Our response to “Foresters Drive Highway Improvement Programme”

The Foresters Drive Highway Improvement Programme informal consultation closed on 9 March 2020. The consultation focussed on phase 1 of an improvement programme.
Three traffic safety measures were outlined in the consultation for Foresters Drive (located at the intersections with Great Woodcote Park, Mollison Drive and Apledoorn Drive). Although these proposed traffic safety measures could provide traffic calming and crossing points for pedestrians, it is difficult to see how they will deliver any real benefits for those cycling.
Following our discussion on Cyclescape Get Sutton Cycling’s response was emailed to Sutton Council.
Our response:

There is disappointment that the initial proposals for the area fall very far short of the ambitions that the Space for Cycling initiative had outlined for Beddington South nearly six years ago [1] (including protected space for cycling on Foresters Drive and Mollison Drive). Furthermore, with no specific proposals to assist cyclists, it is not clear how these individual schemes will enable cycling or help achieve the boroughs ambitious targets for cycling [2].

Get Sutton Cycling would be interested to receive details of the current funding allocation for the first phase of highway improvements for the Foresters Drive corridor, and learn how the current proposals differ from those that would have been proposed for the area had the Healthy Streets Approach (LIP3/MTS March 2018) not been established.

It is noted that this first phase of highway improvements for the Foresters Drive corridor include elements to slow traffic, assist pedestrians, and improve visibility at junctions. We would question whether adding Mini Roundabouts would achieve this, we refer to the LCDS [3]. Although this is not a cycleway, Foresters Drive and Plough Lane make a alternative route northbound from the Purley gyratory and avoids the A23 Purley Way for people cycling. If this was ever to become designated as a cycle route then the Mini Roundabouts would have to go.  

From documents relating to the LIP in 2017/2018 [4], that an initial funding indication of just £40,000 was given for traffic reduction schemes along the corridor. Despite the limited availability of funding Foresters, it’s a wide road with little engineering to reduce motorised speeds – most houses have off-street parking leaving the carriageway clear. It would need engineering interventions to encourage 20mph compliance if the council proposed a reduction from 30mph.

In summary in our view this scheme does not deliver against Climate Emergency agenda or encourage anyone that does not currently cycle to start, it would be better to make a for a grander scheme when resources available.

Notes:

[1] Space for Cycling, Beddington South ward: “To provide a grid, or network, of routes to such a high standard and quality that parents would be happy to let their children cycle to and from school. Features could include protected space on Mollison Drive and Foresters Drive, two-way cycling on streets that are currently designated one-way (e.g. Link Lane), safe junctions, Greenway cycle links between Overhill Road and Imperial Way and between Plough Lane and Lancastrian Road, the introduction of area-wide 20mph (but removal of road humps), and road closures to through motor traffic”.

[2] The latest available figure for the proportion of trips that Sutton residents make by cycle is that averaged over the three-year period 2015-2018: 1.3% (see ‘Monitoring report’ to the [2015] Sustainable Transport Strategy (LB of Sutton, May/December 2019): https://www.sutton.gov.uk/info/200464/planning_policy/1660/evidence_base_by_topic/13). The target for 2020 is 2.2% (this had been 1.7%) (see ‘Update on Sustainable Transport Strategy, Appendix C (E&N Committee, 28 June 2018). The target for 2025 is 4% (see the Sutton Transport Plan / Second LIP (LB of Sutton, July 2011), reaffirmed in Sustainable Transport Strategy (LB of Sutton, June 2015).

[3] TFL LCDS Chapter 5 : 5.5.4 Mini-roundabouts states: Mini-roundabouts are not generally recommended for inclusion on cycle routes. The main problems they raise are failure of vehicles to observe give way due to the geometry and failure to reduce speed through the junction.

[4] Source: 2017/2018 LIP schemes document, distributed at the Sutton Cycle Forum, 4 April 2017

Posted in Consultation

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