Merton: Borough bids to become centre of cycle safety

Merton: Borough bids to become centre of cycle safetyThe borough of Merton is located in South-West London and includes a number of districts including Wimbledon, Colliers Wood and Morden, to name just a few.

It is one of the nicer areas of London to live, with plenty of shops, clubs, pubs and cafés to visit. 

Property prices are around £500,000-£600,000 for a typical four-bedroom home, because of the popularity of the area, whereas one-bed flats can fetch up to £277,000 in the borough.

What makes the area so appealing is that it is fairly central, with famous sporting hotspots like Wimbledon included in its ranks.

There are also significant efforts by Merton Council to develop the borough to make it even nicer - and safer.

Recently, it was announced that the council will pump £32 million into regenerating Wimbledon Broadway, which may be part-pedestrianised, with lots of new cycle routes added.

Merton Council has unveiled its "transformational" vision which will see a network of cycle routes and bike hire schemes introduced across the entire borough.

To finance the proposals, the council has submitted a bid for the mayor of London's 'Mini Holland' fund.

Merton has already been shortlisted to receive a share of the £100 million fund. Winners will be announced in February 2014.

If the bid is successful, other improvements would include closing part of Wimbledon Broadway to general traffic and creating a tree-lined, one-way bus route with cycle lanes on both sides.

Pavements would also be repaved and extended, while café-style roadside seating at bars and restaurants would also be introduced.

Councillor Andrew Judge, cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, said the scheme is designed to create more of a safe haven for cyclists.

He added: "In Merton we have a strong ambition to make cycling as safe and convenient as it is in the Netherlands. We want men and women of all ages and children to be able to choose cycling safely for journeys in every part of Merton. 

"No longer should people feel that if they get on a bike they have to jostle with heavy traffic. It is about achieving a better balance. The more people cycle, the healthier they will be and everybody else will be better off: the roads will be less congested and the air cleaner."


The council said all plans would be subject to public consultation and testing before being implemented. If the bid is successful it will be introduced over the next five years.

Under the proposals, Hartfield Road will be transformed into a two-way system, whereby traffic would be redirected across a newly part-pedestrianised Broadway.

Mr Judge added: "This bid has been well constructed and has support across our local community. It is an unprecedented opportunity to transform our streets to make them safer, but also to redesign our town centres and neighbourhoods to make them better altogether for residents and local businesses.

"We are assuming because we are one of the last eight boroughs that we will get substantial funds. If we don't get the £32 million bid we will put in continued bids. This is our ambition and the vision we are working toward."

The council is also aiming to become the first local authority in the UK to introduce Dutch roundabouts with a cycle lane around the edge.

In addition, a new tunnel will be built close to the current tunnel in Lower Down's road for cyclists and pedestrians.

According to the council, the scheme has received support from councillors across the borough.

Commenting on the proposals, councillor Iain Dysart, leader of Merton Liberal Democrats said: "The funding will mean that the council can make the roads a safer environment for our cyclists while ensuring all road users benefit from any changes that are made."

His views were backed up by councillor Stephen Alambritis, leader of Merton Council, who said: "The funds which are being made available will give us a great opportunity to make our roads safer for all users. With well thought out plans, we would be able to accommodate drivers, pedestrians, cyclists as well as the many bus routes which we benefit from having in Merton."

Published 20th December, 2013

© 2013 Estates IT Limited

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