On a beautiful, sunny afternoon a new £2.6m public space around Clapham Old Town was officially opened on Friday.
Clapham Labour worked hard Lambeth Council and Transport for London, in collaboration with local residents – to design the new town square, which includes wide step-free pavements with new zebra crossings, cycle paths and cycle stands, extensive landscaping with over 100 trees planted and new public seating.
Clapham Town councillor Nigel Haselden said:
“We’re really excited about the new Clapham Old Town.
“The design has been shaped by Clapham residents, who have worked closely with the council and TfL to bring about a more attractive, user-friendly Clapham.
“New cycle lanes and bus stops, along with wider footways, improved crossings and a smoother flow of traffic, will make the area a lot safer for pedestrians and cyclists and the new public space will be a really pleasant place to spend time.
“A great deal of work has gone into this project and we’re delighted to officially launch the new Clapham Old Town."
The new spaces are designed to link Clapham’s homes, businesses and the green space of Clapham Common in a more user-friendly way. It was funded through a core grant from TfL, together with Section 106 payments agreed by Lambeth Council with developers. Extensive public consultations took place throughout 2011 and 2012 before work began.
The crowd were entertained by including singers, dancers, stilt walkers and jazz bands. Council Leader Lib Peck and local celebrity Doon Mackichan made speeches.
After Cllr Wellbelove planted a tree in the middle of the square, the cutting of the tape – uniquely – was done by wrapping the crowd in tape, with twenty children from local schools cutting it to symbolise the community taking possession of their new square.