Transport for London withdraws proposals to abolish traffic lights at pedestrian crossings in our Borough

Author: Robert Molteno (Secretary, Wandsworth Living Streets)

A small victory for all of us

We have just learned some wonderful news. Do you remember Transport for London’s wish to abolish 145 pedestrian crossings (with traffic lights) across London – eight of them in our Borough (see Wandsworth Living Streets: inaugural meeting)? The idea was to speed up road traffic, with pedestrians (and cyclists) once again paying the price. The crossings appeared to have been selected for abolition without rhyme or reason. TfL admitted they had not conducted pedestrian movement surveys. And TfL seemed not to have thought about why the crossings had, at considerable expense, been built in the first place!

Objections were raised – by individual residents including Jonathan Callaway (Vice-Chair of the Putney Society), London Assembly member Jenny Jones, Wandsworth Councillors Jane Cooper and Steffi Sutter, and, not least, by Wandsworth Living Streets which held an alert with Wandsworth Society Chair, Valerie Taylor, and Wandsworth Friends of the Earth at Kimber Road on 28 September.

Transport for London has now told Wandsworth Council officers that they are withdrawing all eight of the proposed pedestrian crossing abolitions in our Borough.

Congratulations to everyone involved, including our own Councillors who took up the issue!

Of course, we must remain vigilant. TfL may try to abolish other crossings. And as one of our members, Eva McCartney, says, there is still the problem of the timers on many pedestrian crossings being set for too short a time for elderly or disabled people to cross roads without feeling threatened by the rush of traffic resuming.

Have a happy – and warm, I hope – holiday season over Christmas!

Read also: Wandsworth Living Streets: inaugural meeting

UPDATE 8/12/2010: Wandsworth Council’s Press release.

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