Transport for London's St Margarets footbridge plans give rise safety fears

Goner? St Margarets footbridge

Goner? St Margarets footbridge

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Safety campaigners have expressed disbelief over Transport for London (TfL) proposals to remove a footbridge, near the St Margarets roundabout.

TfL plans include removing the bridge, which stands over the A316 Chertsey Road, and installation a new toucan crossing instead.

It claimed the new system would improve road use for cyclists but campaigners, including parents at close-by St Stephen's Primary, said it was a "disaster waiting to happen".

Campaigner Caroline Bond said: "This area has a very large density of young families and children and there are three schools - St Stephens, Orleans and Orleans Park - which use this as a main route.

"A consequence of changing to a traffic light operated system is the traffic will be pretty much stopped from 8.15am to 9am with children permanently crossing the road to get to school, and again in the afternoon.

"The knock-on effect to the traffic congestion in the area will be horrendous - it will be backed up all the way to Richmond Circus and all the way through St Margarets and beyond.

"I could understand this bridge being removed if it was not used but if anyone comes in the morning and afternoon and see the huge volume of people that use it every day, it is pure madness to take it down.

"This is a disaster waiting to happen, and there will be young people casualties on that road if this goes ahead."

TfL is running a consultation period with residents until July 4 and said a toucan crossing would make life easier for cyclists using the main road.

On its website, it said: "To make full use of the new toucan crossing, we propose to remove the cycle lane markings from the footway and create shared pedestrian/cycle space.

"This would allow cyclists that use the new toucan crossing facility to continue along the footway either side of the crossing without having to dismount.

"The toucan crossing would improve accessibility for everyone - all roads on this roundabout would then have accessible crossing points."

But St Margarets mother Julia Farish, 41, who uses the crossing with her two children, would not feel safe crossing the busy road.

The Ailsa Avenue resident said: "Everyone goes over the bridge as half the catchment area for St Stephen's is north St Margarets.

"I would no longer feel safe crossing that road with my children.

"A toucan crossing would lead to too many people waiting in the middle - it doesn't make sense."

To respond to TfL's survey, visit consultations.tfl.gov.uk/consultation-and-engagement/a316-st-margarets-crossing.

Comments (5)

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12:44pm Mon 23 Jun 14

helen59 says...

what they should do is to replace the footbridge - this one looks very old.
what they should do is to replace the footbridge - this one looks very old. helen59
  • Score: 2

5:22pm Mon 23 Jun 14

metis says...

The roundabout between St Margarets and the Stadium roundabout I would consider a lot more dangerous. All the roundabouts on the 316 seem to have additional traffic lights for cars. This one doesn't - it just has one for pedestrians. You approach in your car and seeing a green light, assume it is for the roundabout. Has anyone else had a close call here? It would be interesting to see the accident stats.
The roundabout between St Margarets and the Stadium roundabout I would consider a lot more dangerous. All the roundabouts on the 316 seem to have additional traffic lights for cars. This one doesn't - it just has one for pedestrians. You approach in your car and seeing a green light, assume it is for the roundabout. Has anyone else had a close call here? It would be interesting to see the accident stats. metis
  • Score: 6

6:06pm Mon 23 Jun 14

Concerned_Resident says...

Make it safer for cyclists? More like make it safer for TFL's wallet. Isn't there a cycle lane on the pavement here anyway? Don't cyclists hate having to stop at lights too because it wears them out, getting back up to speed? Doesn't accelerating all the time burn more fuel and cause more pollution?

They have talked about doing this in a couple of locations between Twickenham Stadium and Whitton School recently too. What lunacy, having crossings like this in the middle of a main arterial road! Scatter a few of these here and there down the A316 and people won't get anywhere.

It might save TfL money but what about the money it costs us and businesses in lost time getting to places?
Make it safer for cyclists? More like make it safer for TFL's wallet. Isn't there a cycle lane on the pavement here anyway? Don't cyclists hate having to stop at lights too because it wears them out, getting back up to speed? Doesn't accelerating all the time burn more fuel and cause more pollution? They have talked about doing this in a couple of locations between Twickenham Stadium and Whitton School recently too. What lunacy, having crossings like this in the middle of a main arterial road! Scatter a few of these here and there down the A316 and people won't get anywhere. It might save TfL money but what about the money it costs us and businesses in lost time getting to places? Concerned_Resident
  • Score: 8

9:24pm Mon 23 Jun 14

lucullus says...

Given how people feel about the bridge, it'd be better for TfL to have both bridge and toucan crossing. The bridge doesn't serve cycling, pushchairs or wheelchairs right now, although you'd hope TfL would plan to do something to calm traffic at the junction as well.
Given how people feel about the bridge, it'd be better for TfL to have both bridge and toucan crossing. The bridge doesn't serve cycling, pushchairs or wheelchairs right now, although you'd hope TfL would plan to do something to calm traffic at the junction as well. lucullus
  • Score: -3

12:30am Tue 24 Jun 14

Ludovic says...

I've never, ever, seen seen anyone using it. A toucan would be better.
I've never, ever, seen seen anyone using it. A toucan would be better. Ludovic
  • Score: -9

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