Cyclists, pedestrians and other local people can now take advantage of an improved and widened path through Joseph Hood Recreation Ground, just in time for summer.
The council has been working in partnership with sustainable transport charity Sustrans and Transport for London on the path, which will link Cannon Hill Lane and Whatley Avenue, and also make it easy for residents to reach other green spaces and for children to walk to school.
Merton’s new Mayor Councillor Martin Whelton will officially open the new route on 10 June and pupils from Joseph Hood Primary School will also join them for the occasion. Future plans for the Greenway scheme – which involves creating paths away from busy roads – include developing the Joseph Hood route into a link between Wimbledon Town Centre and Morden Park.
Merton Council cabinet member for planning and traffic management Councillor William Brierly said: ‘The Greenway scheme is part of our plans to put our residents first by creating a network of paths linking up the different parts of the borough.
‘We are creating new paths, improving old ones and turning these areas into places where people who feel vulnerable travelling beside busy roads, for example wheelchair users, will feel secure. They will also be safe routes where children will be able to learn to ride their bikes and walk to school. Hopefully the network will also encourage adults to leave their cars at home and get fit as well.’
Sustrans’ Tom Sharland said: ‘The Southwest London Greenways network will eventually connect local residents with parks and green spaces, schools, places of work and local amenities right across five south London boroughs.
‘The main aim of the network is to increase walking and cycling levels among local residents, providing a daily, practical alternative to the car. The traffic free sections of the network offer a fantastic opportunity for new and returning cyclists to get back on their bikes!
‘Sustrans looks forward to working with the local borough to further develop the network within Merton in future years.’