Merton Council and London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander have officially launched the new look Mitcham Fair Green, which has been transformed thanks to funding from the Mayor, TfL and Merton Council.
The historic London Road has been re-opened for buses and cyclists making it easier for local residents to access the area by driving footfall to the centre to support local businesses. New cycle lanes and cycle parking facilities have been built to encourage more people to reach the town centre by bike and shorter, more direct pedestrian crossings will make it easier to visit the area on foot. Bus journey times for most routes connecting through the area have been reduced as a direct result of the changes.
The historic clock tower, which was built in 1898 to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, has been relocated and restored and set within new formal gardens. The restoration of Mitcham’s much loved clock tower is one of the most iconic aspects of the project.
The overall quality of design and streetscape around Fair Green is a step-change for Mitcham and is a statement of confidence in the town centre which will spur new investment in years to come and be a place the people of Mitcham can be proud of.
Improving town centres such as Mitcham and building walking and cycling friendly infrastructure are a key part of the Mayor’s target for 80 per cent of journeys in the capital to be made by walking, cycling or public transport by 2041.
Merton Council Leader Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “We are very proud of the successful completion of the Rediscover Mitcham which has provided the town with great public spaces and improved traffic flow. Having a new bus and cycle street will increase footfall from the shops in the area, increasing their trade and improving local economy, making it a place where people want to live and visit. I would like to thank our partners TfL for their support and council’s Future Merton team for delivering a project that is ahead of its time for London, now, Mitcham has a town Centre that can be enjoyed by everyone. ”
Each year, the Mayor and TfL allocate funding between the 33 London boroughs to support transport projects in the capital. For 2018/19, an unprecedented £237 million has been budgeted for London boroughs to spend on local projects to reduce road danger, transform local environments, encourage cycling and walking and improve air quality and accessibility. Unsafe streets dominated by motor traffic are one of the main factors behind London’s inactivity crisis. This funding therefore forms a key part of the Mayor’s vision for a city with Healthy Streets which encourage active, sustainable forms of transport.
Penny Rees, TfL’s Head of Network Sponsorship, said: “Investment in our streets and public spaces is vital if we are to keep London moving and growing sustainably. Transforming local areas to make them more attractive to pedestrians, cyclists and those using public transport is a key part of our efforts to make the capital cleaner, greener and healthier. The hard work of the boroughs like Merton makes this possible and we will continue to work closely with them as we invest more money in improving neighbourhoods across the capital.”