Key measures the Council is taking | COVID-19 Safer, Active, Greener Streets | Sutton Council
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) : Latest information and advice

What is the current situation with the COVID -19 (Coronavirus) and where to find more information.

Information from the London Borough of Sutton

COVID-19 Safer, Active, Greener Streets

Key measures the Council is taking

The Council is introducing several initiatives as part of its Safer, Active, Greener Streets programme.

All the schemes will help address the impact of COVID-19, while at the same time support Sutton’s sustainable transport policy aims, combat climate change and create greener neighbourhoods. 

The proposals will help provide safe travel options for those residents without a car who are currently advised to avoid using public transport. 

Below you can find more information about the different schemes.

Creative Pavements

A Sutton artist and the Council launched an innovative way to make walking and cycling more fun for children and parents as the return to school started in June.

A trail of stencils in the streets around four schools in the borough mean that children can spot six different ‘animal tokens’ spray-painted on to the pavements around each school as they walk, cycle or use their scooters to get to and from school in the morning and afternoon.

The Sutton schools involved in the ‘Creative Pavements’ project are:

  • Cheam Common Juniors, Worcester Park

  • Cheam Park Farm, North Cheam

  • Cheam Fields, Cheam

  • Manor Park, Sutton

The Creative Pavements project complements other measures being introduced by the Council to make walking/cycling safer and easier, improve local air quality and offer an alternative to cars and public transport by helping to make the journey to school fun. 

You can find more information about Creative Pavements here.

Making cycling safer and easier

The Council is currently delivering a new strategic cycle route through St Helier to help link Sutton Town Centre with Colliers Wood. Measures will include:

  • completion of the Bishopsford Road toucan crossing

  • a segregated footway connection to St Helier Hospital

  • the Rosehill Park path 

  • four road closures and 20 mph speed limits on roads in the local area.

Improvements to the Strategic Cycle Network are also planned at:

  • Parkgate Road/Park Lane, Wallington

  • Grove Road, Sutton

  • West Lane, Sutton

  • Church Road, Beddington

New secure cycle parking hangar units are being installed around the borough. Sutton has been trialling electric bikes for residents to use and is working extensively with many schools on their travel plans and safe routes for children. 

For many years, the Council has delivered a comprehensive programme of cycle training with schools, as well undertaking adult cycle training, and has engaged with larger employers in the borough to promote sustainable travel among their employees. There has also been close liaison with the Police to deliver a programme of cycle security coding as part of regular ‘Dr Bike’ events. 

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

A Low Traffic Neighbourhood is a group of residential streets, bordered by busy main roads, where passing traffic by non-local vehicles is minimised by closing roads at certain points but people can walk and cycle everywhere. Residents can still drive to their street and receive deliveries, but Low Traffic Neighbourhoods make it harder for others to drive straight through from one main road to another and treat the area as a rat-run. 

A range of measures are used to create and maintain a Low Traffic Neighbourhood. These include bollards, speed humps, double yellow lines, greening of streets, additional seating, cycle parking, 20mph speed limits and signage. Road closures can be combined with new pocket parks, cycle parking and other public realm improvements. 

By limiting through traffic, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods can reduce air pollution, lower collision rates, increase community activity, encourage people to switch to greener forms of transport and make streets more pleasant. 

Sutton Council is looking to introduce Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in:

  • South Sutton (around Langley Park Road)

  • Belmont (around Overton Road)

  • Wallington (around Butter Hill)

  • North Cheam

  • Worcester Park

Rainbow Crossing

A pedestrian crossing in Sutton Town Centre has been permanently painted in rainbow colours to celebrate diversity in the borough and show support for Pride month in June each year.

The crossing — at the junction of St.Nicholas Way and Hill Road — was chosen as a highly visible location by Central Library, Sutton College and the Council’s Civic Offices. It acts as a gateway into the town centre, welcoming anyone on foot, bike, bus or car.

It is one of the few permanent rainbow crossings in London to celebrate the LBGTQ+ community. The new crossing comes as part of the Council’s work to improve Sutton’s streets. As schools have been returning and businesses reopening, a temporary cycle lane has also been created in St. Nicholas Way and around the gyratory to make cycling safer and easier. Pavements have also been widened at key locations in the town centre and new social distancing measures introduced in the High Street.

For more details about Sutton’s new rainbow crossing, please click here.

School Streets

Children at five Sutton primary schools are enjoying safer streets and cleaner air thanks to temporary pedestrian and cycling zones at drop-off and home times.

