Archives for posts with tag: Wallington

Charles Martin

With the elections for the Mayor and Assembly Members only days away, perhaps now is not the best time to start thinking about the next time that we will cast our vote. But the local council elections in May 2014 are not actually that far away, and given how cycling is very much in the spotlight at the moment, with The Times’ ‘Cities fit for cycling’ campaign, the inspiring London Cycling Campaign ‘Love London, Go Dutch’ project and the excellent Sustrans Free Range Kids initiative all adding to the debate, now really is the time to give the cycling momentum a local perspective.

That is why I have written to all the elected councillors in the London Borough of Sutton to ask them to start thinking specifically about what could be done in their ward, in the streets where their constituents live, and in the neighbourhoods where their constituents go about their day-to-day lives, to enable people more readily to consider travel by foot or by bike for some of their journeys for some of the time. I would like the councillors to ensure that their constituents are aware of the current campaigns on safety issues for all road users, on why smarter travel can be better travel, and why putting independent and active travel back at the heart of childhood would be a good thing.

So whether our first choice is to drive, take the bus, whether we run, hop or saunter to catch the train, ride the bike or simply make time for walking, let’s hope that the journey towards the 2014 local elections will be an opportunity for everyone to engage in all the issues that could help Sutton become an even better place. And who knows, in the process, we may take some inspiration from The Netherlands as well. After all, when it comes to cycling, the Dutch certainly seem to know a thing or two!

The “Cycling towards 2014” letter can be viewed by clicking here.

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.

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