When we were told about the proposed changes it was not clear if the council would be conducting any consultation, so we launched our own survey to see how people felt about the changes. With the help of local volunteers (thank you!) we delivered letters notifying people about the changes and providing a link to our survey to every home on:
To date we have had 273 responses! Many thanks to those who completed the survey, it was vital data.
The results from our survey were fairly clear:
For the two right turn bans, there was a clear negative view: 70% of people were against, 20% in favour, and 10% undecided.
For taking the parking off the pavement and back onto the road on Elmbourne Road, it was pretty much even: 37% in favour, 39% against, 24% undecided.
For all the other measures, there was a clear positive view: about 50% in favour, 25% against and 25% undecided for each.
We have been told by the council today that the two right turn bans will not be taken forward at this stage.
Item 3 on our previous post had two parts to it:
upgraded traffic calming and informal crossings on Dr Johnson Avenue; and
a raised table at the junction of Elmbourne Road and Louisville Road to enable safer crossing for pedestrians (and in particular students from St Anselm’s primary school).
These two changes are going to be implemented right away.
In respect of items 4, 5, 6 and 7 from our previous post, the council is going to send a letter to the “local area” (we are not sure which roads this will cover) to inform residents of the other measures and invite comments. Provided the overall pattern of comments is positive then the council intends to implement those changes too.
Tooting Lodge (98-100 Tooting Bec Road) is a grade II listed building that has been unused for a number of years. Renovation works have been slowly made to the Lodge over the last few years and it is looking a lot better now than it was. The owner has made a number of planning applications that local residents may wish to comment on:
Planning application 2018/5710: temporary change of use of Lodge and part of the site from Nursery (Class D1) to 1 x 2-bedroom residential unit (Class C3) and alterations including inclusion of additional doors at ground floor level.
These two applications are for the same thing, one is the listed building consent 2018/6129 and the other is the planning permission 2018/6118: demolition of single storey extension and outbuildings and erection of replacement single storey extension, single storey building for use as gym (Class D2) with link corridor to the Lodge and single storey building for use as car show room (Class A1) including associated office, show room and covered display area in open yard area.
If you want to comment on these plans (in support, to object, or just to make a neutral comment), please click on the links above to the planning applications and click on “View Associated Application Documents & Make Online Comments for Live Applications” then click on “Comment On Application”. The form for making comments is very straightforward.
Personally, we do not think the planned new building looks particularly in keeping with the Lodge, and we do not think the area needs a car showroom. But your views may differ, and everyone is entitled to make their own comments on the proposals.
Here is everything we know at this point about these plans:
In October 2015, residents of Elmbourne Road and Hillbury Road signed a petition asking Wandworth Council to review the levels of traffic on these roads. Also at this time, parents, carers and teachers at St Anselm’s School signed a petition asking for three road safety improvements, one of which was a pedestrian crossing at the junction of Louisville Road, Elmbourne Road and Tooting Bec Common.
In January 2018, the council conducted an assessment of the traffic on Elmbourne Road. The council found that Elmbourne Road receives over 700 vehicles per hour in the evening rush hour, which is well above the council’s threshold of 300 vehicles per hour for a residential road (you can read the full paper and further details at item 18 on the meeting agenda).
As a result of this assessment, the council looked at ways to reduce the traffic on Elmbourne Road. The council worked with Transport for London to explore the possibility of removing the right-turn ban from Tooting Bec Road into Balham High Road, but unfortunately, after exhausting all possible options to remove the banned right turn, they found it was not feasible to do this due to the physical constraints at the staggered junction and the “Safer Junctions” scheme which TfL is also developing to improve road safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Ultimately, no safe solution could be found so the right-turn ban will remain.
The council has therefore prepared 7 measures for reducing traffic on Elmbourne Road and Hillbury Road:
Right turn ban from Tooting Bec Road into Elmbourne Road.
Right turn ban from Tooting Bec Road into Dr Johnson Avenue.
Upgraded traffic calming and informal crossings on Dr Johnson Avenue and at the junction of Elmbourne Road/Louisville Road.
Relocate Elmbourne Road parking fully onto the carriageway.
Additional junction tables on Elmbourne Road.
Speed tables and informal crossing points on Hillbury Road.
Upgraded entry treatments at the junctions of Elmbourne Road and Hillbury Road with Bedford Hill.
The council and TfL have conducted modelling on these proposals and found the following:
Proposal 1 above would result in a reduction of 200-300 vehicles per hour on Elmbourne Road, plus a similar reduction on Franciscan Road and Moring Road.
Proposal 2 above would result in a similar traffic reduction for Elmbourne Road as Proposal 1, but it would also encourage more traffic to use Bedford Hill (B242) rather than Dr Johnson Avenue.
Proposal 3 above improves pedestrian permeability through the area, between the common areas, and improves safety at the junction of Dr Johnson Avenue and Tooting Bec Road. It also partially addresses point 1 of the St Anslem’s School petition – the council’s “Traffic Management Policy” requires a certain volume of people to justify a pedestrian crossing which the junction of Elmbourne Road and Louisville Road does not meet, so an informal crossing is the next best thing.
Proposal 4 above will improve the pavement which in places has insufficient width due to inconsiderate parking, overgrown hedges and street furniture. Parking fully on the carriageway will further reduce through traffic along Elmbourne Road and encourage the use of A roads (such as Tooting Bec Road A214 and Balham High Road A24) and B roads (such as Garrad’s Lane B242 and Bedford Hill B242).
Proposal 5 above will further improve pedestrian permeability in the area and ensure a more frequent and regular spacing between traffic calming features which should encourage a constant low speed rather than accelerating between features. It is hoped this will also contribute to pollution reduction.
Proposal 6 above will improve pedestrian permeability and discourage cars from using Hillbury Road, which currently experiences less than the key threshold of 300 vehicles per hour.
Proposal 7 above ensures both roads are treated consistently and also addresses a petition which raised issues with the junction layout.
Funding is available this financial year through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Local Implementation Plan and the council is proposing to use this to implement Proposal 3 first and as soon as possible.
Q. Who is responsible for these proposals? A. Wandsworth Council, which is controlled by the Conservative party. The authors of this blog – Fleur, Clare and Hector – are the three councillors for the local area, and we are all members of the Labour party. As such, we have not had any role to play in the development of these proposals. We have been campaigning for improved road safety for many years, and we are glad that the council has finally brought forward some proposals, but we did not design these proposals ourselves.
Q. What are the next steps? A. The council wants to implement Proposal 3 as soon as possible. It will then submit the other 6 proposals to the meeting of the Strategic Planning and Transportation Overview and Scrutiny Committee (STPOSC) on 12 February 2019. If the STPOSC approves the 6 proposals then these will be implemented too.
Thank you to everyone who has contacted us, supported us and voted for us during this year. We’re really honoured to be your local councillors and aim to help you as much as possible. Here are some of our highlights of 2018.
The Wandsworth council elections were in May and we had hoped that Labour would win the council. We had worked a hard with local residents and community groups to write an exciting manifesto which we were looking forward to delivering. Labour did get more votes that the Tories (123,208 to 121,295), but fewer council seats – 26 out of 60.
Since the election there have been very few new ideas from the Conservatives. Instead of taking action on the environment, housing and building up our local communities that we would have done, there is the same increase on homelessness, constant cuts to community services and children’s centres, and no real changes on our roads to cut pollution.
The increase in Labour councillors has been very welcome – especially new councillors Cllr Clare Fraser and Cllr Hector Denfield here in Bedford ward, and many other excellent new community representatives across the borough. Its exciting to be a part of this team, and its good news for residents.
One of the main issues raised by local residents is too much
traffic – resulting in traffic jams, too much pollution, danger to pedestrians
and damaged parked cars. We have been working with local residents to make
these views known to the council for several years, and following many
petitions, traffic surveys, work with Transport of London there is now a
proposal for changes to Elmbourne Road to address the traffic there – a full
blog about this will follow, and the committee will meet on February 12th
We will continue to promote cycle hoops and pods, cycle
friendly road changes, and address issues of rat-running.
Tooting Common and the Lido
The very hot summer wasn’t fun for everyone in the super long queues at Tooting Lido. We met with council officers and Place for People who manage the Lido to find out what caused the problems and what can be done to fix them. They make plenty of profit and must afford more working card machines and more staff to communicate with everyone queueing – we’ll be meeting with them regularly next year.
Cllr Fleur Anderson stood down from the Tooting Common Management Advisory Committee after 4 years of active membership, and Cllr Clare Fraser has joined the committee. It meets monthly and aims to preserve the special ‘character’ of the common. Do get in touch with Cllr Fraser if you’d like to raise anything about the common. The recent extensive Thames Water works were to fix a leak under the railway by making a new diverted pipe.
Parkrun goes from strength to strength and is a great asset to Tooting Common. The free, timed 5km run (three laps) is run entirely by an army of really dedicated local volunteers each Saturday. Thank you to all the volunteers who make it possible, and encourage so many local people to be fitter and do something good together. We hope that Wandsworth Council will relent and agree to a run in Battersea Park too.
