Proposal for how Old York Road could look

Shopkeepers back summer weekend pedestrianisation in Wandsworth

Wandsworth shopkeepers have expressed their support for weekend pedestrianisation schemes in the borough, as the council announced one such scheme is set to return for its third year.

Northcote Road’s closure at weekends over the summer will continue this summer, as the council claims the move was popular in 2020 and 2021.

The move is part of a wider pattern of pedestrianisation in the borough, which includes Old York Road in Wandsworth Town.

Emily, who works in a clothes store called Oliver Bonas on Northcote Road, said: “The high street being closed off has actually been a really good thing.

“We’ve had a lot more customers, and obviously, it’s great for restaurants and bars as well because they’ve struggled so much in the past couple years.

“I’ve been around here for 27 years now and it’s been really popular when they started doing it in the last few years.

“That being said, we had it good but further up the road they’re not as positive about it because they’re too far up to get any benefit.”

PEDESTRAINISATION IN ACTION: A decision was made last year to make the pedestrianisation of Old York Road permanent

Residents are also invited to comment on proposals for the final layout for Old York Road after the council made the decision last year to make its pedestrianisation permanent.

The council has also allocated £1.95m to the scheme, which includes refurbishing the road and possibly expanding the pedestrianisation further.

The pedestrianisation of Battersea High Street has also been deemed a success by the council, and the closure will continue this summer, with further consultation planned.

Another enthusiastic supporter of pedestrianisation is Eddie, who works in Cleavers Butchers on Old York Road.

He said: “I think if they close it off it will be more of an environment for families and more people will come down the street.

“There’s a lot of coffee shops and everything else. If you’ve got to worry about buses, especially if you’re having a few drinks, it’s not ideal.

“When I first came here the buses came through and I thought it wasn’t the best. I think if they’re restricting everything why not go the whole hog and just change the whole thing? I think it will work.”

SUPPORTER: Eddie in Cleavers Butchers

Cabinet member for economic development, skills and employment, Cllr Rhodri Morgan said: “These closures are part of a package of measures to help local high streets recover post-pandemic, including the development of a Night Time strategy to support the night-time economy and a £5m Town Centre Investment Fund

“Over the last two summers the closures have helped to make these streets an attractive destination for people to eat and drink and businesses have really benefited.”

You can read more about the schemes here.

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