Here is everything we know at this point about these plans:
In September 2016, 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.
Q. How can I have my say on this issue?
A. Your three local Labour councillors are conducting our own survey of residents to understand what people think. Please complete our survey on the proposals to calm traffic on Elmbourne Road in as much detail as you like.
We will also be holding a public meeting in mid-January; full details of this will be released as soon as we can get the council to agree to send a representative to answer questions!
We will use the results of the survey and public meeting to represent your views to the STPOSC on 12 February, so please do complete the survey!
Q. How can I get in touch with you?
A. You can email us any time on our council email addresses: