LIVEABLE NEIGHBOURHOODS

A cycle hanger provides secure bike storage

Sutton Council is considering putting in a bid to a fund financed by the Mayor of London called “Liveable Neighbourhoods”. As yet, no bid is submitted. If it is submitted it will be in competition with lots of other bids from other boroughs and Sutton has a poor record of getting funds from the Mayor. So it is a bit of a gleam in the eye. If Sutton bids and is successful we will know by about next March.

The scheme would fund consultation and research, and (depending on the outcome) action, into a range of measures that would improve the environment locally. If successful we could get funds to invest in our neighbourhood. This money could be spent on issues like safer crossings, reducing cut-through traffic, better roads so children can walk to school safely, more electric charging points and better cycling infrastructure. This would include measures to encourage walking and cycling, and to improve air quality. There is a website with details and a survey you can complete.

https://sutton.citizenspace.com/highways-environment-and-planning/sutton-liveable-neighbourhoods/

There is also information on the fund on the TfL website. This says:

“Our Liveable Neighbourhoods programme gives boroughs the opportunity to bid for funding for long-term schemes that encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport.

The programme supports the aims of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy by funding local schemes to reduce car trips and improve neighbourhoods for walking, cycling and public transport.

Grants will be provided for a wide range of community-supported projects. These could include creating green spaces and cycling infrastructure and redesigning junctions. The programme can also fund the widening of walking routes to improve access to local shops, businesses and public transport.”

Trish and Richard visited Waltham Forest where they had funding under this scheme, in the time Boris Johnson was Mayor, for a scheme known there as “Mini-Holland” as one of the objectives, but not the only one, is to promote cycling.

One of the ideas, just to give an example, is “cycle hangers” which provide secure outside storage for bikes – very popular in areas where there are blocks of flats and people have little room for bikes in their flat. This is particularly so if they do not live on the ground floor so have to lug a bike upstairs. A majority of residents in our Ward (Sutton South) live in flats, a majority of these people living in upstairs flats, so we think there would be great demand for these spaces. The hangers take up one parking space in the road. See photo above.

Closing roads outside schools for half an hour when the pupils are going in and out is an idea, but this is now a common practice in some parts of London, for example at the school Richard’s grandson goes to in Herne Hill, where there is a rota of parents who erect temporary gates.

Investigating the scope for road closures to reduce rat-running down otherwise quiet residential streets and move the traffic onto main roads is certainly an aspect, but it needs approaching with care. There are undoubted pros and cons that need careful examination, research into the consequences and consultation with residents. There is a good example locally, in Belmont, the gate in Dorset Road close to the junction with Holland Avenue. This is inconvenient to motorists and many residents, and adds to traffic in roads like Holland Avenue. But it massively adds to the quality of life, quiet and clean air of residents of the Homeland Drive area, who otherwise would experience a lot of rat running traffic. It is surely worth at least investigating whether there is scope for similar interventions locally. Traffic is like water so one could not just shut roads without a lot of research and consultation as traffic will move elsewhere, so any proposal would have to be preceded by analysis and consultation. This analysis has to be worth doing – if Sutton got the funding. We were told that the experience in Waltham Forest was that they put in some “modal filters” as they call these closures in some roads for a six month trial. In most but not all cases the residents wanted to keep the controls in place at the end of six months, and in some cases where the residents wanted them removed the residents now want them back. Some residents find them inconvenient as they make their own journeys by car more complicated, but it seems most feel this downside is outweighed by having quiet streets with reduced traffic and less air pollution. There is also the fact that if there are comprehensive parking controls introduced in an area, reducing parking, there will be speeding and probably increased through traffic.

Some concern has been caused by the circulation of a list of possible road closures. The origin of this list is some illustrative examples prepared by consultants working on the bid to demonstrate what might be done. In fact the Dorset Road example is a much better example as it is real and already exists. No road would be shut without a lot of initial analysis and discussion.

