Trains and Boats and Planes – yes, we have them all in Wandsworth.
But it’s road traffic that was very much on our minds last Thursday when our local Assembly Member, Richard Tracey, came to see and experience first hand some of the issues and dilemmas facing local residents in the vicinity of the infamous Wandsworth Roundabout.
My fellow editor, Len James, had invited Mr Tracey to visit York Road. And he indeed he did come, supported by a representative of the Borough itself.
Here’s a summary of what we thought was a productive and positive 75-minute meeting:
OUTSIDE DUNGENESS HOUSE
1. A recognition that the width of the pavement directly outside Dungeness House had been reduced to accommodate the cycle lane on York Road. And that this caused inevitable issues for pushchair / pram / buggy users.
2. This on occasion was made even worse when wayward cyclists decided to ride their bikes on the pavement instead of using the cycle lane.
3. Such has been deterioration of the re-designed/re-engineered road and cycle lane surfaces outside Dungeness House that mud/water is thrown up on to the pavement itself. Photographic evidence has been submitted previously – to no avail.
MATURE TREES ALONG THE FRONTAGE OF THE OLD ELTERINGHAM SCHOOL
4. The trees along the outside of the old Elteringham School really do appear very vulnerable as the development moves towards its completion, as it transpires that no-one is sure who is responsible for their immediate and future welfare.
THE RAILWAY BRIDGE OVER TRINITY ROAD
5. The lighting under the railway bridge that goes over the Trinity Road has failed – and has not been replaced. Major security problem/risk for pedestrians and cyclists.
6. Deterioration in the road surface under the above-mentioned bridge has caused unacceptable amounts of mud and water to be thrown onto the pavements. The residue of which is very apparent.
THE WESTERN SIDE OF TRINITY ROAD AND BIRDHURST ROAD
7. There are clearly unresolved issues between TfL and Wandsworth Borough as to which of these two illustrious organisations has the responsibility for the management of ‘grassy areas’ on the western side of Trinity Road and beyond into Birdhurst Road.
8. The presence of ‘rat holes” and council-set ‘rat-traps’ along Birdhurst Road is very unpleasant – council officials are aware of the problem and are doing their utmost to resolve it. Even though the rats get bigger and more daring, there appears to be no immediate resolution.
9. The sad prevalence of ‘canine faeces’ on the grassy area along the front of the houses on Birdhurst Road was clear. Mr K James of 37, Birdhurst Road indicated to the representative of Wandsworth Borough Council how inappropriate ‘canine waste disposal’ methods were causing potential health and disease problems. Possibly either because of too few or badly sited disposal units.
10. The condition of the road surface in certain places along Birdhurst Road was all too apparent – major dips, furrows, inexplicable hollows – and nothing apparently has been done because ‘criteria’ for repair have not been met to the satisfaction of Wandsworth Council. Whatever that means.
11. There is no doubt but that the road traffic noise emanating from Trinity Road can indeed be intrusive. Mr L James suggested that different forms of bush/shrub could be planted which would act both as a form of barrier against the noise and whose lack of lower leaves would not allow animals to hide/shelter there or litter to gather there. A two-fold problem could be solved by one single solution.
THE TREES ON THE WANDSWORTH BRIDGE APPROACH
12. On the corner of the approach to Wandsworth Bridge and York Road stands a very imposing tree. It was feared that such a tree might suddenly disappear because of its proximity to the new, as yet unoccupied, apartment blocks.
PETERGATE AND VEHICLE ACCESS INTO BATTERSEA REACH
13. The turnings in and out of Petergate, into and across York Road, were inspected – at length. The inherent dangers and damage caused by of all forms of road users entering Petergate, going into Elteringham Street and then reversing back into Petergate in order then to cross the road directly into Battersea Reach were clear to all. (We were joined by other local residents for this section of the meeting and their scary anecdotes were graphically recounted.)
One possible solution would be to extend, simply by several feet, the existing carriage-way ‘divider’ – a form of central reservation – running along York Road from the roundabout eastwards towards Battersea. This would prevent direct access from Petergate into Battersea Reach.
14. ‘Through traffic’ continues to use the parking area between Filey House and Dungeness House as yet another way to enter Petergate and then access Battersea Reach. Another ‘accident waiting to happen’. A simple solution would be to ensure that one of the existing gates is locked shut thus preventing though traffic using this essentially residential area as a ‘rat run’.
ALL WE NOW HOPE IS THAT …. “SOMETHING WILL BE DONE” …..