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COVID-19 Safer, Active, Greener Streets

Our vision for Sutton - Safer, Active, Greener Streets

We are ambitious in our commitment to make Sutton a safer, active, greener borough for our residents and visitors.

Last year we declared a climate emergency and committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions. Our plans to encourage more walking and cycling will help us achieve our goals.

As an outer London borough, we have seen increasing concerns from residents about the traffic volume and speed in roads locally.  Many local people have really enjoyed the lower levels of traffic and improved air quality during the recent lockdown. They have contrasted them with the previous levels of congestion and pollution and asked the council to help.  

Transport for London modelling predicts that, without action, traffic volumes may get much worse than before the COVID-19 crisis. The development of technology, including satellite navigation (sat-nav) and associated mobile apps, has also led to an increase in vehicles cutting through residential areas as they travel through Sutton. If more people choose to drive as lockdown restrictions are eased, this will increase, making streets more dangerous and unhealthy for the people who live on them. This is why we are taking action now. 

As schools and workplaces begin to reopen and limitations continue on the numbers who can use public transport, the Council also has an important role to play to make sure people who don’t have access to private transport have a safe travel choice. 

Active forms of travelling, like walking and cycling, improve physical and mental health, contribute to reduced air pollution and will improve the health of residents, particularly children, older people and other vulnerable residents. Reducing through-traffic on residential streets will also help create more pleasant neighbourhoods for our local communities.

We want to make it easier for more residents to experiment with alternatives and are trialling a series of changes around the borough in our Safer, Active, Greener Streets programme.

We have already:

  • Widened some pavements in our town and district centres to make them clear and safe for people walking. 

  • Created new, temporary cycle lanes to make getting about by bike safer and easier.

  • Kept traffic moving for those that need to use their cars and for those businesses that need to load and unload.

  • Supported businesses to make them safe for their staff and customers as people move around our high streets and in and out of shops. 

In the next few months, we will be trialling:

  • Thirteen School Streets to reduce traffic and allow social distancing at schools around the borough as pupils return to school.

  • Five new low traffic areas to improve air quality and reduce non-local traffic, as set out in the Council’s Environment Strategy.

  • Further improvements to cycleways, including Central Road Worcester Park and Throwley Way.