New greenery in Putney High Street

Published: Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Residents and visitors to Putney High Street will have noticed a new feature to appear over the weekend with the arrival of new trees, plants and shrubs in a series of planters.

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The introduction of planters on the newly widened pavement near the junction with Putney Bridge Road is just the latest element of a £4m project to improve the high street by improving air quality and making it a more pleasant destination for visitors and shoppers.

Planters are being used for the new trees and shrubs because of the many different utility pipes and cables that run just underneath pavements in the high street.

Improvements already introduced in the high street include:

• Widening and repaving the eastern side of the pavement between Disraeli Road and Putney Bridge Road.
• Improving pedestrian safety by providing ‘Copenhagen Crossings’ at side streets.
• Repaving the area outside the railway station.
• Constructing a loading bay outside Tesco to prevent delivery vehicles blocking the road.
• Introducing a 20mph speed limit
• Installing ‘parklets’.
• Upgrading and modernising street lights.
• Uplighting St Mary’s church and Putney Bridge.
• Providing more cycle parking, including two-tier stands with space for dozens of bikes on Disraeli Road plus installing cycle contraflows in Disraeli Road and Felsham Road.
• Installing a ‘city tree’ that filters air and removes pollutants.
• Decluttering by removing unnecessary signs and railings and upgrading street furniture.

Funding for all these works has come from council budgets, with contributions from the Putney BID and also a grant from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund. The council applied for this funding to help revitalise the town centre and help it overcome the challenges of vacant retail space, traffic congestion and air quality.

The next phase of works which have been part funded by a new £1.058m Government grant will include redesigning the Lower Richmond Road junction – to improve pedestrian and cycle flows through the junction and between the high street and the riverside with increased priority and crossing facilities. This includes reducing the number of signalised pedestrian crossing stages and traffic islands to make the crossing simpler and easier to navigate.

Changes at this junction will also look to incorporate improvements for cyclists particularly those turning left from Lower Richmond Road onto Putney Bridge, as well as on the bridge itself. Further investigations will also be carried out to explore opportunities to create quieter and safer routes north and south so cyclists can avoid the busy high street.

Other measures include utilising Thames Tideway legacy work to connect the High Street to the River Thames more directly and enhance existing waterfront areas and lobbying TfL to simplify the busy junction of Putney High Street/Upper Richmond Road to make it safer.

The council has also begun upgrading pavements on the western side of the high street between The Upper Richmond Road and Felsham Road, incorporating a new pedestrian safety measure at the junction with Norroy Road.

Transport spokesman Cllr John Locker said: “The arrival of these attractive planters and the trees and shrubs they contain have added some welcome greenery to the high street.

The other changes that have already been completed have also had a hugely positive effect on the high street by improving the physical and visual environment and helping to improve air quality.

“Our aim is to make the high street cleaner, greener and safer by tackling congestion and encouraging alternative forms of travel and we have been helped in pursuing these goals by the many local people, businesses and stakeholders who have shared their ideas with us and shown great support and enthusiasm in helping us deliver this landmark project.”