Enhancing Putney High Street - Discussion Paper

Posted on Sep 01, 2014

A Discussion Paper prepared by the Transport Panel

Discussion paper and associated letter to Councillor Jonathan Cook

The letter from Putney Society Chair Carolyn McMillan sent on the 29th of August 2014 to Councillor Jonathan Cook, Wandsworth Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Culture and Community Safety, reads as follows:

"Dear Councillor Cook,

I attach a discussion document produced by the convenor of Putney Society’s Transport Panel, David Irwin, with an example of how Putney High Street could be transformed for the benefit of pedestrians and shoppers. You will recall that an earlier version of this document was presented at a public meeting at St Mary’s Church in January 2013 which you attended.

Putney High Street is the principal shopping centre of Putney but heavy traffic, congestion and air pollution can make the experience of people using the High Street unpleasant and stressful. David Irwin is a town planner with considerable experience. He has studied Putney High Street in depth, and he conducted a user survey last year which showed high levels of dissatisfaction with the heavy traffic and associated pollution, overcrowded narrow pavements, shabby appearance and lack of greenery. Our findings were later confirmed by a subsequent (unpublished) survey carried out by the Town Centre Visioning exercise that the Council commissioned.

Mr Irwin has looked at successful town centre transformations in other parts of the country. He proposes that the High Street between Disraeli Road and Putney Bridge Road should be made a pedestrian priority area.  The Putney Society, which has always promoted the interests of local people, considers these proposals to be just one option amongst many possibilities for improving conditions in the High Street, but we believe that they could act as a catalyst for discussion between interested parties.

Putney Bridge has been closed for a month and Putney High Street has been transformed into a much more pleasant place for pedestrians and shoppers. We have had the experience of how we would like it to be and see the closure as an opportunity for change.

We are requesting that the Council host a discussion with ourselves, TfL, Living Streets and other interested bodies on how Putney High Street might be improved, perhaps using this paper as a catalyst to generate ideas. We look forward to your reply.

Best wishes,

Carolyn McMillan PhD