STOP RAT RUNNING
THROUGH
ABBEY ROAD
NEIGHBOURHOOD

Options to Consider

Many of us will be familiar with Active Travel Neighbourhoods (Also known as Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – LTNs) with all of the residential roads on the North side of the high street having already been turned into them. 

A ATN is a residential area, bordered by main roads (the places where buses, lorries, non-local traffic should be), where “through” motor vehicle traffic is discouraged or removed. Strategic road closures (like bollards or planters) prevent through traffic. Every street is still accessible by vehicle.

There are many ways to design a low traffic neighbourhood, but the main principle is that every resident can drive onto their street, get deliveries etc., but it’s harder or not possible to drive straight through from one main road to the next.

A neighbourhood ATN would likely add restrictions to Abbey Road, Mill Road and Pincott Road an ATN stopping vehicular access between Merantun Way (A24) and Merton High Street.

This would:

  • Improve the air and noise quality, road danger to school children and reducing climate impact, while improving the lived experience for all residents and encouraging healthier modes of transport.
  • Address all issues outlined (air pollution, noise pollution, danger to school children & the community, and risk to road and resident’s parking).
  • Northbound traffic pushed onto A219 Morden Road which is a big road with multiple traffic lights, better able to absorb the traffic.

It may cause slightly longer journey times for some residents going from Station Road to Merton high street, however for many people, this inconvenience of a few minutes is a price worth paying to have a quieter and safer neighbourhood and cleaner air.

A picture looking at Victory Roads LTN
Victory Road and the other battles roads are setup as Low Traffic Neighbourhoods to huge success at stopping cut through traffic

Convert Abbey Road into a ‘one way’ (Northbound/Southbound) from its junction with Merton High Street to its junction with High Path. And convert Mill Road into a ‘one way’ (in the same direction) from its junction with Mill Road to Merton High Street. This would run in the opposite direction to Pincott Road which is currently one way.
This would reduce issues caused by two-way traffic (some noise pollution) and less grid lock caused by passing cars, only southbound traffic within the area would be re-distributed onto Pincott Road, and traffic flow on Mill Road would be significantly reduced.
However, this would not remove majority of the traffic within the area, or entirely resolve issues of air pollution, safety to children or risk to road and resident’s cars.

Pincott Road, 1 way South bound has successfully limited cut through traffic but has pushed it onto Abbey Road
An example of one way restrictions on previously two way streets down Tooting Road to stop high street traffic cutting through residential areas

This solution is based upon the successful roll out by Hammersmith & Fulham Council in south Fulham which changed opinion from 87% opposed to a 91% approval rate. The use of automatic numberplate recognition cameras to recognise non registered residents cars cut traffic by 75% while retaining access for residents. 

This solution unlike the LTN avoids the use of bollards of planters and allows residential traffic to move unimpeded while blocking rat runners.

Permitted through traffic:

  • All vehicles registered to a residents address 
  • Emergency vehicles
  • Public service vehicles
  • Taxis
  • Essential services
  • Residents’ visitors (with a guest permit)

Prohibited through traffic:

  • Vehicles registered to an address outside of the High Path estate and nearby roads
  • Vehicles registered to a Merton address which exceed weight restrictions 

Cameras would identify prohibited traffic by ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras, and the system would issue the registered driver with a penalty charge notice.

Obtaining a guest permit

Residents of Abbey Roads and neighbours would be able to obtain daily guest permits for their visitors’ vehicles by using RingGo. These permits would be free of charge. Also, any resident buying a visitor parking permit would automatically have a guest ‘through traffic’ permit issued as well as part of the same process.

Parking

There would be no change to existing parking arrangements. These would be completely unaffected by our proposal.

Having peak time restrictions applied in a similar approach to the ANPR model for resident only access but limiting access between 7am – 10am and 4pm – 7pm each day when traffic due to school collections and end of work day results in backlogged vehicles up the high street – 

Garfield Road in the local area with a School street and restricted access during peak times 

A large amount of traffic heading Southbound on Abbey Road is from drivers cutting across from Haydons Road to get to Merantun Way (A24). Additionally to reduce cut through further a no right turn could also be applied to the A24 (Merantun Way). 

This would be a smaller restriction and have a smaller impact but would go someway to resolving traffic flows.

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