We are in the middle of the second phase of the Rediscover Mitcham consultation.
Merton Council is asking people what they think of a whole raft of possible changes to the Fair Green area. A consultation document has been sent to all 22,000 homes in the CR4 postcode.
We welcome the activity we’ve seen so far to help regenerate Mitcham town centre. In particular we are very positive about efforts to reinvigorate the market and support shops and other local businesses that’s happening through the OneMitcham project. Visit OneMitcham on the web and on Facebook to learn more about what the project is doing.
However we have major concerns about one of central proposals that Merton Council seems very keen to push through as part of its plans.
The Council wants to build a road dedicated to buses (and usable by cyclists) through the centre of Fair Green. It says this will mean 5,000 to 6,000 extra pedestrian trips per day will be made into the Fair Green area.
We have done some research on these figures. Among the things we’ve discovered are:
- The figures are in most cases four years old
- The figures include both people boarding and leaving buses with more than half leaving Mitcham by bus. We wonder how much this can really be claimed as ‘extra’ pedestrian trips
Please read our full report on the Mitcham Buses proposal.
We don’t doubt that Fair Green needs people visiting it in order to help it be more successful. But we think improving the range of shops and market stalls, and enhancing the open, car free aspect of Fair Green is the way forward.
We’ve heard plenty of people say Fair Green will be much less pleasant with a road through it, and very few have told us they want a bus street. Add to that the fact that we don’t think the figures stack up, and we can’t support the idea.
We support the Mitcham Society’s campaign against the buses.
You might like to read a leaflet the Mitcham Society produced in April when the first Rediscover Mitcham consultation was taking place. In it the Mitcham Society explains that the road would bring up to 90 buses an hour into the Fair Green and that its own survey of local businesses showed a massive 80 percent were against the idea.
You might like to go to the Council web site to see the Rediscover Mitcham consultation document and complete the survey so that your view gets counted.