Transport for London has opened a consultation on proposals that could see cars and lorries diverted away from the main shopping and commercial parts of Wandsworth town centre.
Under interim 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 should 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 council thinks the works would represent a major boost to local businesses and the local economy with the town centre a more attractive and vibrant shopping and leisure destination.
Removing through traffic from the gyratory has been a long term strategic aim of the council.
Construction could begin in 2017 if the consultation is positive.
Mayor 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.”
Leon Daniels, TfL’s managing director of surface transport added: “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. These changes, which will reflect the findings of the Mayors Roads Task Force, will improve facilities for all road users by simplifying the road network through the area and diverting through traffic away from Wandsworth High Street. It will help to create far better facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as new open spaces benefiting shoppers and local residents.”
Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia said: “Redesigning the one way system and removing the traffic that’s had such a negative effect on the town centre’s fortunes has been a key aim of the council for many many years and so I’m delighted that these ambitions are now gathering pace.
“This consultation seeks the public’s views about the general principle of making these changes. We are not yet in a position to say what the detailed designs will be but these will be produced for the next round of consultation if this process moves forward. At the moment it is important that TfL gauges the views of local residents and businesses to see if they support this strategic objective.”