So we think it worthwhile bidding for this money – but it would lead on to analysis and consultation next year so nothing immediate. The Council has made no announcement about it as it has not even decided yet whether to put in a bid.

GO SUTTON BUS AREA EXTENDED: SIGN OUR PETITION TO KEEP THE BUS

The Go Sutton bus trial is attracting a lot of attention. Information is at www.gosutton.co.uk.

The year-long trial for this on-demand bus service has had positive feedback and is being extended to cover the area shown on the map. Register online and phone when you want to use the bus. It is £3.50 (plus additional passengers at £2) but free if you have a Freedom Pass, like Richard.

The bus service an innovative, on-demand scheme which picks up
residents close to where they live and takes them to any destination
across most parts of the borough. The scheme started earlier this year
and is due to end in May 2020 but Liberal Democrats in Sutton are keen for the service to become permanent.
Residents have told us, especially elderly people or those with learning difficulties, that the bus scheme has proved to be a lifeline for them.
That’s why Liberal Democrat councillors have set up a petition calling
on the Mayor of London and Transport for London to make the
scheme permanent.You can sign the petition by clicking here – please
do pass it on to your neighbours, family and friends in Sutton. Apart
from helping people to get around the borough,  the scheme is helping us to improve air quality, reduce congestion and cut down on the
number of individual car journeys.Please sign the petition and help us
to keep making Sutton a great to place live.

WHERE WE ARE ON PARKING

THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED IN FEBRUARY 2019. THERE ARE LATER DEVELOPMENTS COVERED IN LATER ARTICLES, ABOVE. THIS ARTICLE IS KEPT ON THE SITE TO SHOW HOW THE PROPOSALS EVOLVED.

We would like to again thank residents who have contributed to the two stages of consultation by the Council on parking.

Since some misinformation has been put round in the Ward, we want to summarise where matters now stand – though all the information on the process is on the Council’s website, click on parking and follow the links to the parking strategy.

No decisions have been taken. We await the analysis by the traffic engineers of the results of the second consultation. As Councillors, we only want to do what residents want. We will be guided by the results of consultation and are determined not to impose our own views on this process.

What we know from the first consultation is this. Much of Sutton South Ward experiences a high demand for parking as we are close to the town centre and the railway station. Parking is rationed by having a controlled parking zone (CPZ) but this leads to bumper to bumper parking six days a week in the roads just outside the zone, such as Mayfield Road. The results of the first round of consultation were consistent with previous studies by Councillors, the Council and the residents’ association, in that:

  • there is a strong majority favouring parking controls in Mayfield Road
  • there are more mixed views in Chalgrove Road and The Ridgway but, overall, support for controls
  • there are more mixed views in Upland Road and roads beyond, though less support for parking controls the further you are from the CPZ.

The proposals of officers was to introduce controls in Mayfield, The Ridgway and Chalgrove. It will be interesting to see whether the results of the second consultation mean that other roads, in particular Upland Road, want to join the scheme. The objective of having successive consultations was to let residents have a second opportunity to give a view when they could see what was proposed for neighbouring roads, recognising that any parking scheme will lead to some displacement.

Previous surveys have suggested that there is no appetite for a full CPZ with machines. The solution adopted with success elsewhere in Sutton, including in Hillcroome Road, is to have a mix of yellow lines operative for an hour a day to deter commuters, with some free to park bays. These bays are needed to cater for residents who will need to park a vehicle on the road and they also reduce the amount of displacement into neighbouring roads, which is a legitimate consideration.

An alternative that has been suggested is to have a “residents’ only” parking scheme with residents obtaining a permit to park during controlled hours. Disadvantages are that this scheme would involve extensive signage along the roads involved, bureaucracy, and a cost as the administrative costs of dealing with permit applications would have to be covered by charges for permits. It would also lead to more displacement. We welcome views on that alternative.

Parking has been an issue of concern locally for the 30 years Richard has lived in The Ridgway. We want to tackle this issue though recognising that it is problematic. We are consulting and will do what the majority of residents want, not impose our own solutions.

