From Monday, July 21, parts of South End will be closed for “essential improvements”, according to Croydon Council. The disruption will last for at least six weeks.
This follows previous lengthy road closures to Aberdeen Road and Southbridge Road as part of the “improvements” work.
This is what the street looks like after some of the “improvements” have been completed:
You’ll notice that the pavement has been extended, and that on the other side of the side road – Spice’s Yard – a bay has been created for car parking.
This has had the effect of eliminating the previous (and often felt to be inadequate) cycle lane. The provision of additional parking bays is intriguing, since Spice’s Yard includes a public car park – though this is land which some might consider to be ripe for “development”.
We asked Croydon Council how they defined “essential”. Their “communications team” failed to respond. They would no doubt equally struggle with determining what constitutes “improvements” in the context of South End.
In total, £3 million-worth of public money is being spent on these “improvements” under this scheme, which was commissioned by the previous Tory administration at Croydon Town Hall. There may be some benefits to the owners of many of the properties along South End and Selsdon Road. The Whitgift Foundation is notable among these property owners.
Sure, the pavement has been re-laid and appears to be smoother and cleaner than what preceded it, at least for now. But the other “improvements” are, in the main, of questionable merit. The three-week closure of access to Southbridge Road was completed with the road widened at the junction by no more than 3in…
The provision of new bike racks? For an area where the previous bicycle lane has been obliterated (at least temporarily)? Is someone having a joke? Certainly, some local cyclists are less than impressed.
Most reasonable people, road-users, cyclists and pedestrians alike, would be sure to put up with some disruption if the end-result was significant and an identifiable improvement. The Croydon Facelift going on along South End has been on-going now for at least four months, and is set to continue at least until November. To what end?
Coming to Croydon
- David Lean Cinema: Tracks, July 24
- Lives Not Knives beer fund-raiser, July 24
- Fragile, Spread Eagle Theatre, July 24-26
- CODA’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at Wandle Park, Jul 30-Aug 2
- David Lean Cinema: Locke, July 31
- Upper Norwood Library Book Club, Aug 2
- Patchwork and quilting workshop, Upper Norwood Library, Aug 4
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 6
- Elm Tree Cottage garden open day, Aug 10
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 13
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Aug 16
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 20
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 27
- Upper Norwood Library well-being groups, Aug 30
- Warlingham rugby dinner with international Richard Hill, Sep 12
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Sep 20
- Streatham Common 6M race, Sep 27
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Oct 18
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
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