Traffic to be diverted away from the town centre
Councillors have welcomed an announcement from Transport for London that new design work is underway on a radical overhaul of the Wandsworth one way system that could see traffic diverted away from the high street and parts of the town centre made pedestrian-friendly.
The aim is to end the dominance of cars and lorries in the high street, leaving it free for buses, bicycles and pedestrians. Many footpaths could be widened substantially along with other environmental improvements.
Transforming the town centre by removing much of its through traffic has been a long term strategic aim of the council, although the works can only be approved and carried out by TfL.
Now fresh impetus has been given to these efforts with the recent granting of planning consent for the key town centre development site centred on the Ram Brewery. The council has agreed with the developer to direct substantial sums from its community infrastructure levy towards a redesign of the one way system.
The Mayor has also pledged money towards a rethink of road layouts in the town centre as part of his Growth Fund allocation.
Transport spokesman Cllr Russell King said: “Redesigning the one way system and removing the traffic that’s had such a negative effect on the town centre’s fortunes has been a key aim of the council for many many years. I’m delighted that with these plans now gathering pace, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“The impetus behind this new energy is the granting of planning consent to the Ram Brewery which has secured an essential piece of the financial jigsaw. It means we are able to work closely with TfL to secure this important long term objective.
“The schedule now is for works to begin in 2017 and be finished in 2019. The council will be doing all it can to make sure that everyone involved sticks to this timetable.”
April 7, 2014