Wimbledon Broadway to be closed to general traffic if ‘mini Holland’ bid succesful


The council hopes to transform the area to make it more appealing for cyclists.


By Jonny Green

Wimbledon Broadway could become part pedestrianised if Merton Council’s £32m bid for the Mayor of London’s ‘mini Holland’ fund is successful.

The council wants to encourage more people to cycle by improving roads and making them more appealing to cycle on.

Councillor Andrew Judge, cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, cycled to the Mayor of London’s offices last week to deliver the plans, which include closing the Broadway to general traffic and installing a one-way bus route with segregated cycle lanes.

Councillor Judge said: “No longer should people feel that if they get on a bike they have to jostle in heavy traffic.

“It is about achieving a better balance. The more people cycle, the healthier they will be and everybody else will be better off: the roads will be less congested and the air cleaner.”

Councillor Judge added that the scheme provided an unprecedented opportunity to not only make Merton’s streets safer but also redesign town centres and neighbourhoods to make them better for residents and local businesses.

Merton is one of eight boroughs shortlisted for a share of the Mayor’s £100m programme which aims to move significant numbers of short suburban car journeys on to bikes.

Up to four boroughs will be selected with the winners being announced in February.

Bike ownership in Merton is above the London average so many people could potentially benefit from the scheme.

The project would see segregated cycle lanes installed in Wimbledon, cyclists being given priority at busy junctions, pavements repaved and widened and the introduction of Dutch roundabouts which include a cycle lane around their edge – this would be a first for a local authority in the UK.

Hartfield Road would become a two-way system, redirecting traffic around the pedestrianised Broadway while existing, underused alleyways would be rejuvenated with cycle paths to give Mitcham, Morden, Raynes Park and Colliers Wood better connections with Wimbledon and each other.

If the bid is successful, the project will be implemented over five years, although there will be public consultation and testing before any plans were introduced.

The bid has already gained cross-party support.

Councillor Oonagh Moulton, leader of the Merton Conservative Group, acknowledged that more work needed to be done if Merton’s bid was to be successful but said it was an exciting opportunity.

“This is a rare opportunity for such a substantial investment in our local transport infrastructure,” she said.

“We must all work together, including with the Mayor of London, to ensure that there is a balance in the finally agreed proposals, which recognise the needs of all residents, visitors and businesses in Merton.”

Leader of Merton Liberal Democrats, Councillor Iain Dysart, said: “The funding will mean that the council can make the roads a safer environment for our cyclists while ensuring all road users benefit from any changes that are made.”

UKIP Councillor Suzanne Evans, Leader of the Merton Coalition, said: “We would welcome the funding from the Mayor so we can see Merton become a borough that is safe for cyclists, but that also works for all road users.”

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