Victory for pedestrians as Waddon crossing is saved

Inside Croydon can claim another campaigning victory, with the decision announced this week by Transport for London to retain the pedestrian crossing on the busy Purley Way by Waddon Park Avenue and Alton Road.

Proposals to remove the crossing by Boris Johnson’s car-friendly administration at City Hall were first highlighted here last month.

But after opposition that went across all political parties and the borough borders with Sutton, TfL this week announced it would not remove the crossing.

“Full consideration has been given to the extensive feedback provided by respondents which raised a number of issues relating to the use of the crossing by more vulnerable road users and to the suitability of alternative crossing points. We have decided that this pedestrian crossing will be retained as a traffic signal controlled crossing and that no further action will be taken,” TfL’s report stated.

The sheer weight of traffic on the Purley Way, and the positioning of the crossing in relation to walking routes, bus stops, the railway station and other amenities, should have made any discussion of the matter redundant, since it is entirely obvious that lives would have been at risk had this crossing been removed all in the name of Boris’s mission to “smooth traffic flow”.

Which prompts the question why was its status ever put under threat in the first place? TfL had claimed that pedestrians using the crossing were in danger because of motorists not complying with the red signal – apparently, applying the law and prosecuting those who jump red lights had not been considered as an option.

In total, TfL received 53 applications opposed to the crossing’s removal, and nine in favour.

Among the comments in the 13-page consultation report, Croydon councillors Paul Smith (Labour) and Simon Hoar (Conservative) both spoke against the crossing’s removal. The only MP to comment was Carshalton and Wallington LibDem Tom Brake, who summarised the objections: “Crossing provides access to local shops and bus stops. Congestion on Purley Way is caused by blocking back from the junction with Croydon Way that requires better enforcement of the hatched area.”

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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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