At the South Sutton, Cheam and Belmont Local Committee meeting this evening (19 November), Councillors agreed that proposals, which could ultimately see major upgrades to the cycle paths along sections of the A217 Sutton by-pass and bring 20 mph to the A232 in Cheam Village, be presented to Transport for London for consideration.
Members of the Committee were responding to the report “Proposed Cycle Facilities on the Transport for London Road Network”, details of which are available in Major cycling schemes for TfL roads to be presented to councillors. This is the same borough-wide report that includes proposals for the A217 to the north of Cheam, that were accepted by the Sutton committee on 3 November, and for Rosehill roundabout,where the proposal was not so warmly welcomed by the the St Helier, The Wrythe and Wandle Valley committee on 8 October. It has to be said that, on this occasion, the presentation of the report by Gary Smith, Head of Highways and Transport Services, who introduced the item by saying “they were good solid proposals”, was much better!
Our thanks to the councillors, from all parties, who were present this evening for showing their support for these proposals (noting that apologies had been received from Cllr. Mary Burstow and Cllr. Holly Ramsey). Cllr. Clifton and Cllr. Whitham both spoke to endorse the proposals. Cllr. Clifton said that he noted that his name was included in the report, along with those of the other nine (now ten) councillors who had shown support for the London Cycling Campaign’s Space for Cycling initiative. He hoped that other councillors would do the same. Both councillors said that, in noting the proposal for 20mph in Cheam Village, it was time to look at the broader strategic issues of 20mph. Cllr Whitham said that the introduction of 20mph zones in the borough had, up to now, been piecemeal. He made the very valid point that, in the longer term, it would be cheaper to implement 20mph borough-wide. So many other boroughs across London are heading that way.
The agreement given by committee members this evening, for these proposals to be presented to TfL for consideration, may eventually bring the benefit of a 20 mph speed to the centre of Cheam Village (and beyond). This would surely enhance the character, and the sense of place, of this unique district centre. And perhaps, in time, St Dunstan’s Hill will be embellished with cycle paths that are as good as those currently enjoyed by the citizens of Groningen. And that’s what we call Space for Cycling!
There is a long way to go yet, but this evening’s meeting has helped to steer the direction of “the journey beyond 2014”.