A major revamp of Wandsworth town centre, to benefit all road users and encourage investment in the area, is being consulted on by Transport for London (TfL).
The plans involve re-routing the A3 and A205 South Circular to the north of the town centre along Armoury Way. This would free the main shopping area of the current high levels of congestion and take traffic away from the busy town centre.
The changes would provide a significant reduction in traffic at the busiest times on Wandsworth High Street, between Fairfield Street and Putney Bridge Road, providing more space for pedestrians and cyclists, while still providing for buses servicing the area.
Removing congestion in the busy town centre would provide a number of benefits:
Wandsworth Town is a designated regeneration zone close to the south bank of the Thames. The area is benefiting from more than a £1billion on new investment - the vast majority from the private sector. The removal for the gyratory system would support this investment, helping to create new retail, leisure, residential, employment and educational opportunities and act as a magnet for further investment to the area.
The consultation, which will run until 5 December, will help to shape further designs of the new highway layout throughout the area. An additional detailed consultation will be carried out next year when more detailed plans are available. If the overall scheme is approved, construction could begin as early as 2017 and delivered during 2019 as one of a number of major gyratories that TfL and the boroughs are looking at removing over the next ten years.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "This car-clogged one-way system has made the area particularly hostile to pedestrians and cyclists. These major improvements will see the junction completely transformed and turned into a much more civilised place for everyone, encouraging more people to use the local high street and driving wider regeneration of the area."
Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: "As part of our continuing work to improve London's roads for everyone, we have been working with Wandsworth Council to develop this long-standing ambition to return the Wandsworth Gyratory to two way traffic. These changes, which will reflect the findings of the Mayors Roads Task Force, will improve facilities for all road users by simplifying the road network through the area and diverting through traffic away from Wandsworth High Street. It will help to create far better facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as new open spaces benefiting shoppers and local residents."
Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said: "Redesigning the one way system and removing the traffic that's had such a negative effect on the town centre's fortunes has been a key aim of the council for many many years and so I'm delighted that these ambitions are now gathering pace. This consultation seeks the public's views about the general principle of making these changes. We are not yet in a position to say what the detailed designs will be but these will be produced for the next round of consultation if this process moves forward. At the moment it is important that TfL gauges the views of local residents and businesses to see if they support this strategic objective."
The proposed changes to Wandsworth Gyratory form part of the wider work being carrying out across London to deliver the recommendations of the Mayor's Roads Task Force (RTF) - set up to tackle the challenges facing London's streets. This independent body, made up of road user groups, major businesses and key stakeholders, brings together a wide range of interests and expertise, united in the belief that the capital needs a long-term strategy for roads and a commitment to major investment in street management and urban design. Further information and details of how to respond to the consultation are available here: www.tfl.gov.uk/wandsworth-town-centre