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Grand Drive - Zoom Meeting with Council Officers

FACT: A recent survey showed that Grand Drive is used by an average of 11,000 vehicles per day. The details can be accessed on: https://tinyurl.com/yckmy6eu. 

GD residents have to contend with huge lorries illegally using the road as early as 5am.  The vibrations cause cracks in their properties and damage to pavements and the road surface. Over the past few years the volume of traffic has increased and the pollution levels have risen.  There is also an increased safety factor for pedestrians and cyclists. 

On the last day of January, theRPWBRA held an extra committee Zoom meeting to raise the issue with council officials. RPWBRA Committee Members John Elvidge, John Townsend, Michael Marks, Clare Townsend, Dick Coleman, Jerry Cuthbert & Mary-Jane Jeanes joined with Grand Drive representatives Demetri Anastasiou, James Bushell, Lucy Bushell, Pepi Ferrari and Mark Nicholson, plus Cllr Hina Bokhari, with the intention of finding solutions through discussion with Chris Lee, Director of Environment and Regeneration and Paul McGarry, Head of Future Merton. 

Representatives from the traffic police and London Lorry Control Scheme (LLCS) offered useful information but were unable to attend. 

Demetri Anastasiou has written an expert summary of the GD problems (Click here), so it was no surprise that Paul McGarry’s presentation emphasised the difficulties involved in improving matters. 

The LLCS rules that vehicles over 18 tonnes are not allowed in the zone Mon-Fri: 9.00pm - 7.00am or from 1.00pm on Saturdays to 7.00am on Mondays.  A map of the scheme can be found at https://lcspermits.com/#schememap 

However, HGV operators are not obeying the LLCS rules and all types of vehicles are often breaking the 20mph limit. Unfortunately, the LLCS has only 5 Inspectors for the whole of London. However, they have been active in the area, issuing 124 penalty notices on GD, 67 on Martin Way and 768 on Bushey Road. 

Important: a recent police speed check found that many local residents from the  roads surrounding GD were breaking the 20mph speed limit in Grand Drive. 

The road surface has been inspected by the council and is currently ranked 135th out of 1167 roads in Merton for defectiveness, so they are not saying that it is in good condition, but that there are 134 roads with priority - and as we know, there is not a lot of money available for repairs. Demetri Anastasiou  pointed out that the sheer volume and weight of traffic on GD meant that it would continue to deteriorate more quickly than other roads. Suggestions from the meeting included more speed signs painted on the road and more electronic flashing signs for speeding cars. Currently, LLCS will only put signage up at the boundaries such as this one at Tolworth,



but this should be reconsidered as GD is in the middle of a zone. 

Chris Lee will also be writing to various companies in the borough reminding them of the restrictions. There is also talk of a zebra crossing near the  GD Surgery. 

Referring to the traffic volume checks, Paul McGarry explained that the council have sensors measuring pollution and number of vehicles in each class using the road. It also counts cyclists and pedestrians. Details can be found at https://tinyurl.com/yckmy6eu.

If HGV drivers need to make a journey in the controlled zone they are able to obtain a permit. Common users of these permits are supermarkets delivering daily fresh produce. Those of us in neighbouring roads benefit from essential and non-essential deliveries and we are all part of the problems and the solutions. We need to ensure that we ourselves keep to the speed limits, report worrying incidents and work together for the safety and wellbeing of our community.

Michael Marks, Secretary RPWBRA


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