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Hundred-strong ‘Busgate’ protest forces rethink on traffic schemes

Hundred-strong ‘Busgate’ protest forces rethink on traffic schemes

A chorus of Save our Streets could be heard outside Glenmore House last night (Tuesday) before a hundred people, some with placards, crammed into the Surbiton Neighbourhood Committee to voice their concerns about a number of traffic schemes proposed for the Ellerton Road area. “We just wanted our voices to be heard,” said Ellerton Road

A chorus of Save our Streets could be heard outside Glenmore House last night (Tuesday) before a hundred people, some with placards, crammed into the Surbiton Neighbourhood Committee to voice their concerns about a number of traffic schemes proposed for the Ellerton Road area.

“We just wanted our voices to be heard,” said Ellerton Road resident Natasha Olaniyan, who had helped rally the troops.

After impassioned speeches and pleas from representatives of various roads including Ellerton, Cotterill, Douglas, Thornhill, Tolworth, Red Lion Road and Fullers Avenue, who said they had been given little or no time to discuss the schemes, councillors debated various proposals.

These included, among others, the preferred option of a bus gate in Thornhill Road with the junction of Cotterill and Dennan Road blocked off, the removal of the seven-month old barrier at the junction of Red Lion Road and Tolworth Road, and stopping vehicles from turning left into Thornhill, Tankerton, Tolworth Park Road and Ravenscar Road during peak hours.

In the end, the council was forced to hit the pause button. After a recommendation from Alexandra ward councillor Ian Manders, portfolio holder for climate action and sustainable transport, they decided the best plan was to stop vehicles coming off the A3 at the junction with Fullers Way North – an option which the committee tasked highways officers to actively pursue with TfL which is responsible for the trunk road.

To a loud round of applause, Cllr Ian Manders said: “I don’t want penny packet solutions, I want whole area solutions. I also think there is another opportunity here for us to look at an additional solution which is basically to stop traffic turning off the A3 into Fullers Way North and proceeding north after that.”

He said the council should push TfL to close the left turn into Fullers Way North under an experimental traffic order.

“I want to make sure they get all the evidence and also that we will go to TfL and do our best to persuade them. In the end, what are they there for? They are also there to find traffic solutions for our area; that is the whole purpose of them.

“I want to have a simple solution, a wide solution, and I want to have a solution that is viable and doesn’t push traffic onto other areas.”

A monitoring group made up of road representatives inputting their ideas would give feedback to borough engineer Younes Hamade who would report back to the committee in September. Residents would also be able to make their views known on Kingston Council’s Let’s Talk portal.

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