Improvements to be made to high street on London’s ‘most congested’ route

By Charlotte Lillywhite, Local Democracy Reporter

Further improvements to a high street that sits on the “most congested” route in the capital have been revealed.

Wandsworth council has finalised proposals, building on previous works, to improve Putney High Street for pedestrians and cyclists.

The high street sits on the route named as the most congested in the capital in 2022, according to a report published by traffic researchers INRIX in January – from Fulham Road to Morden Hall Road.

Drivers spent an average of 47 hours a year sitting in traffic on the stretch, it added.

The council is carrying out schemes to improve the high street, including its air quality, safety, function, attractiveness and sustainable transport.

Improvements to the initial section between Upper Richmond Road and Putney Bridge Road have been completed, including pavement widening, new paving, continuous pavement crossings, extra cycle parking and improved traffic signals at the junction with Chelverton Road.

A fresh council report said extensive traffic modelling and design work had been carried out on the remaining works, focussing on the section between Putney Bridge Road and Lower Richmond Road. It said Transport for London (TfL) had given final sign-off on the proposals, and that detailed design and procurement was underway for works to start on site in January next year.

The works include reducing the number of crossing stages at the Lower Richmond Road junction, a northbound cycle lane between Felsham Road and Lower Richmond Road and provision for cyclists to turn left from Putney Bridge Road and then right into Felsham Road to provide a “quiet alternative westbound route”.

The addition of a northbound bus lane over the majority of Putney Bridge to improve facilities for cyclists and bus journey times is also included, along with widening the pavement on Lower Richmond Road between the eastbound bus stop and Putney Bridge junction, a wider northbound carriageway at the start of Putney Bridge to enable two running lanes and a southbound cycle feeder lane at the junction with Putney Bridge Road.

The council’s transport committee discussed the plans on September 21.

Nick O’Donnell, the council’s assistant director of traffic and engineering, said TfL was “rolling out improved emission buses all the way through and electric vehicles”.

The committee approved progressing the works to detailed design and implementation at the meeting, which will go to the executive for a final decision on September 25.

Pictured top: Putney High Street (Picture: Facundo Arrizabalaga)

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