Residents demand changes to road where ‘cyclists nearly die every day’

By Charlotte Lillywhite, Local Democracy Reporter

Residents of a neighbourhood say cyclists narrowly avoid being killed at a “dangerous” mini-roundabout where there are often road rage incidents, as concerns grow about traffic in the area.

A new petition is calling on Wandsworth council to consider measures to slow down traffic in Summerstown, which sits between Tooting and Earlsfield.

The petition says the number of people walking in the area has “increased dramatically” since AFC Wimbledon’s Cherry Red Records Stadium opened nearby in Plough Lane in the Merton borough, surrounded by more than 600 new homes.

Mini-roundabout at the junction of Summerstown and Garratt Lane (Picture: Charlotte Lillywhite)

Wandsworth council objected to the development, over concerns about its impact on the area, but it was approved by Merton council in 2015. The stadium held its first game in 2021.

The petition says drivers often speed down Summerstown, while a “blind bend” where it meets Riverside Road means residents “do not feel safe”.

Although it adds a collision has not been reported in the road, it warns residents “strongly believe that waiting for a collision to happen is not the right way to approach this issue”.

Residents also raised concerns about the mini-roundabout at the junction of Summerstown and Garratt Lane, near Riverside Road.

The zebra crossing at the junction of Summerstown and Garratt Lane (Picture: Charlotte Lillywhite)

William Lausi, 44, has worked at restaurant Figli Del Vesuvio facing the mini-roundabout for eight years, and has lived in the area for 22 years.

He said the junction is “dangerous” as motorists “cut through” by driving over, instead of around, the mini-roundabout. He said: “Every day people nearly die on bikes because drivers cut inside. They don’t go all the way round.”

Mr Lausi suggested the mini-roundabout should be raised, or even have a flowerpot placed at its centre, to prevent accidents by forcing drivers to go around it.

He added: “I always dream that one day I’m going to have a bus or big lorry straight through here because they’re crazy.”

Wandsworth council said it was carrying out a traffic study in the area to investigate concerns raised about the junction, after meeting with residents.

Mr Lausi also said he felt the opening of AFC Wimbledon’s new stadium had caused “more trouble” in the area due to the parking restrictions on match days.

He said: “When it’s match day, you have to pay for parking so I get damage from the stadium because my regular customers come on the weekends, and they can’t park.”

Mr Lausi said visitors to the stadium “don’t spend money” in the area – “they just go in and that’s it”.

Wandsworth council introduced parking restrictions on days when AFC Wimbledon’s first team have a home game in October 2021, including on Sundays and bank holidays, to prevent football fans parking in residential streets.

Eleanor Murray, 43, has lived in Summerstown for 10 years. She said she often hears drivers beeping at the junction of Summerstown and Garratt Lane, and that she had witnessed two motorists arguing earlier that week as “it’s just such a small roundabout that people aren’t prepared to slow down”.

Ollie Haffenden, 50, also lives in the neighbourhood and said there should be a second zebra crossing at the junction as pedestrians often cut across to avoid going the “long way around”. His partner Jo, 40, said it was “not very safe”.

A Wandsworth council spokesman said: “We are aware of some concerns about this junction having recently met with local residents and we are undertaking a traffic study in the immediate area that will seek to further investigate and review the concerns expressed to us.

“This is in addition to an ongoing study in Garratt Lane which could also lead to further measures to improve road safety in this part of the borough.”

Merton council and AFC Wimbledon have been contacted for comment.

Pictured top: William Lausi, 44, at Figli Del Vesuvio, in Garratt Lane, Wandsworth (Pictrue: Charlotte Lillywhite)

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