Is Sutton in London or Surrey?

Sutton is a London borough but whether residents agree with its official status is another matter.In 1965 Sutton had its historical ties with Surrey cut as it transitioned to become part of the UK’s capital.It shares borders with Kingston, Merton and Croydon, falls within London’s fare zone 5 and is inside the Metropolitan Police Service force area.

Located in south west London, Sutton is around 11 miles from the city centre and less than three miles from the nearest Surrey town, Banstead.But despite its 55-year-old divorce with our county, residents remain very divided on the matter.We spoke to 30 Sutton people about the identity question and the majority told us they disagreed with the London borough status – for them, Sutton is in Surrey.

Sutton Station ‘one of the big ones’-In total, 14 people we chatted to said Sutton was in London, not Surrey.One of those was 26-year-old Kingsley Browne, who has lived in Sutton since he was at school.He said: “I would say it’s London. When you write your address it’s Sutton, Surrey and then Greater London. But whenever I think Sutton, it’s the London Borough of Sutton.

“Although there aren’t tubes and things like that, Sutton Station is one of the big ones. It goes from here, Wimbledon and then all the way through to London.”It might not be one of the big tube stations. But with the overground, my sister uses it to get from there, to Wimbledon, and then all the way to Battersea.

“And now they have built the hotel behind, which is going to attract more tourists, which is what London is all about.”Frederick Kellaway, 89, agreed. “It’s London. I think we are more connected with London than we are with Surrey. Surrey we don’t have much to do with now,” he said.

For some residents it was about identity and those who had previously lived in London liked to think of Sutton as a London suburb too.Another woman we spoke to said Sutton was more like London because “it’s got more diversity, which I like”.

‘It’s countryside here’-But 16 people we surveyed said they felt Sutton was actually in Surrey.One woman who often goes to central London went so far as saying “it’s countryside here [in Sutton]”.

Another resident, Janet Marks, has lived in Sutton since she was eight. The 58-year-old said she hadn’t really thought about it before, but if push comes to shove she’ll vote Surrey.She said: “I would say it’s definitely more Surrey than London. But I’m not really bothered.”If people ask you where you live you say Surrey, not the London Borough of Sutton. I’d always say Surrey.”

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This picture shows Ranmore common in Dorking, Surrey, on the left and the London skyline on the right 

The reasons why Surrey is so much better than London-Ms Marks said the plan to bring a tram route and improved transport links through Sutton would make it feel more like London.

She has also noted a lot of development near the train station to better connect the borough to the city.”The amount of flats they have built, I can’t believe it when I go past on the train. And you don’t realise how huge these blocks are that they’re building up there.”They’re building them by the station too, so people can get from there to central London. It’s a quick service and that’s what people want.”

Another resident was more certain. Mariana Radu has lived in Sutton for four years.Ann Beach has lived in Sutton since 1981 and feels she lives in Surrey.The 40-year-old said: “For me, it’s definitely not London. It’s outside London.Ann Beach, 70, has lived in Sutton since 1981 and said the quieter atmosphere makes her feel like she lives in Surrey, not London.

She said: “For me it’s still Surrey. We are a London borough but the hustle and bustle of London is not here. It’s still a little bit slower down here.”But we have such good connections to London. There’s trains, buses, you name it and we can get there quite quickly.”

So is Sutton in Surrey or London?-Drawing from our 30 responses, Surrey was the chosen one.

In total 16 people said they felt Sutton was in Surrey, whereas 14 said London.But from our – ahem – rigorous research, the closeness of the results reveal there is mixed opinion on the matter, and it looks as though the debate is here to stay.

What do you think?

Do you identify Sutton as a London or Surrey neighbourhood?Which other towns close to Surrey have a disputed identity?We’d love to hear from you, email the location and your thoughts to

Special Thanks to Get Surrey for their Article-

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