By Sian Bayley, Local Democracy Reporter
Balham and Tooting residents can expect to see some significant changes to roads and cycle routes in the coming weeks as part of temporary upgrades to Cycle Superhighway 7.
Transport for London (TfL) has said that as the capital emerges from lockdown it will need to help people to walk and cycle more often, to reduce demand for public and private transport to essential trips only.
Work is beginning to temporarily upgrade Cycle Superhighway 7, as part of TfL’s plan to create a cycle corridor to follow the Northern line from Colliers Wood to Elephant & Castle.
The first phase will focus on the section from Balham to Colliers Wood.
The 3.7km upgrade of the cycle route will also add new sections of protected cycle lane.
It is hoped it will free up space on the Tube during peak periods.
There is no confirmed end date for construction but a spokeswoman said TfL was “working to build this as quickly as possible and should see the first sections opening in the coming weeks”.
Nightingale ward Conservative councillors have sent messages to residents encouraging them to email TfL and the mayor at email@example.com to provide feedback on the changes.
They say that the “significant changes” to the A24 will see “roads closed, turnings restricted and parking bays taken out,” and have raised concerns about how residents will access their own roads, parking for the disabled, picking up prescriptions and going to and from school and work.
They said: “We understand that Covid-19 and the rules of social distancing mean that measures need to be imposed very quickly, and we are certainly in favour of the encouragement of cycling and walking, but we also know that many residents are concerned about the effect on their daily lives.”
Key changes people can expect to see are:
- New lightly segregated cycle lanes using cylinders
- Bus stop bypasses for bikes which will also provide more space for pedestrians
- Existing bus lanes will be converted to 24/7, except for the bus lane between Totterdown Street to Mitcham Road southbound which will be operational between 7am and 7pm
- Bus lanes will be increased across the scheme by 190 metres.
- A section of bus lane is being removed southbound between Ritherdon Road and Tooting Bec Road to provide cycling facilities
- A new 24-hour bus lane will be created between 215 Balham High Road to Ritherdon Road southbound.
- Space for pedestrians to allow social distancing along Balham High Road, Chestnut Grove and at the junction of Mitcham Road/Tooting High Street
- No entry (except cycles) from A24 on to Balham Park Road, Dafforne Road, Noyna Road, Fircroft Road, Foulser Road, Topsham Road, Mandrake Road and Ansell Road
- No right turn on to A24 (except cycles) from Trinity Crescent, Dafforne Road, Noyna Road, Fircroft Road, Foulser Road, Topsham Road, Mandrake Road, Brudenell Road, Lynwood Road, Gatton Road and Selkirk Road
- No left turn from A24 into Trevelyan Road
- No left turn (except cycles) from A24 onto Chestnut Grove, Brudenell Road, Lynwood Road, Derinton Road, Woodbury Street, Gilbey Road and Sellincourt Road
- No left turn (except cycles and buses) from A24 onto Ritherdon Road and Balham Station Road
- No right turn (except cycles) from A24 onto Totterdown Street
- Multiple parking and loading bays will be removed from the A24, with most being relocated to nearby side roads. On side roads people will be able to load in marked bays between 10am to 4pm Monday to Sunday for a maximum time of 20 minutes. Disabled bays will be in operation for a maximum of three hours.
TfL has said it will monitor the effects of these temporary changes over the coming months and is also encouraging feedback from users.
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