Sutton North Lib Dem Councillors

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


by Ruth, Marlene, and Steve on 20 December, 2021

We are all deeply shocked by the terrible fire in Collingwood Road and the tragic deaths of four small children. The Council is working closely with the police while several local voluntary and faith groups are on hand to offer support. Please let us know if there is anyone who would like to get in touch.

We know that road safety remains a major concern, especially at school times with Westbourne Primary nearby.  The flashing speed sign has had only a limited effect, with many cars still exceeding the 20mph speed limit.  Also there are many instances of dangerous driving at the width restrictions, with the Give Way signs not being respected.

Nine years ago, proposals for a pedestrian crossing were considered for near the junction with Chaucer Road.  They were subject to consultation with residents but both were rejected as they would have resulted in a loss of parking spaces.  However since then the traffic has got worse, and residents may now feel that road safety should take a higher priority.  Would you support a petition on this issue to test public views?  

One other possibility suggested by residents is to convert the width restriction by the Anton Crescent junction (the one furthest from the by-pass) into a zebra crossing, or to add some other form of surface treatment to make this a safer crossing place.  But Council officers have advised us that introducing a controlled crossing here would not be safe for pedestrians, and drivers observing the priority arrow signs may fail to stop for them.

Lib Dem London Assembly members have been pressing Transport for London (TfL) on behalf of residents, to get better police action on speeding in the road.  TfL have confirmed that councils do not have the legal powers to install their own speed cameras.   They commit to working with the police to ‘increase roadside police enforcement, safety camera enforcement and the introduction of a mobile safety camera team in autumn.’  We have asked Sutton Council to continue to press TfL on these issues, including the installation of a speed camera.

Please use this link to raise a concern with the Police about speeding, or another road danger issue in the road, including accidents.

It is difficult to deal with driver behaviour where some drivers blatantly disregard the traffic rules.   The Council will continue to review accident statistics for Collingwood Road since implementation of the width restrictions to check any accident trends which highlight safety concerns.  Speed restrictions are for the Police to enforce, though we know how stretched they are.  Former local councillor, Lord Graham Tope has been leading attempts in Parliament to amend the law to allow local Councils (rather than the police) to enforce speed limits in residential roads.  This would allow us to install speed cameras but so far the government seems reluctant to make this change..  

Meanwhile, local Councillors continue to press for police-led Speedwatch events in the road – where we use hand held cameras to monitor speed, and so the Police can follow up those in excess of the limit.  We are currently looking to set up events in January.

Councillors have been in discussion with Council officers to improve the Collingwood Road/ Chaucer Road junction, where poor sight lines make it difficult for cars turning out of Chaucer Road.  Proposals for improvements, which would involve bringing forward the Give Way line, have been subjected to an independent road safety audit.  This has raised a concern over the narrow road width of Collingwood Road due to parked cars on both sides of the road near the junction.  The scheme is being redesigned to remove some parking spaces.  When we have details of this we will carry out an informal consultation with residents. 

Residents in Bushey Road have been consulted on a proposal to introduce a 20 mph limit in their road.  The results were positive, and the scheme is being included in a bid for funding from Transport for London for next year.  Unfortunately local councils no longer have the funds to carry out traffic schemes, and need to make bids for funding, together with other London Boroughs, to TfL.

The utility company that removed one side of the width restriction in Collingwood Road, outside No 162, some months ago, have been instructed to reinstate it.

The Council will be cutting back tree branches from Collingwood Rec which are partially obscuring the light above the Give Way sign at the width restriction.

Relocating the bus garage

Cllr Ruth Dombey has written, as Leader of the Council, to the Managing Director of Go-Ahead London, who operate Sutton bus garage, asking that the location of the bus garage be reviewed and moved to a less residential part of the borough.  She has pointed out that the current location means that residents in the surrounding residential area are frequently disturbed by buses through the night, and this is causing unnecessary and sustained stress, disturbed sleep, air pollution, and vibrations in their homes.

Sutton’s bus garage is the only one in South London located within a residential area, with other garages being located on or just off main roads.  Sutton Council are about to consult on a revision to the Local Plan, which sets site allocations in the borough, and Council officers have been asked to consider the future of the bus garage as a part of this.

Sign our petition here to show your support for a move of the bus garage.

Use by HGVs of Collingwood Road

There is a weight restriction of 7.5 tonnes on Collingwood and Bushey Roads, which is widely ignored by HGV drivers, and the Council does not currently have the means to prosecute them.  Some residents give us information of HGV sightings which we pass on to the Council but more systematic evidence is needed to enforce this ban.

Council officers are preparing a proposal for an HGV enforcement camera, to be sited at the by-pass end of the road.  This would enable penalty notices to be automatically issued to vehicles over the weight limit.  Part of the issue with the HGV ban has been dealing with heavy vehicles that have a legitimate right to be in the road for deliveries.  Officers think they now have a solution to this.  Traffic data has shown that HGV movement is greater in the north-south direction (towards the town centre) than the south-north direction.   So officers will be proposing a new restriction which would prevent access only from the by-pass end.  While this option does not take away all HGVs, it should significantly reduce the predominant flow which is from this direction.  They will be conducting a site survey for a suitable location for the camera this month – it will most likely to be on a lighting column.  It will be necessary to update the current HGV regulation, as it is dated and may be difficult to enforce.  Councillors are pressing for a bid to be made for funding for the coming year for this scheme.

Residents will recall that over a year ago a temporary CCTV camera was positioned opposite the entrance to Collingwood Recreation Ground to record HGV traffic.  This has now been removed as its hard drive had failed making it not possible to playback the footage.  However it will be replaced at the end of January by a sensor which will be able to collect data on HGV numbers as well as the direction of their travel.   This will enable the Council to record key trends in vehicle movements rather than identify individual HGVs for prosecution.

Resurfacing of the second half of Collingwood Road

The completion of the resurfacing is dependent on Thames Water (TW) completing their investigative work on the drainage problems in the road.  It has been impossible to get TW to commit to a date for this work, despite continuing pressure from Council officers.  It is hoped this work can be completed quickly, but we still do not have a date.

Unfortunately, as we all anticipated, this delay means that the resurfacing work cannot now take place this winter, because of the risk of frost damage, so it has been scheduled for after April.  This is very disappointing, especially as the residents at the by-pass end of the road are reporting fewer vibrations with the new road surface.

Your local ward councillors will continue to work closely with local residents to try to resolve these issues and ensure that measures are taken to improve road safety for everyone in the area. 

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