A NEW BUS ROUTE

We have been asking local residents to have a look at this consultation by TfL.

https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/lsp/56861abb/

This concerns a possible new bus route between St Helier Hospital and Epsom General Hospital, going along Brighton Road. This would be of benefit to local residents, particularly those elderly or infirm residents who do not have a car and frequently visit one of these hospitals. I am encouraging residents to respond positively to it.

CONSIDERATIONS RELATING TO TRANSPORT IN SUTTON SOUTH

 

bus

Transport for London is consulting on proposals for a new, direct and fast public transport link  service for Sutton and Merton. This consultation is called the Sutton Link and seeks views on bringing the tram to Sutton, or developing what is called a new Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) route. You can respond to the consultation at

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/sutton-link

Councillor Whitehead, the Chair of Sutton Council’s transport liaison committee, and Sutton Council officers will be meeting with TfL London Buses in the New Year to discuss how bus services can be tailored to meet future development proposals in the borough. It will also provide an opportunity to raise any issues related to any shortcomings with existing services. A similar meeting has been held in previous years but Councillor Whitehead tells us a more thorough review of outer London services is now promised by TfL.

This is an opportunity to set out views on any changes we would like to see made to services in the area, including changes to frequencies or the duration of services, or route diversions/extensions to provide missing connections.

Officers will consider how this information is presented to TfL. However, the final decision on any such changes rests with TfL and there will be limited resources available.

Local residents in Sutton South Ward have raised with us the following concerns when consulted in the recent past.

Route frequency – although residents have commented that on some routes, such as route 80, frequency and reliability is good, bus 470 is seen as too infrequent, being only about every half hour.

Similarly, route S4 could be more frequent.

A further difficulty with the 470 is that it does not run on a Sunday so our suggestions for the 470 are to increase the frequency from once every half an hour, run it on Sundays and (see below) extend it to Epsom hospital.

The X26 bus to Heathrow is used by many and the increased frequency of the X26 is welcome, but the buses have difficulty in keeping to the timetable, perhaps because of the length of the route. Some residents say they would not use it if travelling to Heathrow to catch a plane as it is not 100% reliable. There may thus be a case for increasing the frequency further.

Route length – could the 470 go to Epsom hospital rather than Epsom market as there are residents who use it to go to the hospital?

On route 151, the frequency and reliability is generally good but the service could be improved if some rush hour buses turned round at North Cheam, bearing in mind that the 213 duplicates the 151 onwards to Worcester Park.

Timetabling – it is noted that the 80 and 280 buses running northwards along Brighton Road frequently arrive at the same time. Could the timetabling be looked at?

Passenger information – it has been pointed out that the two bus stops in Mulgrave Road close to Sutton station do not include digital displays on bus arrival information. Although there are other ways of getting this information, on your mobile phone, not all passengers have the skill to get this.

A review of the information arrangements was suggested for some routes. On route 164, at some stops the bus is recorded as a minute away or due but it does not turn up for six or seven minutes.

Other matters – There has often been comment on arrangements at Sutton station. A resident suggested that congestion in Mulgrave Roadcould be alleviated by moving the taxi rank. It would be possible to move it to The Quadrant now the side entrance to the station is open, but this would probably be unpopular with the taxi drivers and railway passengers, and was not a proposal pursued under the Sutton Gateway project. A resident also commented that this part of Mulgrave Road has on occasions been briefly flooded during very heavy downpours. I have asked Council engineers to investigate.

A summary of these comments, by bus route, is:

470 – increase the frequency from once every half an hour, run it on Sundays and extend it to Epsom hospital

151 – the service could be improved if some rush hour buses turned round at North Cheam, bearing in mind that the 213 duplicates the 151 onwards to Worcester Park

80 and 280 – buses running northwards along Brighton Road frequently arrive at the same time so review the timetabling

164 – review the information arrangements as at some stops the bus is recorded as a minute away or due but it does not turn up for six or seven minutes

S1 – review the way the timetable is set out on the website

S4 – review the frequency.

