Pedestrianisation Proposal Made for Werter Road
Campaign group wants to close western end near the High Street
A proposal is being made by Wandsworth Living Streets for the pedestrianisation of part of a road near Putney High Street.
The plan would be close the western end of Werter Road, from the entrance to Sainsbury's basement car park to the High Street, to all traffic (except Sainsbury's deliveries, emergency vehicles and bicycles).
Werter Road is currently a one way road but under the plan it would have to be re-instated as two way, from its junction with Oxford Road up to the entrance of the car park.
It is proposed to replace the existing road surface with a durable pavement material that extends for the full width of the road, including the sidewalk adjacent to Sainsbury’s, from the exit of the basement car park to the High Street.
Raised plant beds, trees and other green features as well as seating and ornamental lamp stands would be placed within this area and the nine parking spaces within this new civic space would be removed. The central traffic island near the Sainsbury’s car park entrance would be removed and two disabled parking spaces and a loading bay would be added outside the Baptist Church.
Ongoing road works at the junction of Werter Road with the High Street have temporarily closed the western end and which it is claimed demonstrates that two way traffic is possible without undue problems.
The proponents of the scheme believe this would give people an area to sit and relax away from the polluted, vehicle dominated environment of the High Street.
Wandsworth Living Streets says, “A pedestrian priority area, in a central position along the High Street, could create a focal point, bring people back to Putney and help to reverse this decline. It could contain seating, landscaped planting, al fresco dining, street markets and other outdoor events, all within a location that already enjoys significant footfall due to Sainsbury's and the Community Church opposite. There is ample evidence to support this, including last summer in our own borough when Northcote Road and Old York Road were closed to allow al fresco dining.”
Campaigners say that most people responded positively to the scheme when they carried out a survey around the site on Saturday 20 March.
However, many residents of Werter Road are unhappy about the proposal saying that claims about the level of rat-running on the road are exaggerated and that two-way operation is impractical particularly with the number of delivery vans that use the road.
A report was written in opposition to the proposal which those against the scheme say the overwhelming majority of Werter Road have endorsed. The Putney Society are also not supporting the idea.
Further details of the proposal may be seen at wandsworthlivingstreets.org.uk and an online petition has been set up which you can sign by clicking here.
A spokesperson for Wandsworth Council said, “The council is currently undertaking a significant programme of environmental improvement works along the high street worth in excess of £4m to improve conditions for residents, visitors, shoppers and businesses which also include steps to improve air quality. Further details can be read here .
"We have no plans at present to pedestrianise parts of Werter Road which was investigated previously and not supported by local residents but we are happy to liaise with them if opinions have changed.”
April 2, 2021