The Council recently consulted on a proposal to close off Dr Johnson Avenue, which cuts across Tooting Common. The results of that consultation showed that 58% of respondents were in favour.
However, after the consultation was completed, a new proposal was inserted to introduce a no right turn from Tooting Bec Road into Elmbourne Road. This was not in the original consultation.
Sadiq Khan MP said: “Residents are concerned about these proposals for two reasons. Many feel dismayed that the no right turn into Elmbourne Road was only inserted after the Council had completed their consultation, with some telling me that had they known they would have replied differently to the consultation. Also, residents are worried that if Dr Johnson Avenue is closed and Elmbourne Road is made a no right turn, access from the South of the Common to Balham and beyond will become much more difficult and traffic problems will worsen and spread”.
Motorists coming from the South end of the Common already cannot turn right at the junction at Tooting Bec. In the event that both the closure of Dr Johnson Avenue and restrictions on Elmbourne Road are agreed, motorists from the Streatham end of the borough heading towards Balham could take alternative routes via Romberg, Montana or Avoca Roads, Chetwode Road, Holdernesse Road and, Trinity Crescent, or via Garrads Road, among others.
The proposal is now being consulted on for a second time. If a majority backs the new proposals, which now include the changes to Elmbourne Road, then there will then be a six month trial of the impact on traffic.
Sadiq Khan said: “I have contacted the Council to ask it to properly consider traffic flows on all nearby roads before proceeding with a trial closure. Given the oversight in the last consultation on this issue, I am also urging the Council to make the consultation as widely available and thorough as possible. I have also sought assurances that the Council will not introduce parking charges in the car park on Dr Johnson Avenue as part of the plan”.
“There are long-standing pre-existing traffic problems on Hillbury Road and I shall also be pushing the Council to seek solutions to this problem as part of the proposed changes”.
The consultation is on the Wandsworth Council’s website and the deadline is Friday 1st April.