tunnel train

Many Sutton South residents commute into London for work so the quality of the train service is vital to us.

Work continues to improve Sutton station, with the new side entrance now
to be opened for longer hours and the Sutton Gateway project improving the
look of the front of the station. But residents in Sutton South Ward who
commute into London tell us that the quality of the train service has deteriorated in the past 6 months. Just two years ago our campaign to
preserve the Thameslink route from Sutton through to north London was
successful, but now the quality of service
has fallen. Paul Burstow, Trish and Richard have started a new campaign to fight for better rail services. We have been handing out surveys at Sutton train station to get residents’ views. If you have an experience to share, get in touch – specific examples will help the campaign


best statiion small


Here is Councillor Simon Wales, chair of the Sutton Gateway Project Board (on which Richard represents Sutton South), cutting the ribbon to open the side entrance on 26 September.

simon at station

And, below, this is what it used to looks like – shuttered and barricaded.

side entrance

Work is completed and the new side entrance to Sutton station is open. Hooray.

A further meeting of the project board guiding the Sutton Gateway project, a board on which Richard represents Sutton South Ward, heard on 25 September that good progress is being made with the scheme.

The most important news is that the building work on the side entrance is completed enabling the passageway from The Quadrant to be restored and the side entrance to be opened for passenger use. The side entrance is open from 7am to 7pm.The cycle racks next to the newly opened side entrance have been improved.

Work at the front of the station commenced in September and will be completed by March 2015, but with no work over the Christmas period to avoid any inconvenience to shoppers. Some of the work will involve traffic diversions.

The project’s proposals to further develop the area around Sutton station include:

– refitted shop fronts, new paving and newly planted trees to improve the look of the area

– more lighting and CCTV cameras to make the area safer

– extra cycling facilities, with new bike racks and shelters

– a town centre clock

–  a new crossing in Brighton Road

– the opening of the side entrance to Sutton station

– new “legible London” signs

– a re-arrangement of the bus stops to reduce congestion

– an additional crossing for pedestrians outside the station

– re-design of the Cedar Road / Brighton Road junction to improve visibility for motorists

– it is not proposed to move the taxi rank, except that after 6.30 some taxis will be able to park immediately opposite the station, with the bus stop opposite the station moved further down Brighton Road and with some buses stopping in Mulgrave Road

–  there will be “live” bus information in Sutton station, subject to further research by Network Rail

– the timing of the pedestrian crossing at the High Street / Grove Road / Sutton Court Road junction will be amended to give more time to cross

– the number of parking spaces in the station area will be increased

– general improvements in design and to the “public realm” around the station, with more flowers, more colour and better signage.

The changes, including the changes to the bus stops, will be completed by March 2015.

These changes are largely funded by grants the Council has obtained, not local Council tax payers.

The results of the earlier consultation exercise on the Gateway Project indicated general support for the scheme, but we were able to make a number of changes to respond to specific issues raised. In our Ward, a particular concern for the businesses was the need for a loading bay on Regents Parade just south of the station. We successfully lobbied for this to be incorporated into the scheme.

On 27 February Richard and former Ward Councillor Heather Honour organised a breakfast meeting with local businesses in our Ward to take their views on the Sutton Gateway project. Several joined us in the Rose Café in the Brighton Road, which serves excellent scrambled eggs (Richard’s breakfast). This is right in the area that is to be developed so we were able to chat and walk round the area to see the proposed changes.

Public consultation on the emerging proposals ran till 5 March. Consultation was by leaflets in the locality, questionnaires to members of the public, posters, newspaper advertisements, exhibitions, further “stakeholder” meetings and putting information in Sutton station.

Residents and businesses close to the station were consulted, together with the emergency services and other groups with a major interest such as Network Rail, Southern Rail and TfL.

Also of great value will be the “legible London” signs at the station entrance. See the designs at

legible london sign

Richard says “As a local man who for twenty years of my life commuted to central London by a route that meant I walked every working day along Wellesley Road and past the shuttered and barricaded side entrance, to enter the station from the front, it has long been an objective of mine to get the side entrance open. Every second counts when you are a commuter.”



Consultation to gauge public views on phase 1 of the proposed Tramlink extension to Sutton indicates overwhelming support.

The proposed route consulted on would involve a branch to the current Tramlink route after it has left Wimbledon and got as far as Morden Road. The branch to Sutton would leave the current Wimbledon to West Croydon Tramlink route at that point, proceed via St. Helier Avenue to the Rosehill roundabout, then to Angel Hill and on to Sutton, where it will go round the gyratory. There will be a loop from the Rosehill roundabout to St. Helier hospital.

Full details can be found at or by clicking on this link.

