Further work announced on one way redesign proposal but council repeats earlier calls for scheme to get underway
Published: Thursday 11th October 18
Town hall transport chiefs have given a cautious welcome to the news that further work will begin this month on the long-awaited and much-needed redesign of the Wandsworth one-way system.
Councillors say they welcome the announcement by Transport for London that it will be carrying out detailed surveys of drainage systems in the town centre as part of the groundwork required for a radical overhaul of the one way system.
But councillors, who have pledged £27m towards the scheme from town hall budgets, remain concerned that the TfL timetable for the project has slipped again with work on the main aspect of the scheme not now expected to commence until late 2021 – some four years later than originally planned.
The current set of proposals
Council leader Ravi Govindia said: “Redesigning the one way system and removing the traffic that has such a negative effect on the town centre has been a key aim of the council for many years.
“Whilst we welcome the fact that some further works are now scheduled to begin later this month, there is a strong argument for saying that these preliminary checks really should have been done some time ago.
“This crucial scheme has the potential to really transform and revitalise the town centre’s fortunes. It really should have got underway in earnest by now, so we do need TfL and the Mayor to roll their sleeves up and get things moving.
“We have £27m sitting in our bank account that is earmarked for this scheme so the funding is there from our side. Now we need TfL and Mayor to fulfil their part of the deal.”
The current proposed scheme, which was first outlined almost a decade ago, would see cars and lorries diverted away from the main shopping and commercial parts of Wandsworth town centre and the area made much more cycle and pedestrian friendly.
Under the proposals drawn up by TfL’s highway engineers, traffic would be re-routed away from Wandsworth High Street onto Armoury Way, which would become two-way.
The changes would result in a significant reduction in traffic between Fairfield Street and Putney Bridge Road and provide more space for pedestrians and cyclists, while still allowing buses to service the area.
The aim is to end the dominance of cars and lorries in the town centre, leaving it free for buses, bicycles and pedestrians. Many footpaths could be widened substantially and be improved through extensive tree planting and landscaping, along with other environmental improvements.
The works would represent a major boost to local businesses and the local economy with the town centre transformed into a much more attractive and vibrant shopping and leisure destination.
Removing through traffic from the gyratory has been a long term strategic aim of the council, although the works can only be approved and carried out by TfL.
The £27m ring-fenced by the council to help pay for the scheme has been levied from housing developers in the area via the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). The lion’s share of this cash came from the developers of the Ram Brewery site.
For more information on the redesign proposals visit www.tfl.gov.uk/wandsworth-town-centre