‘Calming our streets’: community meeting, Apr 10

South Croydon Community Association is organising a meeting next Wednesday, April 10, for the community to discuss “calming our streets”.

The meeting will take place from 7pm at St George’s Church, Barrow Road, Waddon CR0 4EZ.

stop and search“We are trying to address the problems we are having with persistent levels of anti-social behaviour which often drag on forever making incidents much bigger and more socially damaging than they need to be,” one of the organisers said.

The sort of issues to be raised will include:

  • People’s experiences of contacting the authorities: particularly the council and the police;
  • The sources of issues: the increasing concentration of multiple occupancy housing; traffic; youngsters hanging around and not having places to go.

We are looking to identify strategies to:

  • Accurately log crime in our area
  • Ensure that individuals know how to get quick, effective solutions out of the authorities
  • Ensure that individuals have networks that prevent them being isolated by hours of dealing alone with issues
  • Long-term strategies that calm down the area so that at no time does anyone feel it is unsafe to walk around South Croydon

All are welcome to come along and contribute, including people from other areas to come and share ideas.

  • If you are unable to attend, but wish to submit your issues, questions, suggestions or volunteer to help in the future, contact scca@btconnect.com
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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 inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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3 Responses to ‘Calming our streets’: community meeting, Apr 10

  1. I’d like to see “traffic calming” added to the agenda here. Croydon has a dreadful record in this respect.

    The focus of the public and media outrage concerning the death of Lillian Groves in June 2010 was that the driver who killed her had been taking drugs; much less attention has been paid to the fact that he was driving at 43mph along a residential street where the maximum legal speed is 30mph.

    In September 2011, a local newspaper found a motorist speeding once every five minutes – even though just 500 were flashed by Croydon’s speed cameras in an entire year. They reported a 90% drop in speeding tickets being issued in the period 2008 to 2010. Croydon Police were “unable” to provide a response as to why this collapse in enforcement had happened, but it was remarked that the Met Police had previously explained the fall in speed tickets was down to “fewer resources” being available to prosecute offenders. Baloney.

    In July 2012, amongst others, the Institute of Advanced Motoring noted that in London, the biggest increase in the number of KSIs – that’s people “killed or seriously injured” – was in Croydon, where they rose from 87 in 2010 to 109 in 2011, a rise of 25%.

    Earlier this year, Transport for London finalised their plans for a crossing on the Godstone Road in Kenley, near its junction with Hayes Lane. Amongst their excuses for not providing a proper crossing, as requested under a petition signed by over 2000 people, TfL said “a zebra crossing was considered, but given the average traffic speeds of 36mph and type of traffic at this location we did not feel it was safe to provide one.” The speed limit on Godstone Road is 30mph.

    We have recently read of a young girl killed after being hit by a van driving in Woburn Court in central Croydon. It would be insensitive and premature to comment on the circumstances leading up to her death. What is noteworthy is that a resident, interviewed by the BBC, said that he had raised concerns about the road being used as a cut-through by vehicles – sadly in vain.

    If 109 people had been killed or seriously injured in Croydon due to any other reason – knife crime, carbon monoxide poisoning or bird flu – we’d have an outcry and determined action.

    New traffic humps of any kind have been ruled out by Croydon Council and 20mph zones are also deemed unacceptable – because the police won’t enforce them, they say.

    Compare that to Camden. The Council there has just completed a public survey on whether to make the borough a 20mph zone. Other boroughs in London – Hackney, Islington and Soutwark have already done so, in part or in whole.

    It’s about time we had concerted action in Croydon to increase road safety and reduce road danger and the understandable fears arising that deter people from cycling and letting their kids walk to school. Meanwhile, the police should actively enforce speed limits on our roads. We can’t afford the cost in lives and human misery incurred by a collective blind eye being turned to this public safety issue.

  2. Think Austen has pretty much nailed it.

    One thing I’m always left wondering whenever anti-social behaviour is brought up. People focus on some little group of (probably unarmed) hoodie teenagers who aren’t doing anything worse than smoking a bit of weed – yet completely ignore the 40mph traffic just feet away, something that’s been proven lethal time & again, and has the effect of denying huge areas of public space to anybody not in a car (with the exception of those few cyclists brave or foolhardy enough to attempt it).

    (If you haven’t read this piece in the Daily Mail about childrens’ freedom to travel independently, highly recommend it – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-462091/How-children-lost-right-roam-generations.html – some years old, but one of the best pieces of actual journalism that paper has ever produced).

    Seriously.. which of these is more anti-social? A bit of graffiti some kid scrawls on an empty building, some lads who have a few too many jars and wee in somebody’s garden on the way home… or a “law abiding citizen” who fails to stop at a Zebra — which, when you think about it, amounts to making a death threat to deny someone their entitlement to cross. Get out of my way or I’ll kill you.. it sounds extreme, because it is.

    If you were in the pub, or queuing for train tickets, and somebody pulled a weapon on you to jump the queue, you’d call the police down as soon as you felt safe to do so. Yet on the street, it’s passively tolerated. Surely time for the government, police & society as a whole to take anti social road use more seriously!

  3. Croydon’s streets are too narrow for the volume of traffic they are now expected to carry.

    There are two possible solutions: either embark on a mass demolition of property to create greater road capacity, or restrict the flow of traffic to meet the available space.

    The first solution – tried partially during the 1960s and 1970s – was not entirely satisfactory, even then.

    The inner ring-road, never completed and later dubbed the ’magic roundabout’, is a good example of a car-centric traffic management scheme.

    Its most serious drawback is its temporary nature – yesterday’s open road is today’s traffic jam, as vehicle flow has increased to fill the available space.

    Thankfully, it would be totally unacceptable today.

    Restricting traffic is the sustainable solution. It involves a number of strategies, including, in no particular order of priority:
    • road pricing;
    • a bus lane network – operative every day of the year;
    • cycle lanes physically separated from other traffic;
    • a network of well-lit, properly maintained footpaths;
    • fewer parking spaces in town centres coupled with a comprehensive park-and-ride network and a click-and-collect initiative covering all retailers;
    • more one-way streets, with contra-flow bus lanes where necessary;
    • traffic throttles and 20 mph maximum speed limits in all side roads to discourage rat-running;
    • high-definition closed circuit television cameras to monitor the restrictions; and
    • a political willingness to impose substantial fines on those who transgress.

    And what are the chances of getting all or any of these changes introduced? Remote I would think.
    There are too many vested interests with powerful voices and deep pockets lobbying local, regional and national government.

    And there are too many politicians who only want an easy life.

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