Planners say a new-look road layout will make a suburb safer and give it a better sense of community.

The Heart of Hackbridge Project altered the road layout at the junction of London Road and Hackbridge Road in a number of ways including the addition of a new 'roundle' junction, widened pavements, a narrowed road, six new courtesy crossings and cosmetic improvements like improved shop signs, LED lighting and more.

A timelapse of the project put together by filmmaker Steven Silverwood

Council planners say the project will provide multiple services, as well as slowing traffic down to make the area safer for both pedestrians and drivers, it has widened the pavements to provide space for events like the new farmers' market and has given Hackbridge a district centre.

The project has been based around the junction of London Road and Hackbridge Road. The old system with zebra crossings has been replaced with a 'roundle', which is like a mini-roundabout but without lines to indicate the junction. The purpose of the roundle is to make drivers slow to think about what they need to do.

This, combined with a narrower road, planners hope will cause drivers to behave more safely as they pass through.

The old zebra crossings have been replaced with six courtesy crossings that encourage pedestrians to make eye contact with drivers who, in turn, will slow down and let them across.

Sally Blomfield, area renewal programme manager for Sutton Council, said: "The residents of Hackbridge felt there was no central focus to the area, it was just somewhere people drove through.

"This has been a resident-led scheme in terms of its design. There have been three consultations at different stages so people in the area really have been given the chance to shape it.

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A mother and son use one of the new crossings

"It's been designed with the Department for Transport using a model they've used elsewhere. Clutter has been removed, the road has been raised to pavement level and the aim is to encourage pedestrians to feel ownership of the space."

Traffic speeds through the junction have been severely reduced although some users have said they find the new layout confusing as there are no signs or road markings to tell people who has right of way.

The project also included paying for shops to get new fronts, improvements to buildings and new 'rain gardens' - areas of planting that feature reeds that will survive on dirty water that runs off the road and flowers that will survive on the cleaner water that gets past the reeds.

Funding for the project came from the Greater London Authority, Sutton Council and several other sources.