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The Cheam North and Worcester Park Local Committee has agreed in principle to construct a new path in Sutton Common Park as shown on the attached plan.

The aim of the scheme is to provide a gravel surfaced path for walkers to use all year round between the pavilion and footpath leading to Morden Way and Elm Road West. It will provide an improved facility for the existing users of the park and will hopefully encourage new users in to the park and through the park on route to other local destinations. A new path is also proposed to link to one of the gates into the playground area. It is not intended to provide street lighting along the path as it is to be promoted as a daytime route only and the gates to the park will continue to be locked at night. Funding for this scheme is available from Transport for London.

The Friends of Sutton Common Park (www.foscp.org.uk) support this proposal as it is identified as an infrastructure improvement scheme in the Parks Master Plan.

Consultation Plan March 2017consultation letter

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Attached below is a consultation letter and plan for the proposed mini roundabout atthe junction below:

Lower Rd/Benhill Rd/Westmead Rd/St Barnabas Rd

. The letter and plan provides information about the proposal and details of where to send your comments and observations.

2016_17 Lower Rd Benhill Rd informal consultation letterT30110-P-01_Public Consultation
 T30110-P-01_Public Consultation

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.

greenwrythelaneshareduseproposal_p1270827

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

 

sutton-walking-map-2016-hires

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Charles Martin comments on a recent proposal to allow cycling on a footpath in Beddington Park, and recommends that context should not be overlooked when assessing consultation responses. He also suggests that the discussion, as to whether cycling should be permitted on a relatively lightly used footway within a very large park, pails into insignificance when faced with the much larger challenge of how to create a better environment on the main roads and residential streets around the park.

In the autumn of 2012 Sutton Council consulted on a proposal to change the designation of a path in Beddington Park from its current status as a footway to that of a shared use surface between cyclists and pedestrians. It was all quite simple really. Many paths in this wonderful 100-acre space are already shared use, and this appears to be working well. The aim and objective of the conversion of this particular footway was to make it possible for people to enjoy a gentle circular preamble by bicycle around and completely within the park, something that was not permitted whilst the path remained designated as a footway. The path, at nearly 600 metres in length, was, and still is, the missing link in terms of providing this recreational opportunity.

Two posts in Beddington Park. Foreground cycling prohibited, background shared for those on foot and on bicycle

Beddington Park: can paths be agreeably shared?

Living Streets uphold the principle that cycling space should not be provided at the expense of pedestrian space. This is set out quite clearly in their briefing on pedestrians and cyclists (PDF, 2.4MB) which includes the following text: “If it is deemed absolutely necessary to mix pedestrians and cyclists in the absence of motor traffic, space is crucial. We prefer separate, or at least segregated paths – particularly where cycle use is likely to be high – so as to mitigate the worst aspects of intimidation by inconsiderate cycling”. Consequently, the national organisation responded to the consultation in-line with this recommendation saying that they did not welcome the conversion of the footpath unless it was widened and segregated. The Ramblers took a similar view, and gave a preference for widening and segregation. Other respondents to the consultation supported conversion of the footway, with some opting for widening but no segregation and others for simply using the existing path.

I responded to the consultation on behalf of Sutton Living Streets and supported the conversion but, unlike the national organisation, did not give a preference as to whether the path would benefit from widening or segregation. There were several reasons for this, including the recognition that the existing usage of the footways and cycle-paths within the park was low, and that many other paths were already shared and of similar width to the footway. It was also unlikely that the path, once converted, would generate any significant increase in cycling traffic (in the short term at least). Most importantly, however, just the conversion alone could have great potential in helping to encourage a new generation of people enjoying the benefits of cycling. Basically, the proposal to convert appeared to be a very good one, was long overdue, and, given the local context, would be most welcome in whatever form the implementation took at this stage. I believed that on this particular path, in this particular location, at this particular point in time, pedestrians and cyclists (predominantly novice) could co-exist in harmony, and share with due care.

This initial consultation was an agenda item “Beddington Park cycle path” at the Beddington and Wallington local committee on 4 December 2012. In view of the responses received, a recommendation was proposed to undertake a formal consultation to widen the existing path and introduce segregation (although funding for this had yet to be identified). In support of my response, and for expedience, I suggested that a better option at the moment may be to simply change the footpath status to allow shared use. It was pointed out, however, that this could only happen if Living Streets removed their objection to an unsegregated option. Therefore, I agreed to lobby the national organisation to endeavour to make the case as to why the path could satisfactorily be used in a shared-use capacity in this specific case and at this moment in time, and to help with this prepared a discussion document “Beddington Park: a discussion about footways and cycle-paths” (PDF, 4.2MB). Not a very compelling title I will admit, but the document does include photos of the path to illustrate the concepts and explain the context, and hopefully gives a better overview of the situation than that contained in the Sutton Guardian article on the agenda item discussion “Plans to widen cycle paths in Beddington Park stall in council row”!

I have to say that it has been quite useful giving some thought to this conundrum, looking at the process of the consultation, and attempting to put together some ideas. Because in preparing my discussion paper about Beddington Park, it has occurred to me that in some ways we are missing the bigger picture. After all, it’s all very well endeavouring to promote recreational cycling within the park – and having the use of a circular path in Beddington Park should enhance the space and be a great place for mums and dads to cycle with their young children (whilst not diminishing the enjoyment of those on foot) – but what are we actually doing outside the park to improve the public realm and encourage everyday cycling and more pleasant walking conditions? Isn’t it about time we started to address the greater challenge that relates to access to the park for instance? Just think how fantastic it would it be if Beddington Park was a great place to walk or cycle to, as well as within! Perhaps if we started a consultation with that as an objective, whilst taking a few ideas from the Dutch to show that it can be done, and adding some political-will into the mix too, then one day we would find that more of our short day-to-day journeys, for the young and old, able-bodied and less able-bodied, would be as easy as taking a walk in the park.

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