If agreed and built, phase 1 may be followed by phase 2, an extension to the re-developed Sutton hospital site in Belmont. This is as yet far into the future. We remain hopeful that funding will be found for phase 1.


cedar road new roundels

On 11 February action by the police team from Merton that is helping combat speeding in our Ward led to 13 drivers being stopped and spoken to about the speed they were travelling at in Cavendish Road.

Following the speed survey we arranged in the area, funding is now in place for the coming financial year for two width restrictions in Cavendish Road – “Road narrowing with one lane and informal crossing, with pedestrian centre-refuge island” outside Fiske Court and Hampton Lodge, with the same outside Richard Sharples Court. In Cedar Road there will be “Raised zebra crossing, with road narrowing, one lane and informal crossing” close to Forest Dene Court” and “Road narrowing with one lane and informal crossing” outside Ashdown Court. We have arranged for additional 20 mph roundels in the road (see picture above) and 20 mph signs on lamp-posts (see picture below) to further reinforce the message.

20mph on lampost sign straightened



The side entrance

The side entrance

Since they were elected Richard and Heather have campaigned for the opening of the side entrance to Sutton station. We are now reasonably certain that this ambition will be realised by next February.

On 10 September Richard attended the Project Board for the Sutton Gateway Project. This project is designed to improve the “Gateway to Sutton” from the south, along the Brighton Road and around Sutton station. The main elements include:

– opening the side entrance to the station

– further development of the facilities for cyclists

– re-design of the steep steps up to the side entrance so they are at an acceptable angle

– better landscaping, street furniture and paving around this area and the station entrance area.

 The station manager confirmed that the side entrance would be manned from 7am to 7pm and at other times open but monitored on screens at the front entrance.

Richard says “For twenty years of my life I commuted into London for work, walking every morning past the barricaded and barriered side entrance round to the front to catch (or just miss) my train, and in the evening – since the station is officially classified as overcrowded – shuffling in a mass of people to get out the front. All our local residents who commute to London, walking down Wellesley Road from the east end of the Ward, will benefit from the overdue decision to open the side entrance. And it will benefit all those who arrive at Sutton station to work in The Quadrant.”

The project will also involve some re-design of the Cedar Road junction, long a concern of ours, and a “stakeholder group” to include trepresntatives of the South Sutton Neighbourhood Association and the Highfields Residents’ Association will be asked to comment on design issues.


side entrance

Ever since we were elected in2010 we have been pursuing an objective to get the side entrance to Sutton station opened as a second entrance.

There are several reasons for this, and it is a particular passion for Richard who for over 20 years of his life commuted from his home in The Ridgway to central London for work, running (as he was usually late for his train) past the shuttered and barricaded side entrance to the station to enter by the front, then in the evening shuffling (as the station is officially classified as overcrowded) to get out the front, when he could have left by the side. There are many residents of our Ward who commute to central London for work and approach the station from the Wellesley Road direction, so have the same experience every working day as Richard had. But opening the side entrance will also make The Quadrant and the bike rack more accessible.

Today, 25 July, is likely to be seen as the day we were able to be sure the side entrance will open next year.

Today there was the first meeting of the Sutton Gateway project board, of which Richard is a member. There were discussions involving the Council, Network Rail and Transport for London. It was confirmed that the firm intention, now, is to open the side entrance. The project is more complex than simply putting a row of entrance gates where the shutter closing the side entrance is currently situated. There will be some re-building of the side entrance, a canopy, gates and the very steep flight of stairs (too steep to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act) will be replaced by a flight at right angles to the current flight of stairs, at a more gradual gradient.

Richard said “This is exciting news for Sutton South residents. The campaign we started in 2010 has succeeded.”

R and H at side entrance



Sutton Council’s campaign to bring trams to the Borough is celebrating an early success. 

Plans to extend the existing Tramlink network to Sutton have been included in the Mayor’s new vision for London document, “2020 Vision – The Greatest City on Earth”, published last week.  It outlines some of the challenges facing the capital, including housing, employment and transport.

Sutton Council, business and residents support the tram extension, which will improve transport links in and out of, and across, Sutton. The project will also create and sustain new jobs, drive economic growth, ease traffic congestion and reduce CO2 emissions.

 We understand the original draft of the Mayor’s vision document made no mention of bringing the tram to Sutton, but our Tramlink campaign, still in its infancy, has already yielded a result. The Mayor of London is asking us to demonstrate how this investment will be justified by the improvements it can bring in terms of jobs, growth, and housing.

Sutton is already one step ahead.  We have commissioned research which demonstrates that extending Tramlink to Sutton will create 10,000 jobs, bring forward sites for residential development, and support and boost the economy. 

