Your Town Center, November 2003

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Representatives of the Pedestrians, Cyclists, Taxi Drivers, and Residents Associations joined forces with the Wimbledon Civic Forum last Friday evening to examine measures to improve pedestrian, cyclist and traffic flow through the town centre in the presence of Cllr Russell Makin, Cabinet Member for Transport, Merton Council. The only effective way of reducing traffic flow could be a local congestion charge, however, most were opposed to this idea.

There was agreement that cyclists would benefit from creating a cycle corridor through the new precinct between Broadway and Hartfield Road as a simple and effective means to circumvent the one-way system. This would be a far cheaper and safer solution than the dangerous contra flow cycle track proposed by Merton Council Street Mgmt. and TfL.

For pedestrians, the new crossing in Hartfield Road is in the wrong place and should be moved 50m north outside the shops / restaurants. A crossing planned between Centre Court and Burger King on the Broadway, just 12m from an existing crossing, would have an adverse effect on traffic flow. Cllr Makin undertook to review his decision on this. Most people wanted the pedestrian railings along Broadway removed.

Concern was expressed that the traffic light timings at the Alexandra Road junction had still not been corrected from last April causing unnecessary congestion in the town centre. The Wimbledon Hill Road schemes are unnecessary and will create more traffic flow in residential streets, as far away as Trinity Road.

The entrance to Wimbledon Station is chaotic as pedestrians are not aware of the traffic light phasing and the entrance also repeatedly gets blocked: Cllr Makin agreed that something had to be done here. Paul Thomson, representative of the taxi drivers was further concerned that some taxis use the rank outside Centre Court when it is closed between 4:00pm and 8:00pm and this takes trade from the station rank as well as causing congestion at the bus stop.

There are difficulties for motorists from pedestrians who swarm onto the streets at pub closing times, particularly on Friday and Saturday evenings.

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