Alerted by a report on Inside Croydon, BERNARD WINCHESTER’s research into Transport for London’s proposal for a new Tramlink loop has some troubling conclusions
If you do, make the most of it, because soon your journey could become much more difficult judging by Transport for London’s latest proposals.
The significance of these plans is that the central Croydon tram loop will no longer be used. Instead, trams will be turned back at East Croydon via a new small loop, euphemistically called “an extension” by TfL.
At present, all four tram routes serve George Street, Church Street, Centrale and West Croydon. After the new loop is completed, trams on loop routes 1 and 2 from Elmers End and Beckenham Junction, about half the total, will no longer use these stops. Instead, they will stop at Lansdowne Road or, if the less favoured third option is chosen, at Sydenham Road, to serve the £1 billion Hammersfield supermall, the redeveloped Whitgift Centre proposed by the Croydon Partnership that is formed by Westfield and Hammerson.
Passengers on trams from Beckenham Junction, calling at Beckenham Road, Avenue Road, Birkbeck and Harrington Road, will be hardest hit, as they will lose their direct link to the new rail, Overground and bus interchange at West Croydon. They will instead have to change twice, at Sandilands and Wandle Park, to get there.
Of course, not only passengers will suffer. Impaired tram access could be a body blow to the ancient and vulnerable Surrey Street market. Central library, St George’s Walk and the David Lean Cinema could all be expected to lose footfall.
TfL believes that the new loop is necessary “to accommodate the Croydon Partnership development on the old Whitgift Centre site” and to cope with an expected near doubling of tram passengers by 2031.
Perhaps some changes will be needed: we shall see. In the meantime, Inside Croydon’s loyal reader may be reluctant to see access to Westfield favoured over access to the rest of Croydon town centre.
TfL’s consultation document is disingenuous in not stating clearly what the impact of the new loop will be, and in presenting the three equally unsatisfactory options as the only available choices. One phrase, however (“we would welcome your views on … the principle of an extension”) indicates that the consultation does offer an opportunity to resist this re-routing.
If you don’t want your journey from Harrington Road or Beckenham to West Croydon to take twice as long and require three trams instead of one, perhaps you should write in.
You can see in full the options for the Dingwall Road loop and state your views on-line at:
Paper copies of the plans are available at the Tramlink shop in George Street and at Croydon Central Library. Project staff will be available at the library to answer questions on Monday November 17, from 3pm to 7pm and on Saturday November 22, from 1pm to 5pm.
The consultation closes on December 14.
- Boris’s TfL goes all loopy for Westfield over tram extension
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- Crystal Palace tram decision is “disgraceful and inexplicable”
Coming to Croydon
- South Croydon business breakfast, Nov 15
- Croydon Assembly, Ruskin House, Nov 15
- Wandle Park community garden work day, Nov 16
- Streatham-Croydon women’s rugby training, Frant Road, Nov 16
- NCT Croydon Christmas Fair, St Mark’s Purley, Nov 16
- Personal safety training for volunteers, Nov 17
- David Lean Cinema, Effie Gray, Nov 20
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
- Choose Your Own Documentary, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 21-22
- David Lean Cinema, Lilting, Nov 22
- Streatham-Croydon women’s rugby training, Frant Road, Nov 23
- David Lean Cinema, Wakolda, Nov 27
- The Last Sense of Sudden, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 27-29
- Ghost Stories for Christmas, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 3
- Fog Horn Funnies, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 6
- Coulsdon Yulefest, Dec 6-7
- Oval Tavern Folk Club, Dec 7
- South Croydon business breakfast, Dec 13
- Friends of the Earth Green Beanfeast, Dec 15 (book by Dec 1)
- Norwood Society talk: Penge, the making of a suburb, Jan 15
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
- Norwood Society talk: Crystal Palace and Dulwich, Feb 19
- Norwood Society talk: Charlies Dickens in Norwood, Mar 19
- Norwood Society: Balloons and airships at Crystal Palace, Apr 16
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