In response to serious concerns expressed by residents at proposals to close or restrict roads on and around Tooting Common, Sadiq Khan MP for Tooting and Chuka Umunna, MP for Streatham, have written a joint letter to Wandsworth Council requesting details of the Council's current proposed traffic management solutions as well as an extension of the consultation area.
The Council’s current plan is to close Dr Johnson Avenue, which crosses Tooting Common, and restrict entry into Elmbourne Road, which borders the Common.
Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting said “Few issues have solicited the number of emails and letters that this has. Residents are right to be concerned that they have not been properly consulted up to now and that the traffic implications of these proposals have not been properly thought through. Residents are worried that quiet residential roads will become rat runs and already congested roads will become even more congested”.
The proposal to close Dr Johnson Avenue has already been subject to public consultation, with 58 per cent of respondents backing the proposal. After this consultation was carried out, however, the Council added a proposal to restrict access to Elmbourne Road.
Sadiq Khan said: “It is this addition, which residents were not consulted on, and the displacement of traffic that it is likely to cause, that has worried so many people. Many of my constituents who were in favour of the closure of Dr Johnson Avenue are now asking why Elmbourne Road will be protected at the potential expense of other residential roads.”
“The concerns I have include poor consultation, a lack of consultation for residents in Heritage Park and Streatham who may be impacted, inadequate traffic modelling and the absence of a mechanism by which residents can object to the proposals after the six month trial period should they wish to. Solutions should include better consultation, traffic modelling over a much wider area, a traffic plan to avoid displacing traffic onto residential roads, improvements on Elmbourne Road -which has no pedestrian crossings - and altering the restrictions at the junction at Tooting Bec.”