The celebrated Wandle Trail is probably Sutton’s most obvious piece of cycling infrastructure and it is much vaunted by local councillors. The short section of shared path in Hackbridge, between Culvers Avenue and Nightingale Lane along the riverside, has been closed since the start of this year for a re-fit.
There has long been a route here, although the surface was becoming difficult for all users, there was a nasty four-way blind corner where the footbridge crosses the river, and the path was alarmingly narrow in places.
This section runs past a site where there used to be public housing and open space, now replaced by a sizeable private estate. The refurbishment of this piece of the Wandle Trail is part of that development process.
There is not one centimetre of new path or trail involved, unfortunately, because this is just bringing a well-established route more or less up to a modern standard. However, so far it is looking good in some ways. Lines of sight look good on the whole and the path is a standard width.
The blind corner at the footbridge, where there is a small brick building, has been opened up somewhat, but there is still that wall obstructing the line of sight in one direction.
It is likely to be a very attractive walking route in the future. As well as being the Wandle Trail, this stretch is also part of National Cycle Route 20 and the popular Avenue Verte cycle route from Paris to London. Not to mention it being a nice place for the neighbours to come out for a stroll and a sit by their piece of the river which has been tidied up considerably over the last few years.
To judge by the pictures, it could be open by the summer. Let us hope there are none of the barriers some residents were calling for.