Wimbledon Broadway to be part-pedestrianised in £32m cycling haven plan by Merton Council

Wimbledon Guardian: Council unveils £32m plan to transform Merton into cycling haven Council unveils £32m plan to transform Merton into cycling haven

Merton Council has unveiled a "transformational" vision for the future of the borough to pedestrianise Wimbledon’s town centre and create a ‘tube’ style network of cycle routes and bike hire schemes across the entire borough.

Today the council submitted an ambitious bid for £32m of the Mayor of London’s 'Mini Holland' fund which could see Wimbledon town centre part pedestriansed, cycle improvements made to Raynes Park and Morden town centres and miles of new cycling routes installed across the whole borough.

Merton is one of eight London boroughs shortlisted by the Mayor for a share of the £100m fund with the winners set to be announced in February 2014.

Unveiled today, the plans have already been likened to Barcelona’s famous Las Ramblas with proposals to close part of the Broadway to general traffic creating a tree lined one way bus route flanked on either side by a cycle lane.

Pavements would be repaved and widened with the possibility of cafe style road side seating at bars and restaurants.

To achieve this officers are proposing to make Hartfield Road a two way system, redirecting traffic around a newly part pedestrianised Broadway.

The bid also promises extensive improvement and introduction of cycle lanes to fully link the borough.

Councillor Andrew Judge, cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, said: "In Merton we have a strong ambition to make cycling as safe and convenient as it is in the Netherlands.

"We want men and women of all ages and children to be able to choose cycling safely for journeys in every part of Merton.

"No longer should people feel that if they get on a bike they have to jostle with heavy traffic.

"It is about achieving a better balance.

"The more people cycle, the healthier they will be and everybody else will be better off: the roads will be less congested and the air cleaner.

"This bid has been well constructed and has support across our local community.

"It is an unprecedented opportunity to transform our streets to make them safer, but also to redesign our town centres and neighbourhoods to make them better altogether for residents and local businesses."

Should the council not win funds from the Mayor Coun Judge said the council would continue to "chip away" at their vision. He said: "We are assuming because we are one of the last eight boroughs that we will get substantial funds.

"If we don’t get the £32m bid we will put in continued bids.

"This is our ambition and the vision we are working toward."

The proposal also includes the introduction of Dutch roundabouts featuring a cycle lane around its edge which would be a first for any local authority in the UK.

Wimbledon Guardian:

 

All plans would be subject to public consultation and testing before introduced and, if the bid is successful, implemented over five years with Morden the last area to benefit.

The bid has already gained cross party support from all political groups.

Councillor Janice Howard, Merton Conservative’s spokesperson for transport, said: "There is cross party support but our concerns are around how thorough the administration will be on consultation with local residents.

"Certainly the ward councillors for the town centres which are Abbey, Dundonald and Trinity are quite concerned about the displacement of traffic and the impact it will have on their residents.

"We will retain cross party support we will want thorough testing, consultation and involvement to ensure its not the residents in those three wards that get all the traffic.

"They must consult and get it right because it’s not at the moment.

"Whatever plan does go through it has to work for motorists as well.

"It cannot be an anti motorist plan that’s implemented.

"It has to be for the cyclists, pedestrians and motorists."

Councillor Iain Dysart, leader of Merton Liberal Democrats said: "The funding will mean that the council can make the roads a safer environment for our cyclists while ensuring all road users benefit from any changes that are made."

Councillor Peter Southgate, leader of the Merton Park Independents said: "The money available could potentially make a huge difference for the better, not only to cyclists, but also to all road users across the borough."

Councillor Suzanne Evans, leader of the Merton Coalition, UKIP said: "We would welcome the funding from the Mayor so we can see Merton become a borough that is safe for cyclists, but that also works for all road users."

Vision for a Mini Holland Merton

• Part pedestrianisation of Wimbledon’s Broadway used only by buses. Widened, tree lined pavements and introduction of cycle lanes.

• Electric cycle hire at bike shops in Wimbledon town centre, Wimbledon Village, Southfields, Wimbledon's Windmill Museum, All England Lawn Tennis Club, B&B’s and hotels.

• Brompton Dock cycle hire stations across the borough. • Cycling storage hubs in Colliers Wood, south Wimbledon and Raynes Park.

• Wheel channels to be installed on all cycle routes featuring a bridge.

• Newly built cycling routes linking the whole borough.

• New tunnel built adjacent to the current tunnel in Lower Down’s road for cyclists and pedestrians.

• Complete cycle route from Raynes Park to Kingston via Coombe Lane.


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Comments (13)

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11:44am Fri 13 Dec 13

al the taxi says...

so what happens when that bus breaks down and blocks the broadway.merton should look at what happened to new malden traffic when they narrowed the high street there.
so what happens when that bus breaks down and blocks the broadway.merton should look at what happened to new malden traffic when they narrowed the high street there. al the taxi

12:55pm Fri 13 Dec 13

robmorleyuk says...

