Here is a link to the GuideDogs home page which is asking for examples of selfish and dangerous pavement parking where there is no room for anyone, let alone a wheelchair user or someone with a pram, to get through.
GuideDogs is a powerful organisation and has a very active lobbying system. They were on the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee subgroup that I was on (representing Living Streets!) that advised on council matters and had a strong presence.
I’ll see if I can get some pics and send them along.
The link is: http://www.guidedogs.org.uk/supportus/campaigns/streets-ahead/pavement-parking/where-is-pavement-parking-happening?Ref=email&dm_i=LDK,4RUKI,MEHSP4,HXXCB,1#.WKisjn-Qn8c

If the link above doesn’t work, search for Guidedogs and get the link via the home page.
Tony P Feb18

The London Borough of Sutton is looking at the possibility of introducing a shared-use cycling/walking route along Green Wrythe Lane between Middleton Circle and Bishopsford Road. There is a school on the route the route is largely residential, but the road is busy and carries a bus route.

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Sutton Living Streets has issued this reply:

“Thanks very much for consulting Sutton Living Streets about the Green Wrythe Lane – Shared pedestrian/cycle improvement scheme. We did check with our Living Streets Head Office and were directed to a statement issued by Tompion Platt, Head of Policy at Living Streets (LS). https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/who-we-are/press-media/should-cycling-be-allowed-on-the-pavement.

The statement said that Living Streets believes more people cycling is good for people walking and society more generally. LS agrees  that whether on foot or on bike, by far the greatest threat is motor traffic.  However, walking and cycling are two very different modes: mixing them together inappropriately can cause fear, anxiety and even serious injury.

The statement says that improving cycle safety and convenience should not diminish the safety and convenience of people walking. And any change to the street environment must take into account the accessibility needs of all kinds of users, including the blind and visually impaired.

“Local highway authorities shouldn’t be let off the hook from building good cycle infrastructure by simply pushing the conflict onto the footway,” the statement concluded.

In the light of this statement from our Head Office I think that we would not be able to support this proposal in its present form. But if the decision is taken to go ahead with the scheme perhaps signs asking cyclists to be aware of pedestrians would be a good idea.”

A draft plan of the proposals is shown here: green-wrythe-lane-t30108-dd-01

The wonderful Wandle Trail now has a very useful map, produced by the Wandle Industrial Museum who have kindly given us permission to include it on our website. The Trail is a most useful transport link between Croydon, Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth. For us in Sutton walking the trail to Morden takes about 45min. Compare that to taking the bus! And what a lovely walk. And accessible too!
You can get details of the lovely Wandle Industrial Museum on http://www.wandle.org. There is a downloadable map available from the museum on http://www.wandle.org/pdfs/Wandle_Trail_Map_Mobile_Tablet_friendly_version%20.pdf.

 

We have updated our walking map of Sutton and will soon be adding new walks that have recently been put in by the London Borough of Sutton. But we have also been kindly given permission to post the Wandle Trail map which will show the whole of this wonderful walk and important transport link.
A more detailed PDF version is also included. Just click on walkmap2 below to see it.

walkmap2

 

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The £1.2m Heart of Hackbridge project, funded by the Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund and Sutton Council, is coming to completion. This programme of physical and economic regeneration, focussed on the intersection of the A237 London Road and B277 Hackbridge Road, in Hackbridge, Sutton, had many aims. High on the list was the delivery of a more people-focussed centre, a place where people want to spend time, a place which is safer and easier to get around, and which serves as a hub for socialising as well as an improved local shopping experience. It was about civilising the traffic and prioritising pedestrians. Proposals to bring all of this about included the realignment of kerb lines to narrow the overall carriageway width, provision of a raised road surface to include several courtesy pedestrian crossing points in place of two formal zebra crossings, installation of an implied roundabout, widening of pavements (especially outside the nearby Hackbridge Primary School), planting of mature trees, and the installation of benches.

However, given that typically over 19,000 motorised vehicles pass through this location every day [Source: DfT Traffic counts], has the aspiration to provide a shared-space ethos on a heavily trafficked road, proved to be more of a challenging and ambitious project than the proponents thought it would be?

In this guest blog, Tracey Collins, Road Safety Campaigner, Hackbridge resident, and founder of Hackbridge Safety First, gives her personal view on the story so far.

One of a series of panels produced as part of the Heart of Hackbridge consultation (Sutton Council 2013)

One of a series of panels produced as part of the Heart of Hackbridge consultation (2013)

How Hackbridge can look on a weekday afternoon. London Road, Hackbridge, 17 September 2014 (Photo Charles Martin)

How Hackbridge can look on a weekday afternoon. London Road, Hackbridge, 17 September 2014 (Photo Charles Martin)

Hackbridge Junction is NOT safe as it is at the moment. The number of near misses on the six new informal crossings is an everyday occurrence, and vulnerable individuals are disadvantaged.

What is aim of Hackbridge Safety First?

  • We believe that every child has the right to be able to cross the road to get to school safely.
  • We believe that ALL pedestrians should not feel alienated from their local community – the elderly, disabled (whether they have a physical disability, a guide dog user, visually Impaired, sensory, hard of hearing).

