Trial cycle paths removed in Sutton town centre

Sutton Council has removed the pop-up cycle lanes in Throwley Way and St Nicholas Way, reinstating the traffic lanes for use by motor vehicles.

The trial measures were launched in September 2020 to create a dedicated space for people to cycle and provide a safer, active, greener travel alternative to the car for journeys to Sutton town centre as the first lockdown restrictions were relaxed.

But according to the council, recent traffic survey data and consultation feedback have highlighted that the trial “has not achieved its objectives”, with the number of cyclists reportedly not growing and car use returning to pre-lockdown levels.

The cycle lanes were part of Transport for London’s capital-wide Streetspace programme to protect public health by creating space for social distancing. Streetspace measures also encourage active travel transport choices, such as walking and cycling, due to the ongoing reduced public transport capacity.

The decision to remove the cycle lanes was taken under delegated powers by officers based on traffic survey results and responses to the council consultation on the cycle lanes, the council said.

Councillor Manuel Abellan, chair of the Council’s Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee, said: “Thank you to everyone who took the time to provide us with feedback on this trial scheme in Sutton Town Centre.

“The council has listened and, as we have said since the start, will remove any schemes that are not working. We will now be taking out the cycle paths in St Nicholas and Throwley Way due to the low number of users and restoring the previous traffic lanes.

“The trial has provided useful information though and the council remains committed to its ambitious plans to get more Sutton residents walking and cycling rather than using their cars for short journeys. This will also help our response to the climate emergency.

“We will continue to look for new ways to make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to access Sutton high street as part of our exciting plans to regenerate Sutton town centre in the coming years.”

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