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Our response to re-consultation on proposals for Quietway 4 in the London Borough of Wandsworth – December 2016

 

About us:

Wandsworth Living Streets is the local group representing the UK charity
for everyday walking. Our primary purpose is to promote walking as a
healthy, enjoyable everyday activity and to enable this by ensuring that
the urban realm across the borough of Wandsworth is safe, pleasant and
inviting for people – whatever their level of mobility

Drawing on our expertise in health, transport and urban design, we work
closely with other members of the local community and with Wandsworth
Council to make this vision a reality. We’ve already helped to change
Wandsworth for the better through our successful campaigns for 20mph
zones and speed limits and pedestrian-friendly town centres throughout
the borough.

Our ambition is to help people of all generations and all levels of
mobility to enjoy the benefits of the simple act of walking, because
safer, more attractive and healthier streets are good for everyone.

Our response:

We note that the brief of the Quietways scheme is stated in Wandsworth
Council paper 15-458 as being:

“Transport for London (TfL) is developing a network of “Quietway” routes
for cyclists, envisaged as high-quality guided routes on low-traffic
back streets and other routes so that different kinds of cyclists can
choose the routes which suit them. Quietways are intended to be direct,
clearly signed, and delivered as whole routes without gaps in difficult
places.  Quietways would support the new cycling strategy, on which
consultation has recently closed, which is reported elsewhere on the
agenda (Paper No. 15-457).”

We strongly support interventions to produce high-quality routes for
cycling.  However the revised proposals do not represent high-quality
routes as outlined above, and we therefore cannot support them.

Although not the the focus of this stage of consultation, we note with
disappointment that there are no proposals to widen the ‘corgi’ aka
‘cat’s back’ bridge over Wandsworth Common, which forms a pinchpoint for
pedestrians and cyclists at this key part of Quietway 4.  Not to have
required a design that can comfortably accommodate people walking and
cycling as part of the bridge replacement by Network Rail is a highly
regrettable omission – and suggests a lack of consideration and scrutiny
of the Quietway 4 route as a whole.

In particular, we are extremely concerned at proposals for cyclists and
pedestrians to share footways close to Earlsfield station, between
Summerley Street and Magdalen Road.  The proposals as described would
create conflict between pedestrians and cyclists and no obvious benefit
either for pedestrians or cyclists.  We therefore object to these
proposals in the strongest possible terms.  As noted, we are keen to
ensure that meaningful changes are made to our streets and public realm
generally to support and encourage people to cycle in our borough and
thus to achieve the many benefits that will arise from enabling people
of all ages to cycle in safety in comfort.  We ask that Wandsworth
Council reconsider its proposals for Quietway 4, including but not
limited to those in Earlsfield, in the light of the Brief for Quietways,
and that the Council develop – in meaningful and informed consultation
with local residents and stakeholders – a revised scheme.  We emphasise
that continuing with the current proposals would inevitably generate
conflict (and potential injury, to pedestrians and cyclists), fail to
achieve the Quietways scheme’s stated aims, and represent a waste of
public monies.

Wandsworth Living Streets
18 December 2016
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