Tooting Bec and Balham

Interesting fact about the water fountains at the southern end of Dr Johnson Avenue

Your definition of “interesting” may be different to mine, but this explains why it seems like the fountains are regularly “broken”. As the person responsible for the fountains within the overall Tooting Common Heritage project recently explained to us:

“…the push buttons have to be pressed 2 or more times to allow the water to flow through the water jets. This is due to the internal workings of the fountain that formed part of the lottery funding for the heritage project, whereby all of the internal workings of the fountain had to be engineered precisely to the fountain’s 1930s specification. Consequently the  system replicates engineering from yesteryear and is not in keeping with more modern water fountains.”

The upshot is “some patience will have to be exercised when using the fountain”.

Enjoy refreshing yourself in 30s style (although maybe wait until after everyone’s had their vaccines).

Tooting Bec and Balham

Tree felling in Bedford ward – January 2021

We often get enquiries about why certain trees are removed from our streets. The council has a duty to cut down dangerous/diseased trees. A few are due to go in Bedford ward over the next few weeks:

Plot #SpeciesRoadReason for removal
7239Prunus SerrulaMantilla RoadBasal decay, fungal body, trunk decay, Ganoderma fungus
7534Prunus AviumMontana RoadCrown decay
7537Prunus PandoraMontana RoadCrown decay, trunk decay
1068.09Prunus Hillieri SpireTopsham RoadDieback, trunk decay

In terms of timescales for replacement, the council has said “We hope to re-plant in the vacant pits but this may not be in this winter period.”

Tooting Bec and Balham

Further temporary road closures in Bedford ward – Jan, Feb and Mar 2021

Avoca Road will be closed from the junction with Topsham Road to the junction with Tooting Bec Road for SGN utility works from 18/01/2021 to 29/03/2021. Contact: SGN 01372 737 416.

Balham Station Road will be closed outside Balham Station for Network Rail works, overnight only from the evening of 18/01/2021 to the morning of 19/01/2021. Contact: Network Rail 07956 907 175.

Franciscan Road multi-way temporary traffic signals outside number 276 for Openreach utility works on 24/01/2021 only. Contact: Openreach 03301 233 753.

The estimated completion date for Hillbury Road (closed from the junction with Bedford Hill for carriageway works) has changed from 05/02/2021 to19/02/2021. Contact: Tim Addlesee 0208 871 8202.

Road works bulletins can be found on the council’s website here:

Tooting Bec and Balham

Winter gritting in Wandsworth

It’s shaping up to be a cold winter so gritting of roads and pavements may be necessary.

The council’s webpages on gritting are here:

You can request for your street to be gritted, or if your street should have been gritted and it has not been, by emailing

There is also a map of grit bins in the borough here:,School,GP,TPO,Local_Plan,Plan_Live,Plan_Decided&x=528981.127&y=172342.144&scale=8192

There are two grit bins on Bedford Hill, at the junctions with Ritherdon Road and Culverden Road. As far as I can tell from this webpage: – this grit is for residents to use on their residential roads – so you are free to use it if you wish. I appreciate that lugging grit back to your front door is not ideal but could be an option if a quick fix is needed.

Tooting Bec and Balham

Road closures in Bedford ward in January 2021

Dafforne Road is closed from the junction with Upper Tooting Road to the junction with Romberg Road for SGN utility works, with an estimated date of completion of 31/01/2021. If you need to contact SGN, dial 01372 737 416.

Hillbury Road will be closed from the junction with Bedford Hill for carriageway works commencing 06/01/2021 to 05/02/2021. Contact: Tim Addlesee 0208 871 8202.

Road works bulletins can be found on the council’s website here:

Tooting Bec and Balham

Wandsworth Council submits planning application for Tooting Lido pump room to Planning Inspectorate

We previously commented on the council trying to avoid a requirement for a green roof on this building in this post.

You can now find all the details of the Council’s application to the Planning Inspectorate for consent to carry out improvements at Tooting Bec Lido, specifically the construction of a new electrical sub-station and the demolition and rebuilding of the south room of the pump house together with associated trenching and cable laying works, here:

The roof will sadly be a steel profile sheet roof with sunpipes – the green roof is gone. Update: the council have confirmed there was a mistake in the documents and there will in fact be a green roof! Hooray!

This application was approved by the Wandsworth Council Planning Applications Committee and is now being considered by the Planning Inspectorate, as it concerns works on common land.

If you wish to comment, please email

Tooting Bec and Balham

Streetspace for London FAQ from TfL

TfL have published a new “frequently asked questions” page for the Streetspace for London programme here:

It contains lots of useful information about the Streetspace programme and why it’s necessary right now. But, the programme can always be improved, so if you have comments please do feed them in to TfL by email to

Tooting Bec and Balham

Council submits Tooting Triangle planning application

See our previous post on this issue here: Our comments on the Tooting Triangle planning application

The council has submitted its application to the Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to make renovations and extensions to the buildings at Tooting Triangle, as well as enclosing the current hard surface pitch next to the buildings so that it can be rented out commercially.

A copy of the application form and accompanying documents can be viewed at

The application form and accompanying documents will be available until Monday 14 December 2020.

You can send any representations on the application on or before 14 December to:

Representations sent to the Planning Inspectorate cannot be treated as confidential. They will be copied to the applicant and possibly to other interested parties. For information about how The Planning Inspectorate processes personal information please see the Common Land Privacy Policy at

Tooting Bec and Balham

Update on LTNs

The council’s Strategic Planning and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee met on 4 November and included an update on the council’s “Transport Action Plan”, which discussed the recently suspended Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs).

In summary:

The Oakmead Road barrier will be reinstated.

In future there will be a full public consultation and council committee discussion prior to the introduction of a major traffic management scheme.

The Council recognises that a more incremental approach in delivering the LTN trials in and around the A24 and A214 may have helped.

The consultation responses to the Tooting Commons LTN are set out in this table:

The data collected in the Tooting Commons LTN are set out in this table (click to view full size):

Paragraphs 43 to 53 of the paper go into more detail about the results of the Tooting Commons LTN trial.

The council appears to have adopted a new approach to certain “essential local distributor roads”, and provides a non-exhaustive list that includes Elmbourne Road. The upshot is that:

“it may not be possible to reduce the traffic volume to a level below 300vph criteria
unless draconian measures can be implemented and are broadly supported by
adjacent residential roads”

However, the council is to continue with the traffic calming measures on Elmbourne Road and Hillbury Road until fully implemented and monitored for a period 12 months after completion as per standard practice.

The reports presented at the meeting can be downloaded here:

The Transport Action Plan was item 3 on the agenda, Paper No. 20.337.

Tooting Bec and Balham

TfL urges children to walk, cycle and scoot to school

Schools will shortly be welcoming students back, and TfL are encouraging active modes of transport to get there. Full details are available in TfL’s press release. With the Tooting Commons LTN now in place, it’s never been easier or safer to walk, cycle or scoot, so why not give it a go!