‘Quiet cycling routes’ scheme aims to encourage more to opt for the saddle

By Charlotte Lillywhite, Local Democracy Reporter

A series of cycling routes could be created along quieter roads, towards railway stations and through parks around Wandsworth to improve safety and encourage cycling, if the local authority has its way.

The council is set to carry out an initial round of consultation on proposals for 13 ‘quiet cycling routes’ in the borough.

It follows recommendations in Wandsworth council’s new walking and cycling strategy, adopted in 2022, outlining what it must do to improve conditions and safety for pedestrians and cyclists in the borough.

The ‘quiet cycling routes’ would have low traffic levels, junctions safe for cyclists and crossings provided across busier roads.

The council’s transport committee unanimously approved plans to bring the proposed routes forward for early public consultation on Monday. The executive will make a final decision on March 4.

Labour councillor Tony Belton said: “In a world which is heating so rapidly it’s frightening, where the major means of transport, apart from walking of course, which is almost pollution and climate impact-free is cycling, a major growth area and where death unfortunately and accidents hit the users more than other things… it’s about time we had lots of safe cycling routes and the more the merrier.”

David Tidley, head of transport strategy, said creating the proposed routes would mainly involve installing signs, along with potential barriers at junctions.

He added the council wants to “establish more and better routes through the commons but also to try and manage the cycling activity as well so that it doesn’t interfere too much with other users”.

A council report added: “Safety concerns are routinely listed as a key obstacle to cycling by Londoners, particularly on main roads.

“Quieter roads provide a  less intimidating alternative, but many routes are interrupted when crossing busier roads and wayfinding can often prove difficult.

“As part of the implementation of the Wandsworth walking and cycling strategy, a network of signed ‘quiet’ cycle routes away from main roads is being developed with the aim of encouraging more people to take up cycling.”

The council has published a map of 13 proposed routes which are set to be taken forward for consultation. These are: Tooting Common to Wandsworth Common; Wandsworth Common to King George’s Park; King George’s Park to Wimbledon Common; Barnes Common to Wandsworth Town; Sternhold Avenue to Drewstead Road (Tooting Common); Bellevue Road to John Archer Way (Wandsworth Common); Clapham Common to Wandsworth Common; Putney Heath to Wimbledon Park; Putney Heath to Putney Embankment; Earlsfield Station to Burntwood Lane; Clarence Lane to Putney stations (Roehampton northern route); Danebury Avenue to Putney stations (Roehampton central route); and Bessborough Road to Putney stations (Roehampton southern route)

The initial consultation will help officers to finalise the proposals and prioritise the order in which they would be taken forward, if they gained further approval and funding.

The routes connecting Roehampton to Putney stations are expected to be prioritised, to improve transport links in the area.

Pictured top: Wandsworth Town Hall (Picture: Google Street View)

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