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Traders welcome 'green' Tolworth Broadway plans
A revamped Tolworth Broadway with a green walkway down the middle of a busy road could begin within six months, if approved.
The project involves unpopular central barriers being torn down and replaced with 500 metres of grass and several shades of plastic ‘greenway’ stretching from Tolworth station to the A3 roundabout in Kingston Road.
The plans also include an extension to the footbridge over the A3 roundabout, giving pedestrians an alternative to the subway.
If the project is rubber-stamped at a borough neighbourhood committee meeting next month, work will begin in early April and should be completed in time for next year’s Olympics.
Kingston Council said the £2.6m scheme, partly funded from the Mayor of London's Great Outdoors Initiative, prioritises cyclist over cars and will allow pedestrians to cross anywhere along the road.
Traders have cautiously welcomed regeneration on the High Street, but raised concerns over safety.
Lianne Witham, 42, who works at Re: Fresh Books and Christian Resources in The Broadway, Tolworth, said: “Any attempt to get rid of railings could potentially be good for trade and obviously for jay walkers.
"I am not really sure how safe it will be trying to cross with cars whizzing past trying to get on the A3, but we will have to see how it works out.
"Anything that can be done to encourage people to come here is good."
Kingston Council plans to introduce a 20 mph speed limit around the Broadway when the greenway is completed, which they insist will not cause traffic jams for motorists trying to get on to the A3.
Transport chief Roy Thompson, who is directing the project, said: “The traffic impact has been tested vigorously through traffic modelling and simulations - even by external groups.
"There have been audits and checks, Transport For London would not have signed the scheme off if it was not totally safe and right for the area.
“Putting money here will make it a lot nicer and perhaps people will start to think: ‘It’s not so bad in Tolworth, I might just pop over to the Marks and Spencer there’.
“This part of the borough often feels very left out so the greenway is an opportunity to regenerate it.”
Public exhibitions showcasing plans for the greenway are currently on display at the Hook Centre and Tolworth Library until November 25.
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