Step out in Wimbledon

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Living Streets is delighted to be working in Wimbledon in 2012.

Changes are afoot in Wimbledon in spring 2012! Living Streets' audits found that while over half of the people using Wimbledon Station arrive on foot, walking around the centre was difficult due to the narrow pavements and busy lanes of traffic. Following our recommendations, improvements taking place include widening the pavements, better crossings, and a reduction in street clutter. There will also be more greenery and places to sit, and traffic calming measures put in place to make the area more enjoyable for people on foot. Making the area more pedestrian friendly will have a big impact on the accessibility of the town centre for people on foot.

We'll be getting everyone in Wimbledon involved, speaking to the local community to find out what they think of the new space and what other needs they have, and holding fun events and activities over the coming months. Watch this space to find out what's on, have a look at some of the projects we've been involved in below, or contact Julia Crear on julia.crear@livingstreets.org.uk.

Destination Wimbledon

The Destination Wimbledon concept developed from the outcome of a ‘Living Streets’ pedestrian audit in 2008 which identified a number of significant barriers to pedestrian movement in the area including narrow footpaths, complicated and long crossing movements, street clutter, poor public realm and signage and lack of public seating in core areas of the town centre.

The initial focus of the scheme was the area immediately outside Wimbledon railway station, which is one of the busiest non mainline stations in London but was extended to the wider town centre in advance of the 2012 games through additional funding obtained from Transport for London.

Wimbledon town centre is primarily a ribbon development running from west to east along a busy and - in places - wide through road. The main land uses are retail with offices in specific locations and a number of key buildings such as the library, station, Centre Court shopping centre and old town hall. Pedestrian and traffic flows are high particularly during the peaks.

The core principle of Destination Wimbledon was to rebalance the use of space for modes reflecting the high pedestrian flows and the role of the town as a major centre. The main measures taken to achieve this were as follows:

  • Creating new a civic square at the station forecourt
  • Significant increase pavement space for pedestrians
  • New crossing opportunities including diagonal crossing
  • Removal of street clutter
  • Upgrade street furniture, lighting and signage
  • Repaving throughout
  • Public art.

Access for All

Destination Wimbledon provides for enhanced access for people of all levels of mobility. Primarily by reducing crossing distances, increasing pavement space, reducing street
clutter and upgrading signage and seating the scheme will particularly benefit people with less mobility.

The scheme development process including meetings with blind and disabled people to better understand their real world mobility needs. The detail of these discussions was often reflected in the final design, for example in the use of tactile way finding surfaces and other use of street furniture to guide people safely through busy areas.

 

Walk the Wimbledon Way

The Wimbledon Way is a new heritage walk taking you from Wimbledon town centre, through Wimbledon Village and on to The All England LawnTennis Club and Tennis Museum. Everyone walking the 2.012km route will literally walk through some of Wimbledon’s fascinating heritage and culture.

The ambition is that all parts of the Wimbledon community will become involved in the foundation and development of The Wimbledon Way. As well as physically linking different parts of Wimbledon, we hope it will bring together different people and organisations from the community in a celebration of everything that is special about our area.

The Wimbledon Way is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to bring the story of Wimbledon's heritage alive and to involve young people, schools, communities and businesses in learning about and participating in their local heritage. The Wimbledon Way will also provide a new tourist attraction for visitors to Wimbledon.

The Wimbledon Way project will bring the story of Wimbledon's heritage alive through the use of new technologies, publicised through web sites, pod casts and promotional materials. Merton Chamber of Commerce was awarded a grant of £45,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support a tourism related project involving young people, schools and community organisations which will help people learn about and participate in their local heritage.