Sutton Scene - Deputy Leader of the Council Column 24/07/2020

Published Friday, 24th July 2020

The pandemic and resulting lockdown have had a massive impact on our community and country.

But residents tell us that they want to keep some of the effects, such as less pollution, traffic and speeding on our residential roads.  

As we continue to adapt to the new reality - less commuting to/from Central London, less capacity on public transport and residents spending more time locally - the Council has recently secured nearly £1 million from Transport for London and the Government for around 30 schemes to improve our streets in Sutton. These will be trialled for six months. You can see the proposals here (Item 15).

This funding will help create ‘low-traffic neighborhoods’ (LTN) in Sutton. Every resident living in these areas will still be able to drive to their own street and have easy access. Deliveries and emergency access will still be allowed, but rat-running will be minimised. Residents will benefit from streets with less traffic, noise and speeding, as well as better air quality. We hope that this will encourage neighbours to spend more time outside enjoying their local area, getting to know each other and socialising more. 

In normal times our plans would have been based on extensive public consultation. However, the Government and Mayor of London urged boroughs to submit proposals at very short notice (by the end of June) and asked councils to prioritise low-traffic neighbourhoods. As a result, it was not possible to consult in the usual way. Transport for London have also asked us to deliver any schemes by September. 

When we put our proposals together we tried to focus on areas where the Council has carried out previous public consultations on these kind of improvements. Where this was not possible, areas have been recommended which we hope will benefit from these schemes. 

These are temporary trials for six months. We accept that not every scheme will be perfect. That’s why we will be asking for feedback from residents. Some schemes will be amended or taken forward in a different way as a result. 

We look forward to hearing your views and working with residents, community groups and local councillors throughout the process.