After the strength of feeling against the new £3m Tolworth Greenway you would not have blamed him if he stayed away.

After months of delays, the Greenway was officially opened today.

And the man behind the redesign came dressed for the occasion – in a green pinstripe shirt.

Tom Sudhoff, of Studio Egret West, also answered residents’ concerns over safety and new crossing points without traffic lights.

He said: "There are always a few things we need to tweak.

"We have to work closely with the council and understand how they want to monitor it."

He added: "In terms of the safety of it we have had lots of safety audits.

"By trying to raise awareness of the pedestrians it will make it a safer environment in the long term."

Your Local Guardian:

Designer Tom Sudhoff at the opening of the Greenway.

Surbiton councillor Malcolm Self said: "He's stuck with it all the way through.

"He even had a striped hat.

"You could tell he was a designer."

The studio presented the mayor of Kingston, Councillor Penny Shelton, with a plaque made of the same material as the Greenway.

Coun Shelton said: “It will be in one of the main rooms [in the Guildhall] I hope. I think it is for everybody.

“It is like the pictures on the wall. It is part of our history.”

Marguerite Williams, owner of Re:fresh Books, said: "The Broadway looks great.

"I've noticed considerably more courtesy from drivers.

"I think it's just going to take people a while to settle down."

She felt the informal crossings were difficult to use for elderly and disabled people, she said.

Your Local Guardian:

The plaque given to Coun Shelton by Egret West.

Jill Gray, manager of the EnhanceAble charity shop, said given the chance she would ask Mr Sudhoff: “How safe is it going to be for elderly people and children?”

She added: “The ambulances I’ve noticed are driving over the middle bit now, trying to get through.”

Anil Jasani, 69, owner of the Broadway Bar and Café, said: “If someone wants to come across for a quick pint or a sandwich, then it is so much easier for them.

“I’m not very keen on the wooden benches, but they have created quite a lot of seating areas.

“Anything is an improvement from what it was.”

Your Local Guardian:

How things looked just a couple of weeks ago.


Your views

- Norman Evans, Chessington: "The letters about Tolworth Broadway have a common theme; the Liberal Democrats are to blame. There is a simple remedy – vote them out of office."

- John Tellick, Surbiton: "Last week I had an appointment at Surbiton Hospital. It took me 30 minutes to get from Surbiton Hospital to Tolworth Roundabout – the A3.

"This work currently being undertaken is not an improvement and I am keen to know what is being done to improve the situation.

"On that day I got to work in central London quicker than I got from the Hospital to my home. It was not even rush hour. It was 11:45.

"I also regularly see long and disruptive queues on the A3 turnoff for Tolworth.

"I find it hard to understand how it cannot be a local issue, what is Kingston Council doing to deal with it?

"What arrangements are they co-coordinating with TfL or the Highways Agency or whomever is responsible?

"Many residents opposed this scheme during the consultation period, on safety grounds - the total freedom of pedestrians to wander across this main trunk road anywhere.

"This is not your average 'high street.'"

- Alan Cameron: "I am not in any way surprised that there have been accidents on Tolworth Broadway. This is the result of the Local Authority decision to open up the Broadway as a free-for-all were moving traffic and pedestrians mix.

"How long will it be before someone is killed?

"A child perhaps who drops its ball and chases it into the path of a car, or the commuter in a hurry because he or she is late for the train and takes a run across the roundabout crossing just as the lights change to green for vehicles in the rush hour.

"Maybe, as I witnessed the other day, a cyclist who rode across the same crossing, dodging the traffic as he did so, even though the lights for the pedestrian crossing were red.

This was an ill thought out project, the main object of which appears to be the disruption of traffic on a major feeder road into Kingston.

"The money spent on the project with its multi-coloured pavement, no doubt at massive extra expense, could have been better spent on repairing all the potholes in the Borough which might have reduced accidents instead of increasing them.

All in all this project has been a massive waste of money by the highest rated Council in Greater London and appears to have been instigated with the sole objective of traffic disruption."

- Sarah Carby: "If there wasn't enough traffic in the borough due to some sort of road works, Tolworth gets a nonsensical green striped road down the middle and strange trees and wooden beams.

"Who designed this eyesore? My main gripe though is being scared to cross the road let alone if I had children with me, needs to be tackled!

"Safe places to cross are imperative before someone is killed. The already limited custom of the Broadway will no doubt suffer. Who signed off on this?

"It's actually terribly sad. My hometown has been mauled and disfigured and the shops will suffer, the community at large will suffer.

"Think there will be consequences and a public backlash. What a waste of money and resources."

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