ALL pedestrians have the right to feel safe in the community they live in and, at the moment, that isn’t the case in Hackbridge.

The following has been witnessed in Hackbridge over the last few weeks:

  • Vehicles/mopeds driving on the pavements.
  • Vehicles driving down Elm Road (one way street) through the NO ENTRY sign.
  • A lorry was driving along Hackbridge Road and tried to go right onto London Road. It couldn’t get round the “ROUNDEL” so REVERSED back, straight onto the pavement and almost took out the new benches.

There is a smiley face speed clock on London Road before you drive over the railway bridge. This has been seen to clock drivers speeding along London Road towards Hackbridge at 52 mph!!

There are some Hackbridge residents that are very happy with the NEW HACKBRIDGE. Some have commented that if the first car doesn’t stop to allow you to cross at the new informal crossing then the second one almost certainly does…This certainly is not the case.

That the roundel does not work as large lorries are not able to safely navigate it… also remember that Hackbridge is not a QUIET village. Drivers come through Hackbridge off the M25 straight into London. In Wallington for example, this year they have transformed Woodcote Road. They now have a mini roundabout, with road markings. Large vehicles i.e. lorries are able to navigate round the mini roundabout without any problems. They do not have to reverse back along a main road to go around the new mini roundabout. The transformation looks nice and works very well. If you carry on along Woodcote Road it will eventually lead you to Hackbridge.

Let’s try and make it right FOR:

  • The local resident who uses a guide dog, who attempted to independently try and cross one of the informal crossings and 14 cars didn’t stop for them;
  • The elderly resident who has lived in Hackbridge for 60 years who no longer feels safe crossing any of the new informal crossings;
  • The child that had to sprint across the road because they had to get out the way of a car coming towards him;
  • The pregnant lady who got half way across the crossing when a car zoomed past;

We want crossings that are recognised, that are in the Highway Code to safeguard all pedestrians that live and visit Hackbridge and at the moment we do NOT have this. As added protection WHY can’t we have a Patrol Officer on a permanent basis to protect our children? The Patrol Officer was put in place for the last 7 weeks of the summer school term. Because of the campaign the local authority agreed to extend the Patrol Officer’s contract from September to the end of October. The interim safety audit was carried out on 19 August 2014. The report has been completed. The local authority have now extended the Patrol Officers contract AGAIN, this time the patrol officer will remain in post until the proposed changes have been fully assessed.

As responsible parents we try and encourage independence in our children once they reach a certain age, i.e. walking to school on their own. We also want the children to walk to stay fit, as we are advised by the Government, plus walking reduces the environmental impact of having more cars on the road.

The rejuvenation of the “Heart of Hackbridge”, that was meant to bring our community together, has had the opposite affect and alienated certain members of the community.

Sutton Council provide background and updates on the Heart of Hackbridge project.

A Press Release from Labour London Assembly Member Fiona Twycross, 16 October 2014: Fiona Twycross AM visits controversial junction at Heart Of Hackbridge

If you would like to submit a guest blog for Sutton Living Streets, get in touch @suttonls

The first consultation to appear in Sutton Living Streets inbox in 2014 related to a proposal to construct a “raised table” outside St Dunstan’s Primary School in Cheam. Charles Martin thinks this a great idea, but asks whether the associated signage and clutter, that the traffic engineers propose to include with it, are really necessary.

Early in January 2014 Sutton Living Streets was asked to comment on plans to introduce a raised table in Anne Boleyn’s Walk, outside St Dunstan’s Primary School, in Cheam village. Here are links to the Notice and the Plan (both referenced as T28009), and below is our response.

20140130_1415_T28009_Plan

Sutton Living Streets believe that the proposed raised table crossing at Anne Boleyn’s Walk will be an improvement to the streetscape. Indeed, the Google Street View at this location (http://goo.gl/maps/4XqCH) clearly shows that the pedestrian desire-line currently cuts across the grass verge at the intended location of the raised table crossing. Furthermore, the existing build-out on the west side of the road has always been a contentious issue for some cyclists, given its proximity to the junction with Kingsway Road, so its removal will not be a disappointment.

However, we are not sure why the raised table needs to come with the additional clutter of posts and signage. Is it really necessary for a quiet residential street to have three “Hump 50 yds” signs installed? Is it likely that traffic will be travelling at such a speed on Anne Boleyn’s Walk or Kingsway Road that signs are required? Will anyone notice the signs? If they are necessary, why are there no “Hump 50 yds” signs on the approach to the other existing raised table further along Anne Boleyn’s Walk at the junction with Ewell Road? And near the school isn’t it the children, rather than humps, that we should be looking out for?

The proposed additional signage will just make Anne Boleyn’s walk and Kingsway Road look more like thoroughfares for traffic. If the maximum speed limit here were to be reduced to 20mph, as is Living Streets policy for residential roads, (and which here, given the alignment of the streets, is probably rarely exceeded anyway), then the proposed raised-table would sit quite nicely without the requirement of additional traffic signage. Put simply, the area would take on more of a sense of place without the signage. And surely a sense of place, somewhere for people to stop and talk and walk and cycle, is just what you need outside a village primary school.

