Surbiton is a small borough in the South-West of London just South of Kingston-Upon-Thames. It has a population of nearly 170,000 people and has been at the centre of suburbanisation for many years now. Much of the growth is form the centre of London Timeline 1830 – Train line between London and Southampton was built which ran near Surbiton. 1837 till 1952 – The population of Surbiton grew from 200 to 2800. 1887 – At this point the population was at just above 10000. 1930 – A large amount of houses were built along in the centre of the village that were large houses and a series of smaller houses were built going towards the River Thames increasing the population size further. 1950s/1960s – A lot more schools were opened along with the building of council houses and apartments. 1970s – Many conservation areas were built to try and keep the balance between the new houses and the old natural areas of land. 1971 – The population of the borough is about 140000.
2011 – The population of Surbiton is now at 160000.
People move to Surbiton as it has great transport links for getting into the centre of London, so the town is popular with commuters. The fastest trains reach London Waterloo in just under 20 minutes. One of the main roads into London is also situated very nearby. There is also a great variety of housing in the town ranging right form large privately owned houses to apartment buildings. The area itself is a fairly wealthy one as well, with plenty of shops and restaurants. Surbiton also has a series of very good state schools and a number of parks and recreational facilities so it is popular with families. Some of the reasons for people moving to Surbiton before the 21st century was because of the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate in London was significantly lower (8.6%) than it was in many other parts of the country such as South Shields (44.2%).
Due to the easy route into London via cars and other vehicles around 70% of the households in Surbiton have at least one car between them. This means that there are as large amount of cars on the roads as well as parked on the sides of roads. This causes a lot of congestion at peak times and larger vehicles such as buses and lorries cannot pass through. Surbiton is in London travel zone 6 (zone 1 is centre of London and zone 6 covers the edge of London), which means that train fares are quite expensive.
This means that many people (40% of Surbiton) choose to drive to work and this in turn increases the amount of traffic on the roads and increases pollution along the roads connecting to the A3 (main road into London). The house prices are quite high in Surbiton, the average selling price in Surbiton in 2012 was £406,000 compared to the national average of £226,000. This makes in increasingly difficult for people on lower incomes to move to the area which could lead to economic segregation (people with high incomes living in different areas to those with a lower income). Another problem that was a recurring theme in the 1930’s was that people were becoming extremely ill as they couldn’t afford medical attention because of the prices they were paying for their houses along with their food and other essentials. Management of the problems
‘The improvement strategy for Surbiton town centre’ was launched in the autumn of 2009. The strategy involved widening a number of roads in the town, building a new access road to the station, having set delivery times for shops so roads didn’t get congested as badly and delivery bays could become parking spaces at other times. These changes are proposed to make the town’s congestion problem a load better.
There is also a campaign to get Surbiton to be reclassified in London travel zone 5 which would reduce ticket prices for commuters. A number of secure bicycle racks are being put in at the train station to encourage people to cycle to the station instead of driving. There is also a plan to put in a number of pedestrian crossings in the busiest parts of the town to encourage people to walk rather than drive around. The Surbiton neighbourhood committee has been set up so that residents can make decisions about traffic management in Surbiton.