Council to spend £50,000 on six month traffic trial
A £50,000, six month trial to restrict traffic through Wimbledon could go ahead - despite similar plans being rejected last year.
Merton Council put forward proposals for the Belvederes - a group of residential roads in Wimbledon Village, in June last year which would have imposed 24 hour restrictions through the area.
While some residents welcomed plans believing restrictions would resolve a ‘rat running’ problem in the area and reduce traffic, others condemned them calling it a waste of cash which would benefit a handful of homes at the expense of the majority.
The plans were rejected by Merton's Street Management Advisory Committee, however one year on Merton Council has re-submitted its plans announcing a six month trial period, which does not require public consultation, to test the proposals ahead of a formal public consultation.
The proposals, which were posted to residents on June 11, will affect seven roads in the area introducing no entry and restricted left and right turns - now only during peak times - at a cost of £50,000 - with mobile CCTV vans used to enforce restrictions.
Tony Pearce, 61, a resident in nearby Bernard Gardens, former director general of the international road federation in Geneva and now a transport consultant, condemned the plans calling the council "hyperactive" on traffic.
He said: "They have created the problem by making it no right turn out of Woodside and that has forced traffic into this area.
"We wouldn’t be able to drive through the area if these proposals went ahead.
"It would cause diversions and is going to create mayhem."
But Gordon Lawson, chairman of the New Belvedere Residents Association (NBERA) and resident of Alan Road, disagrees.
He said: "We have a massive volume problem with over 40,000 vehicles a week.
"You can’t have that amount of traffic without having accidents and rat runs.
"It will be a benefit the whole village area because it will stop the village being used as a bypass to get somewhere and encourage people to use the village as a destination.
"These proposals are not going to put traffic on residential roads; they will put them back on distributor roads."
Merton Council is inviting residents’ views ahead of a proposed six month trial period, during which an official consultation will take place.
Sue Cooke, chairwoman of the Parkside Residents Association said: "I think the concern is that the proposals are being consulted on at the moment only with people in the Belvedere area and the people who area likely to be affected by the measures where traffic will displace into have not been included in this stage of the consultation."
Roger Chadder, treasurer of the Belvedere Estate Residents Association said: "I don’t object to the experimental period, as long as it’s only an experiment and can be cancelled if it doesn’t work.
"The fear is once an experiment starts it is never reversed."
A spokeswoman for Merton Council said: "The restrictions would deter motorists from using these roads as ‘rat-runs’.
"This would improve the quality of life of the residents who live there and create a safer place where local children can play in the streets where they live.
"We would expect traffic to move to roads more suitable for this volume."
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