Campaigners claim it is just a "cash cow"
Local Liberal Democrats have hit out at the controversial bus lane on Wimbledon's Hartfield Road - which they claim only serves to generate cash through fines.
The comments were made during a visit to the area by chair of the London Assembly Transport committee, Caroline Pidgeon (see right).
She said: "Merton's Hartfield Road Bus lane seemingly only serves to generate the Council lots of cash through fines!
"Cars coming out of Graham Road onto Hartfield Road can unwittingly cross into the bus lane and be fined – residents call it 'entrapment'. There is a lack of adequate warning signs."
Dundonald Lib Dem Focus Team member Giles Bailey, a transport consultant, added: "It's about time that Merton removed the unnecessary and poorly designed bus lane on Hartfield Road. Local residents are being unfairly penalised. This bus lane catches unsuspecting drivers turning out of side streets, or drivers not able to manoeuvre quickly enough at the last minute to turn into Beulah or Graham Roads.
"This only encourages sudden and dangerous movements by drivers on the street.
"A bus lane is supposed to enable a substantial numbers of buses to move quickly along their way. The short Hartfield bus lane isn't even located in an area of traffic congestion!
"Even more oddly, a bus stop has been installed on the opposite side of the road from the bus lane, beside Morrisons. This means that routes 163 and 164 can't even use the lane".
The local Liberal Democrat team are calling for a number of improvements to the area including:
•a safe/direct pedestrian crossing between Hartfield Road and the walkway to The Broadway/Piazza;
•a better pedestrian environment, including more planting, to support the shops on the west side of Hartfield Road;
•a safe cycle lane along the west side of Hartfield Road that avoids the situation with the current bus lane, of drivers having to merge suddenly if they need to turn at Beulah Road;
•a default 20mph speed limit on residential roads, to reduce traffic speeds and ensure safer streets.
Merton Council has
previously said it re-introduced the Hartfield Road bus lane in 2011 to improve traffic congestion through Wimbledon. It re-worked the lane that was originally removed in 2009.
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May 10, 2014