been virtually entirely negative causing increased pollution, journey times and inconvenience particularly to local residents. This will not get better! The real danger is that previously quite roads are now being used as cut throughs this is potentially dangerous particularly in Woodside Road and Aultone Way/Woodend Road. It’s just a question of time before someone is either seriously injured or killed. Speaking of death, the barriers also make it impossible for emergency service vehicles, if someone in your family had a heart attack for example every second counts and with these barriers it can make the difference between life and death! I bet you haven’t thought that through. One thing that is for sure is that the barriers scheme has achieved the exact opposite of what it was supposed to do, clearly this is not the answer.

      • Vitali Averbukh says:

        All true. After opening of All Saints, Woodside road is the same kind of nightmare with all the formerly Benhill Wood traffic going under our noses, sadly literally…

  4. TW says:

    Reopening All Saints is a wrong decision. Once that has happened traffic will be able to Cut through….ie rat run…from wrythe lane to sutton missing out the main roads, by taking either Connaught Road, Surrey Grove or Duke of Edinburgh road to join Edinburgh Road..bottom of Grennell Road then right into All Saints Road. SURELY this is defeating the object of ‘cutting down traffic’ on side roads! Edinburgh Road .small and already busy, with buses and school traffic will become a main road.

    Is would be better to close Edinburgh Road unless all other roads are to reopen!!

    All this ontop of trying to deal with Covid plus plans to build ANOTHER SCHOOL at the bottom of Aultone way (which I assume will just be PUSHED THROUGH)..where a majority of traffic has now been pushed to use and ANOTHER HOSPITAL at the top of Sutton is absolutely ludicrous. How are we suppose to deal with all the traffic, engines, and fumes of stationery traffic! This will not be of any benefit to walkers or cyclists let alone asthma sufferers!

  5. Sush says:

    Appreciate the councillors taking on the feedback. It’s been a few days since this has been posted, but the road block is still in place. Why is there a delay to remove this?

  6. Dr Marina Edelson-Averbukh says:

    Lifting the barrier on All Saints led to some minor decrease of traffic in the Woodside Road but didn’t solve the problem by a long way. Indeed, the amount of traffic that we have now is incomparable to the previous situation, namely before the barriers were erected. The whole of the “low traffic neighbourhoods” initiative around Greater London is meant to reduce traffic on residential roads shifting it to the main roads. Clearly, Sutton Council failed to implement this initiative soundly and “achieved” the exact opposite: previously quiet residential roads, such as Woodside, became major traffic routes. I hope the Council will draw conclusions from the current situation and will amend the design of the road closures in North Sutton. Thank you very much indeed.

  7. Lorraine Cannon says:

    The opening of Allsaints Road has had little improvement on the amount of traffic in Woodside Road, We are still experiencing speeding vehicles, motorbikes and delivery vans and large lorries that can’t get through and need to reverse out. Some are mounting the pavement to get around each other morning noon and night in our once quiet road and the safety of children who walk to school is a big worry! Aultone Way and Woodend are suffering too. BenhillWood Road needs to be opened both ends to restore normality, these closures have had the complete reverse effect that they were meant to have, the traffic and pollution is now worse on these smaller roads that can’t cope with the traffic. We can’t have our windows open now due to fumes and noise and the 20 mph signs painted on the road are completely ignored !

  8. Elizabeth Phillips says:

    In your introduction above, you write that “officers monitored the number of traffic movements in Oakhill Rd, Benhill Wood Rd, Elgin Rd,Benhill Rd, and Grennell (top and bottom) Road, Woodend, Montrose Gardens, Aultone Way and Rosehill Park West just before closures were put in place and planned to do so again in November to allow several months for traffic movement to settle down..”

    As a resident of Woodside Road, I would like to know why Woodside Road was not also monitored in this way. You have acknowledge above the impact the road closures have had on Woodside Road, but Council presumably failed to foresee this impact while it did so for these other roads. Why is that?

    How are residents and Council meant to quantify the impact to traffic flow in Woodside Road without any comparative data? Are you simply going to accept our (the residents’) word for it that very heavy through traffic is being experienced as a result of the closures? Answers please!

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