‘Accident hotspot’ to be overhauled after at least five collisions

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A South London ‘accident hotspot’ will undergo major changes to improve its safety after a history of collisions. Wandsworth Council will overhaul the junction of Mitcham Lane and Southcroft Road in Furzedown after revealing it has seen at least five collisions in recent years.

The council said proposals it put forward in September will go ahead after residents and businesses called for action to be taken at the ‘accident hotspot’. The main changes will see the existing mini-roundabout at the junction replaced with a traffic signal-controlled junction, which will have new push button pedestrian crossings on each arm and advance stop lines for cyclists.

Residents previously told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) they welcomed the proposals as they said the ‘dangerous’ junction is plagued by speeding and drivers not stopping for pedestrians at the zebra crossing, which sits very close to the mini-roundabout. Nadim Iqbal, 54, said there had been ‘many accidents’ at the busy junction and described the mini-roundabout as ‘terrible’.

Mr Iqbal raised concerns about drivers speeding while using the junction and failing to indicate, along with their ability to see the zebra crossing. When it starts to get dark in the evenings, he said, drivers ‘can’t see or don’t want to stop, they can’t see the zebra crossing and it’s becoming very dangerous’.

Huseyin Cavuslar, 50, who works at takeaway Mitcham’s Plaice on Mitcham Lane, said the junction is the ‘only problem’ in the area and that he is aware of ‘a few’ collisions that have taken place there.

He said: “At the roundabout there is no safety because people coming from Mitcham are zooming down.” He added: “The roundabout is causing a lot of problems for people because nobody is using it correctly.”

Mohammed Qasin, 33, who works at Simply Beds on Mitcham Lane, also said he regularly sees accidents at the junction as he welcomed the council’s proposals to change it. He raised concerns about the safety of the layout of the junction with the number of elderly people and schoolkids in the area, adding: “Schoolkids are coming to the zebra crossing, at the zebra crossing people don’t stop.”

The council will also install new replacement short-term parking and loading bays on Edencourt Road, Kettering Street and Fallsbrook Road, along with upgrading the pavement outside the shops on both sides of Mitcham Lane between Fallsbrook Road and Edencourt Road.

Once the new arrangements are in place the council will undertake further traffic surveys to review any potential displacement and also carry out air quality monitoring to assess the impact of the changes.

Labour councillor Jenny Yates, cabinet member for transport said: “This junction has a chequered history of collisions in recent years and we need to do something about it. This was the message that came through loud and clear in the public consultation we held last year. Local people and businesses wanted action taken to improve safety at this location.

“As a result we’re implementing changes we believe will make it a lot safer for people whatever form of transport they’re using. And as part of this project we will be laying new pavements and implementing other public realm improvements at the nearby shopping parade which we hope will make the area more attractive and welcoming and boost trade for these local businesses.”

The installation of the new traffic signals at the junction begins today (May 13). The council will carry out traffic surveys and air quality monitoring once it has completed the scheme to assess the impact of the changes.

Image one: Huseyin Cavuslar, 50, at Mitcham’s Plaice at 266 Mitcham Lane.

 Image two: The junction of Mitcham Lane and Southcroft Road, Furzedown.

Image three: Nadim Iqbal, 54, by the junction of Mitcham Lane and Southcroft Road, Furzedown. Credits: Charlotte Lillywhite/LDRS


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