Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Tuesday 8th September 7.30pm

Beddington & Wallington Local Committee

The main items discussed at this meeting were road safety schemes for Steps zones 20 & 21 & Stanley Park Road; pedestrian crossing trial at Wallington Sainsbury’s junction; locking of St Mary’s Field gates; Wallington Integrated Transport package & changes to Neighbourhood Recycling facilities.

First up for discussion was the road safety schemes item. Residents from the areas in question had been specifically invited to the meeting to take part in the discussion. Around 50 people attended. Rupert Townsend the Senior Engineer overseeing the project explained how a set of safety proposals for the area had been drawn up following the initial informal consultation with residents and interested parties, such as the police and emergency services. The measures proposed were based on the issues highlighted by residents and also aimed to address known accident spots.

Mr Townsend also explained the formal consultation process that would take place on the proposals.

There was a lot of input from the residents from the area, some highlighting problem areas or commenting on specific proposals. A number of residents indicated that they did not want to see any traffic calming at all, whereas others who lived close to particular problem areas were equally keen to see measures introduced. Residents were advised that the scheme did not need to be implemented in its entirety, and if the overall feedback from the consultation was that no calming should be implemented then that would be taken into account. Areas of individual concern could be addressed on their own if there was sufficient local support for them.

Paul Blunt, Transport Planning and Development Manager advised that the linking of traffic signals along Woodcote Road was currently underway. It was hoped that this would improve the flow of traffic through Wallington Town Centre. There has been a long standing request from residents and councillors for a pedestrian crossing to be put in at the junction of Woodcote Road with Stafford Road near Sainsbury’s. Transport for London were reluctant to do this because of the potential effect of slowing down traffic. Mr Blunt’s report showed that the pedestrian accident rate at this junction was higher than elsewhere and a study by consultants JMP felt that pedestrian facilities could be introduced on two arms of this junction without significant impact on traffic. As the actual effect of introducing a pedestrian phase into the signals could not be accurately predicted it was proposed to introduce the pedestrian crossings on a 12 month trial basis. During that time the effect on traffic flow would be assessed. The committee agreed to go ahead with the trial and the results would be reported back to the committee at the end of the period.

Under the Public Realm item it was agreed to allocate any remaining funds from the current allocation to purchase further barbeques in Beddington Park, and renew stretches of pathway within the grounds. Until the costs of Elms Pond had been determined it was not certain how much of the public realm budget would remain available but it was felt important to have projects agreed ready to absorb the balance in the meantime.

The locking of St Mary’s Field gates was also discussed under this item. Children’s playground equipment had been installed in this small play area using funds from Viridor and match funded by public realm funding. At the time the funds were agreed there had been some concerns expressed about the possibility of an increase in anti-social behaviour in the park and the need to lock the gates at night. It had been agreed to see how the situation developed and bring the item back to this committee after a year. A year had passed and the police had noted an increase in calls about anti-social behaviour by older youths in the park at night. A number of residents from the area attended the meeting and talked about the problems they were experiencing. The small park is surrounded on three sides by domestic buildings and is slightly hidden from the main residential road by a long mound at the front of the field. Parks and Police had indicated that they did not have resources to lock and unlock the gates morning and evening, but the police had found a resident willing to take on this responsibility. Discussions ranged from whether locking the gates would solve the problem, with the inadequate fencing at the rear of the park being considered a problem; some residents and councillors raised concerns over the safety of a resident being responsible for locking the gates and the hazards that might present. There was also uncertainty over which department was officially responsible for locking park gates. The Parks Dept. said that they were of the understanding that the Police Parks Safety Teams were responsible where it had been requested but the police were not undertaking this. It was agreed that the Executive should be asked to clarify the responsibility and a request be put in for these park gates to be locked each evening. The committee also suggested that the planting of spiky shrubs around the fencing areas be considered as a deterrent.

Lee Parker and Ben Hawkins from the Smarter Travel Sutton project team talked about the Wallington Integrated Transport Package and outlined the opportunities for residents to input into the plan.

Next we had Matt Clubb, Head of Waste Management and Fleet Services explaining some changes to the neighbourhood recycling facilities. Within the area new facilities were being provided to recycle foil, batteries and textiles, with glass recycling facilities being removed from some areas due to the reduction in use due to doorstep collection of glass.

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October 12, 2009 - Posted by | Committee Meeting

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