TfL’s £28m tram loop that benefits no one but Westfield

CROYDON COMMENTARY: VALERIE HUNTER has been digging into Transport for London’s documents on its plans to impose a new loop of tram track around the town centre. And she’s found the scheme is not all that the City Hall transport wonks would have us believe

Changes to the trams on Wellesley Road seem certain to inconvenience other public transport users

Transport for London’s “modelling” and “forecasting tools” indicate that the design of the Wellesley Road-Lansdowne Road junction for the proposed tram loop improves bus journey times, and a “beneficial impact on bus journey times” is a key advantage of the scheme, they say.

TfL wants to spend £28million of our money to create an additional loop of track down Dingwall Road at East Croydon. Many of us suspect it is money being spent at the insistence of Westfield, the shopping centre developers, for no other reason than to make it easier for shoppers, if the mall ever gets built, to drive their cars into Westfield’s mammoth-sized car park.

The proposed tram loop may be many things, but it is not an improvement for bus users. Continue reading

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Giant Priest rewards Warlingham for their faith with a try

New hopes for a new season: Warlingham, in the pale blue and white hoops, got their season underway with a win at Hamsey Green on Saturday

RUGBY ROUND-UP: Warlingham had gone more than a year without a league victory. So long, in fact, that they risked becoming a quiz question on Pointless.

But after the batterings suffered last season, the Hamsey Green club has started the new term in London 3SW with a great deal more confidence, and last Saturday they saw off the challenge of visitors Petersfield 22-17.

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Celebrating Age event, Barrow Road, Oct 11

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Willow weaving workshop, Beddington Park, Oct 8

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Croydon’s leadership may be resigned to change at the top

WALTER CRONXITE, our political editor, on last night’s potentially defining meeting of the council

The body language spoke volumes.

Under pressure: council leader Tony Newman

There, sitting behind council leader Tony Newman, the Labour councillors’ heads were down, the arms folded. Facing unremitting questioning after Ofsted found that the council’s children’s services are “inadequate”, Croydon’s Labour group are not in a good place.

Julian Ellerby, the political commissar appointed on the say-so of Labour MP Steve Reed OBE to help keep Newman in check, looked agitated throughout the three hours or so of proceedings. If he wasn’t heard actually uttering the Tuckerism “clusterfuck” in the Town Hall corridors, Ellerby was sure to be thinking it. Not even the greatest of spindoctors could persuade anyone that that was a meeting that went well. And Ellerby’s barely in the Vanarama National League when it comes to spindoctoring.

Alisa Flemming emerged from the evening as the cabinet member for apologies, and an apology of a cabinet member. Supposedly with overview of the council’s work in children’s services, Flemming, the Upper Norwood councillor, has failed to impress in her three years as a cabinet member. Last night demonstrated why. Privately, nearly as many of her own party’s councillors as those who spoke from the opposition benches are saying it is time for her to go. Their anger is clear. Continue reading

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Non-League Day: Croydon v Bearsted, Oct 7

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Waddon Diversity Festival, St George’s, Oct 14-15

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