Controversial proposals about what to do with the overwhelming traffic in Tooting’s congested roads are polarising the community.
Drivers, fed-up with queuing at the main junctions around Tooting Broadway, frequently nip down side roads to save time travelling towards Tooting Bec.
For car-owners this can speed up the flow of traffic and reduce the number of vehicles flowing through the main junctions on the A24, but others are concerned ‘rat-running’ leads to vehicles ploughing too fast down residential roads, putting pedestrians at risk.
A consultation over piloting a £100,000 six-month scheme, featuring partial road closures around Fishponds Road stopping drivers from rat-running, finished on Friday.
Manuel Button, of Fishponds Road, said: "Of course there are people living in Fishponds Road who would like to see it blocked to traffic, but what about the rest of Tooting who will have to pay the cost and put up with the whole area becoming a grid-locked nightmare? And where next? There must be 50 similar roads in Wandsworth."
Chris Apostolides, of Fishponds Road, countered: "The 'No' voters are being selfish, putting their needs to save a bit of time off their car journeys above those of the people who actually live in and around Fishponds Road, who have to endure the endless stream of private and commercial vehicles whizzing up and down Fishponds."
Should the scheme get the go ahead another consultation will begin to ascertain people’s views on whether the measures will remain or be removed.
Changes to traffic around Tooting Broadway have been a long-term discussion.
If the multi-billion pound transport project Crossrail 2 is given the go-ahead to stop at Tooting Broadway, even further traffic issues are anticipated.
Councillor Russell King, Wandsworth Council’s transport spokesman, said: "It was quite a heated discussion at committee when we discussed Fishponds. There were definitely differing views over whether it would be welcome in the area.
"Because it was going to be controversial we wanted a higher threshold than normal for the consultation.
"Given this was likely to polarise opinion we wanted a very high level of responses so we set the bar at 40 per cent - which is very high - we normally set it at 20 to 25 per cent."
Tooting MP Sadiq Khan said: "If the proposals go ahead, they will have a big impact on our community, and I share local concerns that they will not address road safety in area, and if anything could make it worse."
The council is analysing feedback and a result is expected in about three weeks time.
Meanwhile another consultation has started into whether Tooting and Balham should become 20mph zones after a number of petitions were submitted to the council.
A public consultation has also been launched into development at nearby Graveney School, in Tooting, which is proposing the closure of Welham Road - which some residents feel will result in increasingly heavy use of neighbouring roads.
This map shows some of the proposed closures
What do you think should be done about traffic in Tooting? Send your thoughts to email@example.com
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