Purley Way crash highlights pollution disaster coming our way

There could be 1,000 lorry journeys every day travelling up and down the Purley Way once the Beddington incinerator is firing on all cylinders

There could be 1,000 lorry journeys every day travelling up and down the Purley Way once the Beddington incinerator is firing on all cylinders

Anyone who tries to drive along the Purley Way, whether as a route to work or simply to visit any of the retail sheds that line the urban motorway, already knows it can be a pretty dispiriting experience.

Last Friday morning, it was worse than that, when a lorry carrying tons of waste tipped over on the road. The A23 was blocked in both directions for hours, the southbound carriageway remaining closed for most of the morning rush hour and beyond.

Yet Friday’s disruption and traffic chaos could just be a taste of things to come.

Once Viridor’s industrial-scale waste incinerator – funded by four south London councils, including Croydon – is functioning and firing on all cylinders, there could be 1,000 lorry journeys a day travelling in and out of Beddington Lane to keep the voracious incinerator burning.

The increased traffic – heavy HGV lorries just like Friday’s overturned artic on the Purley Way – is an often overlooked aspect of the environmental disaster which Sutton Council, backed up by Croydon, Merton and Kingston, is about to inflict upon this part of south London.

The damage will begin during the construction phase for the Viridor incinerator. But once that plant, one of a dirty dozen incinerators which have been granted permission to operate in one concentrated corner of Beddington, is operational, the traffic will continue, with 20-ton lorries bringing in other people’s rubbish and carrying away the resultant ash, day-in-day-out, for at least three decades.

How the exhaust cloud from the incinerator chimneys at Beddington Lane are likely to disperse across south London, towards Crystal Palace, Dulwich and Lewisham

How the exhaust cloud from the incinerator chimneys at Beddington Lane are likely to disperse across south London, towards Crystal Palace, Dulwich and Lewisham

“The potential for more accidents is all too obvious,” a spokesperson for the Stop the Incinerator Campaign said after Friday’s lorry crash, in which no one was seriously hurt. “If any other vehicle had been caught under the lorry as it tipped over, the consequences are frightening.”

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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
This entry was posted in 2016 London elections, Croydon Council, Environment, London-wide issues, Mayor of London, Refuse collection, Steve Reed MP, Tessa Jowell, Waddon, Waste incinerator and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Purley Way crash highlights pollution disaster coming our way

  1. Lucky it was only the rubbish….

    The FLY ASH from the incinherator should be marked “hazchem”, as it will contain some of the most toxic substances known to man. This will be in ultrafine dust form and blow around in the wind.

    Do you see emergency services coping with *that* before innocent bystanders inhale enough to cause them permanent damage?

    When Corby Council dismantled their smelter they were careless with the lorry traffic. Deformed children were born and the parents went to court (there would have been much more ill health than only that). Here is the judgement on that:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corby_toxic_waste_case

    and the full court report
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/TCC/2009/1944.html

    THIS PURLEY WAY SPILLAGE IS A REAL WARNING OF POTENTIALLY WORSE THINGS TO COME: the Corby case also changed the responsibilities of local authorities.

    Asking for the SLWP fly ash spill plan, even if under FOI, would put the cat among the pigeons!

  2. The more local an incinerator is, the less likely such an accident becomes. Without the Beddington incinerator, the further lorries full of rubbish will probably need to travel, increasing the risk of spillage – perhaps on someone else’s roads, but spillage nonetheless.

  3. Pingback: Oh Dear!! coming our way… Unless | Thornton Heath

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