It is wonderful that the Wimbledon Guardian covers these redevelopment ideas but WHY do they never feature/headline on Merton's own website despite it's obvious availability and the facility to display more detail of the plans?
Do the council not feel we would be interested or are we not worthy?
It is wonderful that the Wimbledon Guardian covers these redevelopment ideas but WHY do they never feature/headline on Merton's own website [merton.gov.uk] despite it's obvious availability and the facility to display more detail of the plans? Do the council not feel we would be interested or are we not worthy? robmorleyuk

1:03pm Fri 13 Dec 13

nicbrad says...

That bus lane looks incredibly tight for space and close to cyclists. As a cyclist personally I would prefer a slight cycle detour down South Park Rd as now.

Real concerns about where traffic will go - most main roads (Kingston Rd, The Broadway and Hartfield Rd) blocked at peak times and traffic uses local residential roads as rat runs. I really hope this doesn't worsen with the proposed changes.
That bus lane looks incredibly tight for space and close to cyclists. As a cyclist personally I would prefer a slight cycle detour down South Park Rd as now. Real concerns about where traffic will go - most main roads (Kingston Rd, The Broadway and Hartfield Rd) blocked at peak times and traffic uses local residential roads as rat runs. I really hope this doesn't worsen with the proposed changes. nicbrad

1:17pm Fri 13 Dec 13

cl0ud says...

The bus lane does look narrow, as do the cycle lanes. Hopefully the real plans have lanes that are at least 2m wide.

Overall it looks good though. Wimbledon town centre is not always a pleasant place to be given the heavy traffic, especially in the peak hours. The council need to ensure that rat runs are closed off to stop drivers using the surrounding roads to avoid the town centre.

Nearly 70% of all car journeys in London are under 3 miles so people should be getting out of their cars and onto their feet/bikes/public transport instead.
The bus lane does look narrow, as do the cycle lanes. Hopefully the real plans have lanes that are at least 2m wide. Overall it looks good though. Wimbledon town centre is not always a pleasant place to be given the heavy traffic, especially in the peak hours. The council need to ensure that rat runs are closed off to stop drivers using the surrounding roads to avoid the town centre. Nearly 70% of all car journeys in London are under 3 miles so people should be getting out of their cars and onto their feet/bikes/public transport instead. cl0ud

1:32pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Hove Ex-Pat says...

So how are all those shops along there going to get their deliveries?
As for cyclists coming towards the traffic, that will kill off a few of them in no time at all. Totally unsafe. But of course it makes Merton look good, because they have put forward a suggestion, even though it is a rubbish one.
So how are all those shops along there going to get their deliveries? As for cyclists coming towards the traffic, that will kill off a few of them in no time at all. Totally unsafe. But of course it makes Merton look good, because they have put forward a suggestion, even though it is a rubbish one. Hove Ex-Pat

2:25pm Fri 13 Dec 13

GaryH says...

fantastic idea. Wimbledon deserves better than the current jammed pollution-fest created by the mass of single occupant vehicles that not only clog the town but make it look rubbish. the sooner this is implemented the better...
fantastic idea. Wimbledon deserves better than the current jammed pollution-fest created by the mass of single occupant vehicles that not only clog the town but make it look rubbish. the sooner this is implemented the better... GaryH

2:41pm Fri 13 Dec 13

alphabeti says...

I can't see how the bus can provide a safe amount of clearance as requested in the Highway Code. The Broadway is a mess but this looks like a very bad idea in the vein of Cycle Superhighways and Tolworth Greenway.
I can't see how the bus can provide a safe amount of clearance as requested in the Highway Code. The Broadway is a mess but this looks like a very bad idea in the vein of Cycle Superhighways and Tolworth Greenway. alphabeti

3:00pm Fri 13 Dec 13

alphabeti says...

http://www.merton.go
v.uk/democratic_serv
ices/w-agendas/w-rep
orts/_9000-9999/9975
a.pdf

In general shared use paths are a bad idea since bikes/pedestrians/do
gs/children don't mix very well.

I'm not very keen on segregated paths. They tend to be covered in crud so not very pleasant to ride on and lots of cyclists get upset when people walk on them and if you man up and take the road then motorists get the hump because you're not on the path.

I do like the idea of removing one way systems which encourage speeding and aggresive driving IMO.

I don't see where they will fit an extra tunnel at Lower Downs but that would be nice and widening footbridges over the railway would be nice.
http://www.merton.go v.uk/democratic_serv ices/w-agendas/w-rep orts/_9000-9999/9975 a.pdf In general shared use paths are a bad idea since bikes/pedestrians/do gs/children don't mix very well. I'm not very keen on segregated paths. They tend to be covered in crud so not very pleasant to ride on and lots of cyclists get upset when people walk on them and if you man up and take the road then motorists get the hump because you're not on the path. I do like the idea of removing one way systems which encourage speeding and aggresive driving IMO. I don't see where they will fit an extra tunnel at Lower Downs but that would be nice and widening footbridges over the railway would be nice. alphabeti

1:44pm Sat 14 Dec 13

tjames says...

how on earth can it cost £32 millions?
how on earth can it cost £32 millions? tjames

1:49pm Sat 14 Dec 13

MakeThisWorldABetterPlace says...

