Sutton Living Streets has submitted a response on the proposals for the development of Wallington Town Centre. The plans for the town, which were put together after Sutton Council questioned 1,000 residents, traders and school pupils earlier in the year, were presented at an exhibition staged at Wallington Library between 10 July and 30 September. During this time, residents were invited to have their say on the plans formulated as a result of the initial consultation.

The objectives of the scheme, which is to be funded by Transport for London and through developer contributions, include boosting the town’s attractiveness and improving pedestrian, cycle and bus access in and around the centre whilst improving traffic flow. Ultimately, the scheme’s success will be judged on how effectively it manages to lock-in the benefits secured through the Smarter Travel Sutton travel and behaviour change programme which, between 2007 and 2010, tested whether it would be possible to encourage residents and people who work in Sutton to choose to walk, cycle and use public transport more often, and their cars a little less. A six percentage point reduction in the mode share of car trips, and an encouraging 75 per cent increase in levels of cycling (albeit from a relatively low base), were reported

Sutton Living Streets fully support the schemes objectives. The plans should certainly transform Wallington, and make it more attractive for residents, visitors and shoppers. However, for all the objectives to be met the improvements do not appear to go far enough. For example, upgrades to a pedestrian route which links the main shopping street (Woodcote Road) with a nearby residential street (Shotfield) focus on the section between the car park and Woodcote Road. Little thought appears to have been given to enhancements to the remaining section that would be used by people arriving on foot or by bus rather than by car.

The full report is available to download from here: Improving Travel in Wallington: a response from Sutton Living Streets.