The prospect of Sutton’s first Cycleway receiving funding has taken a step up. Last week (25 February 2020) saw the launch of an informal public consultation, with a focus on measures to improve facilities in the neighbourhoods around the proposed section of Cycleway route immediately to the north of Sutton town centre.
Full details of the consultation, and the opportunity to engage with it, are available through Sutton Citizenspace at ‘Cycleway between Sutton High Street and Colliers Wood – Proposals in Sutton‘.
The consultation is scheduled to run between 25 February and 23 March 2020, and is to include a number of drop in sessions where Council staff will be on hand to answer questions and listen to any suggestions. These engagement sessions start this week:
- Tuesday 3rd March, 12 noon – 2.30pm, Salvation Army Hall, Benhill Avenue
- Tuesday 3rd March, 5pm – 7.30pm, All Saints Benhilton C of E Primary School, All Saints Road
- Wednesday 4th March, 5pm – 7.30pm, Salvation Army Hall, Benhill Avenue
This consultation covers Phase 2 (or, more appropriately perhaps, Area 2) of the proposed Cycleway (formerly Quietway) project to link Colliers Wood and Morden with Sutton town centre. Phase 2/Area 2 is the southern end of the route, the section linking Grennell Road with Sutton High Street.
Meanwhile, the consultation on Phase 1 (Area 1/St Helier Area) of the project, which took place between 9 October and 4 November 2019 (see our response to that first phase, and other feedback), resulted in some good news last week. It is anticipated that work will commence in the St Helier area, within a few weeks, to deliver a cycle track between Bishopsford Road and Newstead Walk; a 20 mph zone in the Stavordale Road area; a new parallel crossing at Wrythe Lane; and raised table on Grennell Road with Rosehill Park West. Construction of an upgraded path through Rosehill Park East and Greenshaw Woods (Wrythe Lane to Grennell Road) is unlikely to commence until late spring or summer due to the impact the wet winter has had on the ground.
The latest Phase 2/Area 2 consultation is, in part, about gathering feedback on a proposed 20mph speed limit (see Figure 1). Importantly, though, the consultation provides an opportunity for residents, and those who work or study in the area, to present ideas for improvements to their roads and streets. Given that 65% of respondents to an earlier the resident survey (June 2017) felt there was too much traffic in the area, and 87% of respondents thought that more should be done to encourage walking and cycling to school (a link to the Community Engagement Report, as source material, is provided on the consultation website), this latest engagement is the opportunity for people to give their views and suggestions on how best to reduce non local through-traffic cutting through the area.
In terms of 20mph, and as noted in our letter to Council Leader, and Sutton North ward councillor, Ruth Dombey in August 2018 (Evidence in support of 20mph), a slower maximum speed limit reduces casualty rates, saves money, and receives the approval of residents once implemented. Now, in March 2020, and in the week that the engagement sessions in this part of Sutton commence, new 20mph speed limits are being introduced on main roads in central London following strong public support for the proposals (see Road danger reduced with new 20mph speed limits on all TfL roads in central London).
Traffic survey analysis from 2017 (see Figure 2 and Figure 3) indicated that sections of Grennell Road experienced levels in excess of 5,000 vehicles a day. This high volume of traffic, even with a 20mph maximum speed limit in place, is unlikely to satisfy the required level of provision for new cycle routes, as set out in the interrelated quality criteria (see Quality Criteria for cycle routes (TfL, May 2019)). Cycleway funding will only be released if the conditions for the criteria are met. Consequently, although a 20mph speed limit will be welcome, it will be whether residents are keen to trial interventions that reduce the level of non-local traffic that will make or break this Cycleway project. Guides on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are available here.
We wish the Phase 2 consultation well, and hope that residents, businesses, community groups and schools across the area all get involved with this unique opportunity to benefit from TfL funding to make their part of the borough an even better place in which to live, work and go to school.
What happened next?
Publicity for the consultation on Twitter
Sutton Council posted information through Twitter, pertaining to the consultation and engagement events, several times between 28 February and 16 March 2020:
v1.1: 23.03.2020 (added ‘What happened next?’ with ‘Sutton Council publicised the consultation on Twitter’)