It is really good news for all of us that Merton is one of the 8 shortlisted boroughs to become a Mini Holland.

In Holland, towns have been redesigned around people, rather than motor traffic, since the 1970s and 80s and engineered to be pleasant, enjoyable places to spend time in.

Cycling is a clean, efficient, affordable and healthy way to get around for everyone in Merton.

This scheme will benefit everyone in Merton, especially pedestrians. It will also ensure that many of us who do not currently cycle due to the current hostile road environment will start to take up cycling.

Successful cities of the future will be liveable cities, built around people. They are cities where walking and cycling are enjoyable and mainstream. In continental Europe, these types of towns are already commonplace, and there is no reason that we in London cannot follow their example.

Road congestion costs London £4bn per year, 4,000 people die prematurely in London each year due to air pollution, and 50% of car journeys in outer London are two miles or less. Up to 40% of households in Merton don't own a car.
It is really good news for all of us that Merton is one of the 8 shortlisted boroughs to become a Mini Holland. In Holland, towns have been redesigned around people, rather than motor traffic, since the 1970s and 80s and engineered to be pleasant, enjoyable places to spend time in. Cycling is a clean, efficient, affordable and healthy way to get around for everyone in Merton. This scheme will benefit everyone in Merton, especially pedestrians. It will also ensure that many of us who do not currently cycle due to the current hostile road environment will start to take up cycling. Successful cities of the future will be liveable cities, built around people. They are cities where walking and cycling are enjoyable and mainstream. In continental Europe, these types of towns are already commonplace, and there is no reason that we in London cannot follow their example. Road congestion costs London £4bn per year, 4,000 people die prematurely in London each year due to air pollution, and 50% of car journeys in outer London are two miles or less. Up to 40% of households in Merton don't own a car. MakeThisWorldABetterPlace

11:42am Mon 16 Dec 13

Tobermory says...

If you try cycling on the cycle paths in Kingston town centre you will realise its impossible due to being abused by pedestrians usually engrossed in their smart phone. Cyclists should get a path away from the traffic using the quiet residential streets around the broadway. The best cycle facility in the borough is the cycle path from Kingston road to Merton pk road its this sort of scheme cyclists need.
If you try cycling on the cycle paths in Kingston town centre you will realise its impossible due to being abused by pedestrians usually engrossed in their smart phone. Cyclists should get a path away from the traffic using the quiet residential streets around the broadway. The best cycle facility in the borough is the cycle path from Kingston road to Merton pk road its this sort of scheme cyclists need. Tobermory

10:04am Thu 19 Dec 13

alphabeti says...

Tobermory wrote:
If you try cycling on the cycle paths in Kingston town centre you will realise its impossible due to being abused by pedestrians usually engrossed in their smart phone. Cyclists should get a path away from the traffic using the quiet residential streets around the broadway. The best cycle facility in the borough is the cycle path from Kingston road to Merton pk road its this sort of scheme cyclists need.
Re The Chase Shared Use Path you mention: It's a very convenient way to bypass heavy traffic on Kingston Road but given the guidance from DfT and high usage by children from Wimbledon Chase School at certain times of day I question whether it should be there in the first place.

I do wonder what sort of site assessment procedure was undertaken....

Links don't seem to work very well but you can search for 'Department for Transport - LTN 2/04 - Adjacent and Shared Use Facilities for Pedestrians and Cyclists' if anyone is interested.
[quote][p][bold]Tobermory[/bold] wrote: If you try cycling on the cycle paths in Kingston town centre you will realise its impossible due to being abused by pedestrians usually engrossed in their smart phone. Cyclists should get a path away from the traffic using the quiet residential streets around the broadway. The best cycle facility in the borough is the cycle path from Kingston road to Merton pk road its this sort of scheme cyclists need.[/p][/quote]Re The Chase Shared Use Path you mention: It's a very convenient way to bypass heavy traffic on Kingston Road but given the guidance from DfT and high usage by children from Wimbledon Chase School at certain times of day I question whether it should be there in the first place. I do wonder what sort of site assessment procedure was undertaken.... Links don't seem to work very well but you can search for 'Department for Transport - LTN 2/04 - Adjacent and Shared Use Facilities for Pedestrians and Cyclists' if anyone is interested. alphabeti

3:11pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Joe 90 says...

Mini-Holland? Sounds double-dutch to me. Looks very expensive, highly dangerous and potentially encouraging a large amount of vehicle rat-running in adjacent residential streets.
Far better would be to develop some smaller scale cycle segregation schemes and, for example, allow cycling in the current pedestrianized area near Morrison's and the Odeon cinema.
Mini-Holland? Sounds double-dutch to me. Looks very expensive, highly dangerous and potentially encouraging a large amount of vehicle rat-running in adjacent residential streets. Far better would be to develop some smaller scale cycle segregation schemes and, for example, allow cycling in the current pedestrianized area near Morrison's and the Odeon cinema. Joe 90

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