Children’s Centres at risk
In November we found out that the Finance Committee were proposing to close the Triangle ‘stay and play’ sessions as the Boxing club and former One O’Clock club buildings are being leased to a sports café company. This was a shock to parents and staff – and we hadn’t been told either. We informed parents immediately and led a campaign which did result in staffed stay and play sessions being included in the new contract. However, the current sessions will be stopped and aren’t being located nearby during the building work – although we will still keep asking for this. The future of the Hillbrook and Franciscan Roads children’s centres remain under discussion following a consultation which finished in December. ‘Stay and play’ sessions are a really valuable service for children and parents and for community cohesion and need to be protected by Wandsworth Council even in this times of increasing cuts.
We have had some victories on housing and been able to help
individual families such as one family who were being moved to unsuitable local
temporary accommodation and after intervention now have a permanent ground
floor flat that they need. Homeless continues to rise in Wandsworth and
families are moved in and out of Bedford ward. If you are at risk of eviction
or falling behind on the rent, do get in touch with your local councillor and
the housing team as soon as possible.
We have one of the most active Neighbourhood Watch and Safer Neighbourhood Team groups in Wandsworth. As your local councillors, we are engaged members of the group and also regularly respond to reported safety issues. We are very concerned about domestic violence, knife crime and hate crime which do not feature in locally reported issues but affect lots of residents. Moped crime is reducing thanks to police efforts on this.
Action on anti-social behaviour
We have helped a lot of local people with anti-social behaviour issues from dogs to loud music and parties and fly-tipping. The environmental health team seem to be less responsive and are unable to come out during the week, which makes getting evidence of noise hard. We have helped over 100 residents with issues and are supporting several more people.
SW12 and SW17 Neighbourhood Network – podcast launch!!
In April our local neighbourhood network group launched a
podcast which you can listen to as you walk up and down the High Road between
Balham and Tooting Bec stations. There are interviews with local people and
lots to learn – including from the self-styled Mayor of Balham, comedian Arthur
The Neighbourhood Network met throughout the year, offering a place to meet other local people for a coffee, a toddlers play time and arts and craft activities to do together. From next year they will be meeting at Richards Kitchen, 16A Tooting Bec Road (nr Tooting Bec tube) fortnightly on Wednesdays starting on 9th January from 10.45 – 12. We were very sad that John Waterlow, one of the group’s founders, died suddenly in the summer – he is very missed.
Future Tooting – Environment Event
In April local environment groups held an excellent event looking at local and global environment issues, and we are fortunate to have several active local environment groups – including Transition Town Tooting. We discussed energy efficiency, climate change and pollution together and I hope there will be a follow up event. It has been inspiring to go to several Transition Town Tooting events during the year. They have teamed up with Ravenstone School to start a new greening the playground project which we are pleased to support too.
Tooting Bec and Balham Neighbourhood Forum
The most recent meeting of the Tooting Bec and Broadway Neighbourhood Forum was held in December. The Forum is a group of local residents who are putting together the Tooting Bec and Broadway Neighbourhood Plan. The Neighbourhood Plan is a formal and important document that will help guide planning decisions in Tooting. The Plan will be an expression of the views of all local residents and businesses.
For over a year, the Forum conducted a consultation which asked people what they want more of in Tooting, what they want less of, what they feel Tooting is missing, and what makes Tooting so great and should be preserved. At the meeting in December the first results of this consultation were presented and there were some very clear and interesting trends.
The Forum have been awarded a grant and have used the money to engage Jan Kattein Architects to help develop the next stage of the Neighbourhood Plan.
Residents Associations for Baringer Square, Rydevale and Larch Close
We have held regular walk abouts in these three estates,
with council officers, and lots of improvement have been made as a result –
although several cleaning issues are constant problems. We have been trying to
support the start-up of residents asssociations in Rydevale Estate and Larch
Close, and are confident that this will happen in 2019 – do get in touch if you can be involved.
New Saturday surgeries – come and see us – no appointment needed!
The second Saturday of every month – 11am – 12 noon at St Anselms
Church Hall (opposite Tooting Bec station on Tooting Bec Road)
The fourth Saturday of every month – 10am – 11am – the residents meeting room, Baringer Square, opposite 109 Fransiscan Road.
Happy New Year and best wishes for a happy and peaceful 2019,
Cllr Fleur Anderson, Cllr Hector Denfield and Cllr Clare Fraser