Here, spend another 200 grand and opt to do nothing

Amid all the talks of massive cuts in Croydon Council’s spending, and as the first redundancies were being made at Taberner House, here’s something to file under “you couldn’t make it up”: a £200,000 grant has been put up for an investigation of possible road improvements at Purley Cross. This will be the fifth such survey in as many years.

But Councillor Steve O’Connell is reported as saying that the result of this expensive exercise may be simply to leave things as they are.

Transport for London (TfL) has put forward the £200,000 towards the cost of consultants to look for ways to improve traffic flow at the junction of the A23 and A22.

Five sets of consultants have been tasked to untangle the jams around Tesco’s since 2005. A little basic arithmetic suggests, therefore, that we will be getting towards £1 million spent on consultants alone, without any of them yet having offered a workable solution.

According to the Purley Mail blog, it was when discussing the latest grant with Purley traders last week that O’Connell, a Conservative councillor for Kenley, uttered his dread words.

Perhaps we should not be surprised. When the latest plans for Purley Town Centre were put on display last month – apparently the result of extensive public consultation by yet another set of highly paid consultants – the reaction from the public was that very little of what they had suggested had been taken on board.

Instead, what was on offer included what is possibly the world’s most expensive load of bollards.

Looking at the Purley Mail‘s commentary, Croydon Council might save us all £200,000 just by consulting the people who live and drive around Purley every day of the week and actually implementing what they suggest.

Meanwhile, Richard Ottaway, the local MP, remains silent on the issue.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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