Council acts to tackle rat runners plaguing residential streets in West Hill

Published: Thursday 20th September 18

Councillors have backed a trial scheme designed to curb rat-running in the West Hill area in response to pleas from residents concerned at the volume of traffic using their residential streets as a cut-through.

Councillors on the strategic planning and transportation scrutiny committee agreed on Tuesday night
to implement a series of measures designed to prevent rat-runners accessing roads in and around the Granville Road area.

For a minimum six month trial period to test its effectiveness, early morning traffic, apart from buses and cyclists, will be banned from using Withycombe Road and Princes Way, while a section of Windlesham Grove will become one way only westbound.

These measures have been drawn up following a detailed study of traffic flows in the area which found that many motorists were exiting the busy A3 at Tibbet’s Corner to avoid delays further along West Hill.

This area-wide study revealed that as a result, drivers were using Withycombe Road, Princes Way, Keevil Drive, Skeena Hill, Girdwood Road, Granville Road and Merton Road as cut-throughs to avoid congestion on the main A3 trunk road.

The study found that the section of Granville Road between Sutherland Grove and Merton Road sees the highest volume of through traffic, with approximately 3,600 vehicle movements between 7am and 7pm on a normal weekday.

It was also apparent that very little of this traffic was “local” and that the drivers accessing these cut-throughs were travelling through the borough to other destinations having started from further afield.

The ban on traffic using Withycombe Road and Princes way will apply between 7am and 10am and covers the busiest time of day for rat-runners.

Wandsworth’s transport spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “The study has shown that residents in this otherwise quiet corner of the borough really are suffering the effects of rat-runners, particularly in the early morning when many motorists drive past their front doors to avoid the hold-ups on West Hill between Tibbet’s Corner and the south circular at the junction with the Upper Richmond Road.

“Residents have asked us to address this issue and we believe we have come up with an effective solution that should tackle the problem. What we will do over  the course of the trial period is closely monitor traffic flows to make sure this plan is working and if it is seen to be effective, we will make the changes permanent.”

The trial scheme is likely to commence in the early part of next year once the legal formalities around making changes to road layouts have been completed.

The six month trial period can be extended to up to 18 months if engineers feel further analysis of traffic flows is needed.

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Recent comments

Great initiative by the council. This should not be a rat run. What is happening is out of towners using the rat run. Some other posters are right that a solution for residents needs to be found. But let's not pretend it's ok to have massive amounts of traffic and HGVs thundering through residential areas with schools. It's not. And it is going to stop.
Julie Ngoro

28 September 2018

Agreed that Granville Road residents are suffering but there is no way to get around Southfields at the moment. I use this route because it's my local way to the A3. Luckily, I am not coming into town in the morning. I would hate to see the route closed throughout the day as I use it at least once a week. When Sadiq Khan gets his congestion area on Wandsworth High street it will mean that everyone has to pay the charge to get to the A3. I doubt this is a coincidence. It's just a way to charge motorists more money. Maybe there needs to be some planning that solves the problem without penalising drivers. I wish they would put a roundabout where Merton Road meets Penwith Road (another local rat run). Stopping HGVs on small roads helps
Barry

24 September 2018

The traffic is appalling ...suspect it will become worse with the new planned road layout that will push everything down Armoury Way meaning drivers will resort to all sorts of other rat runs. Needs a rethink.
Carol Tibbs

22 September 2018

Just another way for the council to make money. Have a friend who was fined for driving down Keble Street - reason being residents in the very short street didn't like folk who didn't live in the street driving down it - never found out which dignitary lived there. We pay Road Tax (or what ever its called now) to use roads - perhaps the residents of the mentioned roads/streets should pay to have their roads/streets made Private if they are so fussy.
LizzieAnne

22 September 2018

Just another way for the council to make money. Have a friend who was fined for driving down Keble Street - reason being residents in the very short street didn't like folk who didn't live in the street driving down it - never found out which dignitary lived there. We pay Road Tax (or what ever its called now) to use roads - perhaps the residents of the mentioned roads/streets should pay to have their roads/streets made Private if they are so fussy.
LizzieAnne

22 September 2018

Excellent idea but still will not resolve the problem of HGV's & PSV's illegally using Granviile Road as a rat run outside of the early morning period.
A West

22 September 2018

NIMBY-ISM!!!
Alison

21 September 2018

I would like to know how this trial scheme will operate. As a resident in one of the roads that constitute the rat run how will I access the A3, Wandsworth etc if I cannot use my vehicle on my road and the ones surrounding it?
L Cross

21 September 2018

Hi I’m a daily user of Merton Road and Granville road wen I get to work 6am and 5pm . this changes will make local traffic 100% worst . This change will benefit the council only. Every time a lorry driver goes up on Granville Road gets a ticket . Even if the job is on this road. Still have to pay . £65 penalty the wages of that day just goes to pay that fine . Company don’t pay .council don’t care .
Edd

21 September 2018

I have an amazing idea, just solve the problem of the A3 traffic issue. It’s not rocket science Wandsworth
Simon

21 September 2018

Sounds like just another anti car scheme, which will make journeys longer again. Locals and others will just spend more time in cars getting to where they need to. Pointless.
Tulloch Ross

21 September 2018

its a good idea but I'm questioning why always in Putney where there are already controls around the Leisure Centre? Is it possibly because it's nearer to wealthy Tory ruling councillors? One of the biggest ratruns is undoubtedly in Tooting involving Charlmont Road, Bickersteth Road and Mellison Road where traffic cuts across from Mitcham Road to Tooting High Street with no crossings in place for the Sellincourt primary anywhere. I recommended this years ago and was ignored.
Roger Stephenson

21 September 2018

Replingham Road has been closed for some time - West Hill was also closed recently - forcing us to find alternative routes to local sports clubs, shops and friends home. We would all like our road to be for residents use only - same applies to folk who don't live in our roads 'parking' - engines running - having a 'break' or waiting for children from schools.
Liz D

21 September 2018

Sorry but the council needs to come clean about this. They are couching these measures in language that sounds very emollient and resident-friendly but in practice it is quite clear they are simply trying to make driving as unpleasant as humanly possible within the borough, not just for commuters but also for residents who want or need to get around in a car. The council needs to admit openly it is anti-car and considers drivers as pariahs and just be done with it rather than pussy foot around by calling measures like these (that will disrupt residents as much as commuters) "anti-rat run" or "traffic flow improvement solutions" to try to hide it.
Caroline

20 September 2018