Transport for London (TfL) and Wandsworth Council’s major revamp of Wandsworth Town Centre has received a positive reception at consultation.
The plans, which would involve re-routing the A3 and A205 South Circular to the north of the town centre along Armoury Way in both directions, were supported by around 61 per cent of respondents to the initial public consultation.
Furthermore, say the council, 70 per cent of respondents agreed that the current traffic system performs poorly, with many commenting that is it unpleasant or difficult to use and navigate.
By re-routing the existing road network and restricting the central section of Wandsworth High Street between Garratt Lane and Buckhold Road to buses and cyclists only, the scheme would also free the main shopping area of the current high levels of congestion and take traffic away from the busy town centre.
Detailed information about the two-way operation of the road network, surrounding public realm, and new cycling and pedestrian facilities along Wandsworth High Street will be the focus of a secondary public consultation at the end of 2015. Subject to the outcome of this consultation, work could begin as early as 2017 and be delivered during 2019 as one of a number of major gyratories that TfL and the London boroughs are looking at removing over the next ten years.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This car-clogged one-way system has made the area particularly hostile to pedestrians and cyclists. These major improvements will see the junction completely transformed and turned into a much more civilised place for everyone, encouraging more people to use the local high street and driving wider regeneration of the area.”
Leader of Wandsworth Council, Ravi Govindia, said: “Wandsworth Town centre is now being transformed by a series of major regeneration projects but it cannot reach its full potential until we tame this road system. We’re pleased there is strong support for the scheme and we will examine the local concerns raised in detail to see how our designs can be developed and improved. Wandsworth Council has been pursuing this vital project for more than a decade and we want to ensure the final proposal is right for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike.”
Garrett Emmerson, Chief Operating Officer of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “As part of our continuing work to improve London’s roads for everyone, we have been working with Wandsworth Council to develop this long-standing ambition to return the Wandsworth Gyratory to two way traffic. The results of this initial consultation show that local residents support our call for a simplified road network through the area and less through traffic along Wandsworth High Street. We will now work on the detailed designs that will help to create far better facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as new open spaces benefiting shoppers and local residents.”
The transformation of Wandsworth Town Centre would be funded by TfL, Wandsworth Council and through the Mayor’s Growth Fund. The council’s contribution is being raised through a levy on development sites including the Ram Brewery Quarter, The Filaments and Southside Shopping Centre.