Earlsfield rat run changes spark outrage among residents
1:40pm Tuesday 9th October 2012 in News
Proposals to stop rat-running in part of Earlsfield have sparked outrage from people living in surrounding streets.
Earlier this month Wandsworth Council unveiled a set of measures to tackle issues with rush hour traffic in Earlsfield.
The proposals were drawn up following complaints from people living in Ellerton Road, who are tired of cars and lorries using their street as a shortcut.
The measures include a rush hour ban on vehicles turning right from Burntwood Lane into Ellerton Road, Tilehurst Road, Fieldview and Openview from 7am-10am.
There could also be a ban on drivers turning left from Magdalen Road into Multon Road, Titchwell Road, Ellerton Road, Tilehurst Road, Fieldview and Openview from 4pm-8pm.
But many residents in nearby streets have come out against the plans, claiming rush hour will become a nightmare in their streets if the proposals are implemented.
A public meeting attended by about 450 people took place last week to discuss the proposals, with many running their own petitions against the plans.
Concerns included Trinity Road becoming even more gridlocked during rush hour, as well as people living in Tranmere Road and Swaby Road fearing their roads will be used for rat-running instead.
Tom Pollack, of Burntwood Grange, said: "People are saying that it is ridiculous. What has happened there seems to be total opposition from everyone else.
"Earlsfield school and Beatrix Potter school are also affected."
Philip McCarthy, a photographer, of Magdalen Road, said: "Traffic has actually reduced in the area, particularly because of controlled parking zones."
Martyn Ellacott, vice-chair of Wandsworth Access Association, said the measures could affect ambulances and cause problems for elderly and disabled residents in the affected roads.
Susie Morrow, chair of campaign group Wandsworth Living Streets, said: "We would be keen to see anything that improves conditions for active travel and residents who don't want high levels of traffic.
"We would hope that would make it safer, and children could get to school independently."
Transport spokesman, Councillor Russell King, said: "At this stage these are just proposals. It is important we hear the views of local people.
"These plans have been drawn up with the aim of securing an area-wide solution to the problem.
"What we need to make sure of is that residents in other roads do not suddenly find themselves inundated with rush hour traffic.
"That is what we are trying to achieve and why it’s important we hear from as many local residents as possible."
A consultation document has been posted to 3,000 homes, with people urged to register their views by October 12.
Councillors will consider the proposals in January next year.
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