Could Wallington become a cycling destination? Sutton Living Streets supporter John Kinnear considers some options that, if implemented, could help unlock Wallington’s potential as a more attractive place for cycling.

Wallington ought to be a honey pot for local cyclists. Its bustling town centre has the major shopping chains, but on a human scale. There are plenty of smaller shops and varied eating places, plus a regular farmers market, along with a post office and a railway station which is popular all day, not just for commuting. And there are large secondary schools just north and south of the town centre too. The town centre is surrounded, literally encircled, by residential areas made up of quiet roads, all of which easily link together to make pleasant cycle routes, some signed and some not. You can link up to the north with the signed route 75 from Sutton to Croydon through Beddington Park, and to the south an alternative route between the same areas. To the west there is national cycle route 20 which runs north and south. All those residential streets should be full of cyclists riding from home to their local town centre.

However, you don’t see too many cyclists cycling from home to Wallington town centre. It is not surprising why.

National Cycle Network route 20 along Park Lane is a busy, heavily trafficked road, with a nasty piece of cycling infrastructure on the Boundary Road rail bridge which forces a cyclist out into the fast flowing traffic. At the southern end of Boundary Road there is a busy roundabout with unhelpful cycling provision; at the northern end (Park Lane) there are busy road junctions. In Wallington, after the recent refurbishment of the town centre, Woodcote Road has been narrowed through the shops. As a cyclist you would share the one lane in each direction with buses that have stopped to load up in the middle of the traffic flow, other traffic stopping and starting at the traffic lights and trying to overtake the buses in both directions, and cars reversing out of the new parking places, not to mention pedestrians darting over the narrowed road. After the recent refurbishment, there are nice new cycle hoops for more cycle parking, but poorly designed. Each new hoop has a semi-circular metal panel, inside the hoop, with a P sign and a bike silhouette cut out. These bits of metal may look good but make it awkward to lock your bike to the hoop if you try to use the TfL-recommended D-lock. After the refurbishment of the area, there is also a cycle contraflow by Lidl in Beddington Gardens. Nice idea- it could be copied in so many places where there is one-way traffic. But what does it lead you out to in Wallington? Manor Road/ Woodcote Road, full of cars, buses, lorries- often moving off at speed from traffic lights just north of the rail bridge and also just south of the bridge. Crossing over into Ross Parade means a nasty right turn too. No wonder some cyclists going north just cycle along the wide pavement under the railway bridge. Probably illegal but no doubt feels a lot safer.

So Wallington may be surrounded by good cycling areas but the town centre, despite its attractions, is like a fortress designed to keep the cyclists out.

Is there an alternative to gain access to Wallington? One of the roads parallel to Woodcote Road is Shotfield (to the west). It could be an alternative access to the shops on a bike, but it is often full of traffic, usually larger vehicles, buses, coaches etc., and usually moving fast, along with cars eager to get in or out of the car park.

Strangely there is another alternative, which – with one exception – requires only a relatively small amount of attention, to create a cycle superhighway from Beddington Park all the way south almost to Woodcote Green, allowing a cyclist easy and safe access to all the shops and other facilities. It provides a way of opening up the cycling potential of the whole area, because it links with other routes, with residential areas and it provides safe and easy access on a bicycle to the Wallington town centre area.

Map of the Wallington Superhighway

A cycle superhigway for Wallington?

Route description and action needed table

Route description and action needed

1 Beddington Park, from signed route 75 to the car park
To formally allow cycling on the very short distance between route 75 and the road to the car park; perhaps improve the surface.

2 Car park to Croydon Road
Signage needed

3 Crossing Croydon Road
There is already an island refuge for pedestrians. This could be adapted to accommodate cyclists.

4 Bute Road
No action needed apart from signage

5 Right into Belmont Road
No action needed apart from signage (Melbourne Road could be used as an alternative)

6 Left into Bridge Road
No action needed apart from signage

7 Across the railway bridge
No action needed apart from signage

8 Ahead up Clarendon Road
Road markings need to be improved at the southern exit from the railway bridge. The current situation leads a cyclist on this route to believe they have right of way over Ross Parade traffic; motorists approaching from Ross Parade are also led to believe they have right of way over the junction with Clarendon Road. This is an extraordinarily dangerous situation.

9 Towards the south end of Clarendon Road:
existing cycle route is signposted into the shopping centre. (Diversion from the main proposed through route) Dropped edges needed to facilitate cycling into the shopping centre. More bike hoops needed in Woodcote Road making use of the very wide pavement.

10 South end of Clarendon Road:
slope up towards Stafford Road. Need for dropped edges and signage to make this a cyclable route.

11 Crossing Stafford Road.
Although there are traffic lights here, to control cars using the supermarket car park, this is currently a major barrier for cycling. It is not easy to cycle across Stafford Road; it is not easy to walk your bike across Stafford Road either. It is the one point on the route that needs significant attention. This is the only major work needed on this route.

12 The whole length of Onslow gardens to its junction with Shirley Road, where it is possible to join other established cycle routes or simply make use of the quiet back streets to continue a journey to the west, the south or the east.
No action needed apart from signage

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