It should be noted that while this summary is focussed on suggesting improvements, many residents have commented to us in favourable terms on the frequency and reliability of local bus services.

We have put this digest of views forward to officers for consideration. Any decision rests, of course, with Transport for London.

MORE VEHICLE SPEED SIGNS TO BE INSTALLED

 

The speed signs – one in each direction – in Farm Road

The “Speed Awareness Signs” that warn motorists of their speed are very effective. We are finalising arrangements to instal more of these signs, in Grange Road and in Cedar Road.

Locations have been agreed for the new speeding signs the Council will instal in Cedar Road. They will be slightly different from the ones in Farm Road, pictured, One sign in each direction, they will warn motorists of their speed as they approach the Langley Park Road junction. A study in 2012 found cars regularly speed in Cedar Road despite the humps and 20 mph speed limit. But residents were unhappy with a proposal for a width restriction. A re-arrangement of the parking places and the zebra crossing at the Brighton Road end have been of some help in slowing the traffic. Last year Richard took part in a police “Speedwatch” operation to record the speed of speeding vehicles in the road and was surprised at the speed some vehicles reached.

PREVENTING SPEEDING: AND GRANGE VALE CLOSED AGAIN ON 5 FEBRUARY

Two speed signs – one in each direction – in Farm Road

Two new developments in our war on speeding – new speed indicator signs in Farm Road. These do have an impact on traffic speeds, as people are reminded how fast they are going. Where else should we have them?

And the width restriction has now been installed in Grange Vale to slow traffic passing under the bridge, which will be of benefit to pedestrians passing along the narrow pavement under the bridge against the flow of traffic (in particular if pushing a buggy).

Almost as soon as the width restriction was installed on 22 January it was vandalised, with one of the bollards being removed. This must have been done by someone with sophisticated cutting equipment. the road will be closed again on Monday 5 February for the bollard to be replaced.

CHANGES TO RAIL SERVICES FROM SUTTON STATION

There is continuing consultation being carried out by Southern and Thameslink on changes to the timetabling of trains from Sutton station. There is a further consultation on changes to weekend and late night services which you can find at 

 www.transformingrail.com.

This website invites comment on the changes. The website gives no closing date for comments but we understand that this will be 18 December. 

You can also give feedback at

TEMPORARY CHANGES TO THE S3 BUS ROUTE

We have received the following information from TfL. From Saturday 28 October 2017 until further notice route S3 will no longer serve Sutton Hospital or Cotswold Road.

This is due to development work at the London Cancer Hub site which means TfL is temporarily unable to use the bus stop in the hospital grounds, where buses currently terminate and stand. Route S3 will now run the full length of Downs Road to terminate and stand at Belmont rail station. It will continue to serve stops in Downs Road (near Cotswold Road) and the stop in the grounds of Royal Marsden Hospital. TfL are working with the developers to reinstate route S3 to the redeveloped site when possible.

For more information, please visit tfl.gov.uk/TempBusChanges .

 

CONSULTATION ON CHANGES TO TRAIN SERVICES FROM SUTTON

Many of those who live in Sutton South Ward travel up to London by train, those who travel for work doing so most days.
So we all may be interested in a consultation exercise being conducted by Govia Thameslink Railway, incorporating Southern and Thameslink, on changes to the rail timetable from Sutton from May 2018. Most organisations publicise consultation exercises but this seems to be almost like a secret exercise that you only find out about by accident.
The changes are considerable and helpful – a new all day service between Sutton and London Bridge via Norwood Junction (currently it is peak hours only) and a doubling of the frequency of the service from Sutton to Epsom Downs.

To find the consultation, and make comments, you need to click on this link, then go to “Be Part of It” and click on “Read More”, then click on information sheet 4 to discover what is proposed for our area.

[NOTE: The information above was correct when this post was posted. As of 30 July, they seem to have removed information sheet 4 and are promising it will be restored, with an invitation to comment, in the autumn. We are trying to find out what is happening. It is still worthwhile visiting the site. ]