Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Morden: Who on earth would want to shop in a place like this?

Morden town centre has long been an embarrassment to Merton. It's been impossible to attract major retailers  to the shop units. It must have the highest concentration of charity shops in the world.

It's not difficult to figure out why.Below you see part of the one-way system, which is 4 lanes wide at the traffic lights:
Below you see one of the dozens of crossings, accompanied by the clutter of signs that comes with a major road junction:

Below, the view looking towards the Aberconway Road junction:
Next, looking across the Aberconway Road junction. You have to cross six crossings (yes six!) to get to the shops by the bus station.

Next, the jewel in the crown: the Sainsbury's car park. There's no footway and this road is very intimidating at night. Also, it's one way, so you are not allowed to cycle down here to get to Merton Park.

Morden has been killed by bad planning. A major dual-carriageway road has been routed right through the middle of the shopping area. It's noisy, unpleasant, inconvenient and dangerous. Merton Council know this: in their words, "current traffic flow system and the location of the bus standing area dominates the town and has a negative impact on the look, feel and functionality of Morden as a centre...For pedestrians and cyclists, parts of Morden are cut off by barriers such as railway lines, poor quality pedestrian alleyways and the  Underground depot." Retailers know it as well: that's why they don't come here. Merton argue that the shop units are too small to attract national retailers, but the reality is that retailers know that shopping and traffic don't mix.

The Council have even got some ideas of how to fix Morden:
"Making London Road a bus / taxi only route (between the Civic Centre and Sainsbury’s) "
"Joining up walking and cycle routes between the parks and the town centre"

There's just two problems with this:
  1. "The road network in the town centre is owned and managed by Transport for London (TfL) Any changes to the roads will be agreed in partnership with TfL."
  2. The Council officials who have allowed Morden to decline are still in charge.
It's ridiculous to talk about "joining up cycle routes" when almost nobody cycles in Merton. People don't cycle because the cycle routes either are lousy or simply don't exist. You not allowed to cycle through Morden Park, even though it would make an ideal cycle route. The paths are already there and little-used by pedestrians. Meanwhile, the residential roads of Merton Park are cursed by rat-running traffic. It's hypocrisy for Merton Council to complain about Morden roads when it's largely their fault. They've pursued uniformly car-centric policies for decades. If they'd made a meaningful attempt to encourage people to cycle - perhaps with safe routes to school, reducing traffic levels on residential roads - nothing too radical - they could blame it on TfL. Instead they've been ignoring the wishes of cyclists, installing metal barriers on cycle routes, taking down railings that are used for cycle parking, and wasting money on useless comedy cycling projects.

The saddest thing about Morden is it is blessed with Morden Hall Park and Morden Park right next door. It should be an attractive place to live and shop. But it's cursed by the road network and by Merton's car-centric policies. Until Merton Council figure this out, it will remain a blighted backwater.

5 comments:

  1. Easily, the publish is really the greatest on this laudable topic. I concur with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your future updates. Saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantastic lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay privy of any updates. Solid work and much success in your business enterprise!
    Herbal Potpourri

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Every One Out Here
    Am from UK. This is certainly a shocking and a genuine live Testimony!!!! It was hard for me to believe when i saw a comment on the internet regarding how Dr Iyaryi help people winning lottery by sending them the winning numbers. This winning numbers are 100% guarantee that you must win the lottery. I give it a try and i won £3,000,000. My dreams came through when i email Dr Iyaryi and tell him i need the lottery numbers. i have come a long way spending money on ticket just to make sure i win. But i never know that winning was so easy until the day i meant the spell caster online which so many people has talked about that he is very great in casting lottery spell, so i decide to give it a try.I contacted this man and he did a perfect spell and he gave me the winning lottery numbers. I won (Three Millions Pounds) Dr Iyaryi truly you are the best, with these man you can win millions of money through lottery. once again i say very big thanks to you sir for helping me to win the lottery, and please sir keep your good work because people need your help in their lives Email him: driayaryi2012@hotmail.com or call him +2348056932763.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey I don't have words to describe this post. I simply want to say that absolutely informative post. It inspires me a lot. Keep posting.
    where to buy spice k2

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great work. Truly speaking I never seen a blog like that. Absolutely superb work. Good luck. Thanks for such an informative post.

    buy herbal incense online

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, absolutely fantastic blog. I am very glad to have such useful information. Thanks. Fashion Clothing

    ReplyDelete