By Charles Sturge; Chairman, Belvedere Estate Residents’ Association

This association represents households in the area bounded by Wimbledon Village High Street, the top of Wimbledon Hill Road, Belvedere Drive, St Mary’s Road, Church Road and Lancaster Road.

Our membership includes more than 140 households in this area, of whom 54 are in the “Belvedere Roads” that are the target of a proposed experimental scheme of timed closures.

In our view, this experimental scheme should not go ahead because:

  1. Access through these roads is a vital amenity for the residents of North Wimbledon and visitors to Wimbledon Village;
  2. For years now traffic has been increasing in volume and speed in all our roads. There is no reason why some roads should be exempted from this, at the expense of more traffic on other roads;
  3. Church Road, which would carry most of the displaced traffic, is not suitable for that purpose. It is a narrow road with narrow pavements, it is as residential as the Belvederes and at the Village end the houses are close to the road;
  4. The related changes to the parking in the village are already harming local businesses and increasing the speed of traffic;
  5. The consultation has excluded many roads that will be directly affected by the scheme;

The scheme, even as an experiment, will also cost a substantial amount to implement and will involve a great deal of additional road signage. The council will have better uses for these funds.

It is unreasonable to go ahead with an experiment, where no criteria has been established or published by which the success of the scheme will be decided.

If it is implemented the scheme should be judged a failure if there is any substantial increase in volume of traffic in neighbouring roads or any detriment to businesses in the village.

We think it should not be implemented at all.

A 20mph speed limit together with suitable traffic calming measures in the Belvederes should meet the reasonable requests of the residents of these roads – slower moving traffic is less intrusive and less dangerous.

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