Carshalton in one of Sutton’s problem areas, as far as cycle campaigning goes. It is arguably the most attractive district centre in the borough, yet any potential attractiveness is spoilt by the A232 ploughing straight through the centre of this conservation zone. Unfortunately, many of the streets are quite narrow (as little as 10m property to property in some places) so building space for segregated cycle lanes along side two lanes of motor traffic and two footways is impossible.
Elsewhere in the area both West Street and North Street are also narrow, with high traffic flows. Both are also currently part of the London Cycle Network. Something has to give.
So perhaps what is required is a back to basics approach to street design and traffic management.
I imagined what would happen if a lane of traffic were to be removed from the main roads around and through Carshalton. They could be replaced by 2 lanes of segregated cycle tracks. Such an idea can be found in Haarlem in the Netherlands. This is the street before implementation in 2008.
And this is it 2014.
The bi-directional segregated cycle tracks make a huge difference to the streetscape and mean that cycling is an option for anyone with a bike. Imagine how Carshalton could be transformed if such infrastructure were introduced in these images:
Clearly, the potential for wonderful cycling conditions is obvious and would be a huge asset to Carshalton. But how would the motor traffic be re-routed so as not to cause mayhem?
There are eight major roads going into the area, of which two are the A232 and the busiest. The others are The Wrythe, Green Wrythe Lane, Nightingale Road, Park Lane and Park Hill. Putting them into a workable traffic system, one result might be this:
Any road with an arrow pointing in one direction has one lane for motor traffic and bi-directional infrastructure for people who would like to cycle. It will be important to make sure that rat runs are closed so as to ensure that all streets are as people friendly as possible.
My aim in this is to start the discussion and absolutely any ideas here will need to be examined in more detail and refined to ensure the best outcome. The worst out come will be if nothing happens in this corner of London. Do leave your thoughts underneath!