We know that extending Tramlink will ensure Sutton continues to prosper into the future. The Borough of Sutton has had an ambition to bring Tramlink to Sutton since 2003 when it was included in the Unitary Development Plan. The Borough has successfully worked with Transport for London to examine the feasibility of bringing trams to central Sutton, connecting it to St Helier Hospital, Morden Tube Station and Wimbledon. At some point a spur through our Ward, Sutton South, would connect to the Marsden hospital. This feasibility work is ongoing, and Sutton’s Tramlink campaign seeks to ensure the Mayor will continue to fund this work in Transport for London’s future budgets.



subsea reduced

Speaking at the Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee on 13 June Richard welcomed progress on agreeing a structure of incentives to persuade Brighton Road car park users to move to Gibson Road if the car park closes. Currently, Subsea7 are applying for planning permission to build a new international headquarters (see above) on the site.

Richard pointed out that this development will safeguard several hundred jobs currently in Sutton that were likely to move elsewhere, and bring a further three to four hundred jobs into Sutton South Ward. These new jobs are good news for Sutton.

This development will create jobs, not just for engineers but a range of less skilled jobs (clerks, receptionists, cleaners, messengers, drivers etc.). This site is surrounded by areas of social housing where we meet, in our casework, people who are out of work and whose lives would be transformed by finding work. Every day we open the newspaper and see news of more redundancies nationwide – but Richard and Heather can speak of securing an extra 300 plus jobs in our Ward. The development will also give an uplift to the area, the Gateway to Sutton from the south, with office workers and the company’s clients spending money in local shops, restaurants and hotels, creating further jobs.

But the second message is that to deal with local concerns about parking in local streets if the car park closes, we need to persuade the users of the Brighton Road car park to use the town centre car parks, which have the capacity. The average weekday demand at peak occupancy of the car park is about 380 vehicles and 320 have season tickets. So the season ticket holders are key.   

The first and most important element in the strategy is a financial discount to persuade people to move. The discount proposed by the Committee, as a recommendation to the Strategy and Resources Committee, says to the season ticket holders “move to Gibson Road and you will pay, for the first year, what you paid last year less 10% – unless, you already have a discount, in which case it continues. This is to compensate you for the inconvenience of moving and to provide an incentive to move to Gibson Road”.

We hope this will persuade people to move, to a car park which is no more than seven minutes walk away.

The further element of the strategy is improvements in respect of signage to the car parks (including electronic signs indicating what number spaces are available) and improvements in access, in particular enabling those leaving Gibson Road to avoid the town centre one way system.

We hope this proposed substantial discount will achieve the right result, so that we will be able to secure the major advantage of the new jobs while coping with the reduction in parking space. The structure of discounts will, however, be further considered by the Strategy and Resources Committee.


Previous posts on this site have described how Richard and Heather presented a petition to Sutton Council last July on speeding in Cavendish Road. This led to the biggest speeding survey ever in our Ward, and to agreement on width restrictions to reduce speeding at two points in Cedar Road and two points in Cavendish Road.

In addition we have proposed and obtained funding for additional “20 mph” roundels to be painted on roads within the South Sutton 20mph area. This will enable the Council to put 20 mph “roundels” on the road at the east end of Cavendish Road to match those at the west end. There have always been roundels at the west end, so drivers know it is a 20mph zone they are entering. At the east end there is no roundel as the driver is already in a 20 mph zone and the law said the roundels could only be placed at the entry point to the zone. A recent change in the law means the roundels can now be displayed within the zone to re-enforce the message. We hope to have additional roundels at several points within the 20mph zone to re-enforce the message that you are in such a zone.

We are convinced this will help with the speeding problem in Cavendish Road, and elsewhere in the 20mph zone.




Sutton Council has made public detailed plans for an extension of London Tramlink to the town. The plans were made public at a meeting on Thursday 23 May attended by Councillors, local business leaders and the Under Secretary of State for Transport, Norman Baker MP, who was at the launch event to give the project his backing. .

The planned route would run from the existing Tramlink Croydon-Wimbledon line at Merton through Rosehill and St Helier, Angel Hill, and Sutton High Street to a terminal at Sutton station. A later second phase would link the town centre to the Royal Marsden Hospital.

The tram connection would cut local journey times and costs, reduce pollution on the streets of Sutton and help regenerate areas such as the St Helier Estate by encouraging investment, improving access and widening the job market in the areas concerned.

The extension through our Ward to the Marsden hospital would be of importance as it is expected that the development of a research centre at the Marsden will create many local jobs. 

The Tramlink is a major plank in the “Opprtunity Sutton” programme, which Richard is closely involved with as vice-chair of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee.