Transport for London wants to re-configure the Fiveways junction on the A23 Purley Way, turning it into “Fourways” by diverting Denning Avenue away from one of the worst traffic choke points in south London.
How this will reduce the number of vehicle movements in and around the Purley Way is unclear, since TfL has so far failed to produce any details of the proposals and Croydon councillors, headed by Kathy Bee, Labour’s cabinet member for transport, has refused to share the information they have been given by City Hall.
But Bee and sources at TfL have confirmed that the Tory Mayor’s transport department at City Hall is seriously considering a major piece of road re-routing to take Denning Avenue – the road through the Waddon estate to South Croydon – away from a notoriously jammed and polluted junction.
This Denning Avenue proposal has emerged barely nine months after an expensive public consultation was held by TfL. This was misleadingly entitled “Fiveways Croydon”, but it focused entirely on the A232 junction with the Purley Way by Waddon station, a couple of hundred of jammed yards up the four-lane road, and offered no real solutions to the daily traffic misery at Fiveways itself.
It was this consultation which suggested just two options for the A232’s route into Croydon, including the “Boris Flyover” which threatens to bulldoze through parts of Duppas Hill Park.
Bee and Croydon Council’s report on the proposals are due to be considered at a Town Hall session this week. The council prefers TfL’s second option, which will widen Epsom Road and open it for two-way traffic.
But it has now emerged that as well as suggesting sacrificing public parkland for a flyover to knock a couple of minutes off journey times from Sutton to the Hammersfield supermall in central Croydon, TfL wants to blight dozens more homes in Waddon by re-routing Denning Avenue away from Fiveways.
“If anyone needed confirmation that TfL’s first consultation was flawed and offered no solutions for that stretch of road,” a concerned source at City Hall told Inside Croydon, “then this is it.”
Croydon South’s Tory MP, Chris Philp, has been silent on the issue (perhaps he doesn’t realise that the scheme falls within his constituency?), and the Conservatives’ £73,000 London Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton and Kenley councillor, Steve O’Connell, couldn’t even be arsed to make a representation to the original TfL consultation.
As the man who notoriously wants to speed “the Surrey wallet-share” towards his mates’ property scheme at Hammersfield, O’Connell probably doesn’t care much for the loss of parkland, homes and businesses in the TfL road schemes. O’Connell will be standing for re-election to City Hall next May.
Croydon Council’s response to the original TfL consultation, which offered “a pig in a poke” of no real choice at all, and certainly no public transport improvements to reduce private car use, came in for comment from the public at last week’s council meeting.
It was there that Bee let slip that TfL was now looking at further road-building plans at Fiveways. “Considerably more work has been conducted around Fiveways itself,” Bee told the meeting.
Labour’s cabinet member for transport has also said, “TfL has produced revised designs for Fiveways Corner itself, which work with both proposals and bring the potential for greater improvement to the pedestrian environment and public realm.”
Bee has clearly seen TfL’s plans for Denning Avenue and Fiveways, but is withholding the full detail. Invited by Inside Croydon to elaborate on the proposals for the people of Croydon, the £43,000 per year elected local councillor has taken the lead of Tony Newman, Labour’s council leader, and has refused to respond.
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