I have received lots of correspondence from local residents regarding the changes that have been made to our roads as part of the Low Traffic Neighbourhood and the Streetspace schemes on the A24 (Tooting High Street/Upper Tooting Road/Balham High Road). As part of the Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes, many streets have had filters put in to close the road to all vehicles except cycles and some now have turning restrictions. As part of the Streetspace scheme, a number of changes have been made to Tooting High Street/Upper Tooting Road/Balham High Road including the installation of wands to segregate cycle lanes, a number of turning restrictions as well as changes to bus stops.
These changes have come about as a result of statutory guidance that the Government issued in May, stating that local authorities were expected to make significant changes to their road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians “as swiftly as possible”. (If you would like to read more about this statutory guidance you can read it in full here.)
As a result, TfL made £55m of funding available to the 33 councils in London as part of its “Streetspace for London” programme to urgently create new segregated cycle lanes, extend pavements and close roads to traffic. Wandsworth Council was given £1,923,500 by TfL and used this money to implement the LTNs. TfL has, in consultation with Wandsworth Council but acting separately, implemented changes to the A24.
I am supportive of initiatives which reduce car usage, make our streets safer, encourage cycling and create a better local environment. But we must make it work for everyone in Tooting and Balham.
I know that lots of local residents have concerns and comments about how the changes have affected our community. The only way to have your voice heard is to feed into the consultations that Wandsworth Council is running and to let TfL know what you think by emailing them.
To respond to Wandsworth Council's consultation, click here.
To provide feedback to TfL please email: email@example.com
It is important to note that I was not consulted prior to the implementation of these changes to our roads and I have no control over the decisions that have been made. As the local MP, I can lobby the Government and the relevant Ministers, but I cannot make decisions for the Conservative Council. I am listening and engaging with local residents on this but I cannot make alterations to these changes.
If you have already provided your feedback to Wandsworth Council's consultation and/or emailed TfL, and you want to raise your concerns with other officials, you may also wish to contact Wandsworth Council's Transport spokesperson Councillor John Locker via email at Cllr.J.Locker@Wandsworth.gov.uk, or the Government's Minister of State with responsibility for cycling and walking Chris Heaton-Harris MP via email at firstname.lastname@example.org