The new School Streets initiative was launched as lockdown measures started to ease and pupils began returning to school. The aim is to make walking and cycling safer and more attractive for parents and pupils while also making social distancing outside schools easier. 

School Streets - temporary road closures - are designed to improve road safety and air quality around schools, as well as reduce traffic and noise. Temporary barriers at the end of the affected streets are put in place each morning and afternoon for the school run. Blue badge holders and residents living in the affected streets are exempt from the restrictions. 

The five schools taking part put themselves forward to the Council. The schools are:

  • Robin Hood Junior, Sutton

  • Cheam Common Infants & Juniors, Worcester Park

  • Cheam Park Farm Primary, North Cheam

  • Cheam Fields Primary, Cheam

  • Manor Park Primary, Sutton

School Streets are just one of the measures being introduced by the Council to make walking/cycling safer and easier, improve local air quality and offer an alternative to cars and public transport in Sutton as the lockdown eases. 

Funding has now been secured from Transport for London for School Streets as thirteen more schools from September 2020.

Streetspace

Streetspace is the name given by Transport for London for measures which protect public health and allow ongoing social distancing, as well as encourage active travel transport choices, such as walking and cycling. Streetspace also addresses any potential road danger given the anticipated ongoing reduced public transport capacity.

Plans to introduce a number of Streetspace-type traffic management measures have already been developed, picking up on suggestions and proposals from local interest groups, councillors and the wider community. These will have a positive impact for Sutton residents and will aid the borough’s green recovery from COVID-19. 

Key features of Streetspace include: 

  • Wider footways and pavements - to make social distancing easier 

  • Pop-up cycle facilities - to create more space on the road for cyclists while maintaining social distancing 

  • Completing previously proposed cycle routes 

  • Reducing speed limits, with more 20mph zones to encourage more walking and cycling 

  • Introducing pedestrian and cycle zones by restricting motor vehicle access at certain times around local schools

  • Creating low traffic or traffic-free neighbourhoods 

  • Providing additional cycle parking facilities. 

The full list of all the Streetspace funding bids the Council has made to Transport for London can be seen here.

All Streetspace schemes will be short-term in nature. Since these schemes are to be implemented rapidly and on a short-term basis, any consultation with the public will be after implementation of the schemes and will inform whether or not the schemes are made permanent.

COVID-19 has has had a significant impact on the way we use our streets in responding to the public health crisis. Sutton’s Streetspace funding bids to Transport for London show how the Council wants to improve our public realm and further develop our commitment to environmental sustainability. 

At a time when there are understandable limitations placed on the use of public transport, the Council also has an important role to play in improving social inclusion by making sure that people who don’t have a car can have a safe travel choice. 

Cycling and walking are healthy alternatives and they should be realistic options for short, local journeys and the ‘Streetspace’ programme aims to promote them. In the longer term the Council will continue to promote public transport as an alternative to using a car for shorter journeys.

Town Centre emergency measures

In response to Coronavirus and the need for social distancing, the Council launched temporary measures to make walking and cycling safer at nine key locations around the borough in advance of business premises opening in early June.

The measures involve:

  • pavement widening in Sutton Town Centre and other district centres, including at entrances to parks

  • suspension of some parking bays to widen footpaths/reduce road space

  • suspension of some loading bays to widen footpaths/reduce road space

The locations were selected because temporary barriers or traffic cones can be placed on the road without the need for any changes to parking restrictions. Alternative parking places are available nearby for any existing free bays that were suspended. 

The nine locations are in Sutton Town Centre, Beddington, Belmont, Hackbridge, Wallington and Worcester Park.

Widen My Path tool

The Council has launched a new tool to suggest a busy spot where walking and cycling could be made safer and easier locally.

The move is part of the Council’s plans for Safer, Active, Greener Streets as schools, services and businesses reopen in the borough after lockdown, and for helping with social distancing. The Council wants as many residents, workers and visitors as possible to switch to walking and cycling to keep safe and active, as well as improve local air quality.

The tool - widenmypath.com - is a website that allows you to leave suggestions and comments on a map of Sutton about roads or pavements where social distancing is difficult. The Government and Transport for London have announced that councils should create temporary cycleways and wider pavements to help keep people safe.

The Council wants your help to identify where changes are needed most. Residents and visitors can suggest a location or vote for an existing idea. The most popular ideas will be shown most prominently. The Council will then use the information to see where changes should be prioritised and bid for funding from the Government and Transport for London.

More information about the Widen My Path tool can be found here.