Homes to be sacrificed as part of TfL’s Purley Way proposals

Transport for London today confirmed that they have abandoned the £85million Boris Flyover scheme they proposed for the A232 Croydon Road where it meets the Purley Way. Instead, they want to widen a road bridge over the railway line at Waddon Station, turn Epsom Road into a two-way route, and transform the notorious traffic jam that is Fiveways junction into Fourways.

Jammed traffic on the A23 bridge near Waddon station. TfL has no real solutions

Jammed traffic on the A23 bridge near Waddon Station. TfL’s “solutions” are more of the same

The announcement today follows a consultation held by TfL a year ago, in which the City Hall planners suggested that they could reduce road congestion by… errr… building more roads.

Inside Croydon was first to report the proposal for a flyover to the Croydon Flyover in 2014, and the revised scheme for Fiveways, taking Denning Avenue – the route to and from the Waddon estate – away from the traffic choke point.

Today’s decision is a small victory for the councillors for Waddon ward, who campaigned against building a flyover to take Croydon-bound traffic from the A232 over the railway station to Duppas Hill Road, which would have seen a large chunk of the local park sacrificed to the car.

In their announcement, TfL make much of how 80 per cent of respondents to their consultation felt that a solution was needed to resolve the regular traffic jams at Fiveways. The only surprise is that the figure of those making such an observation was not nearer 100 per cent.

Observing that “something needs to be done” and offering the best solution for a problem, though, are not one and the same. The trouble with TfL’s pig-in-a-poke consultation was that they offered only two, road-building options as a means of reducing congestion on the ever-busy Purley Way, without any suggestions to reduce traffic through improved public transport links or park-and-ride schemes for those motorists determined to sample the retail delights of Croydon’s Hammersfield supermall.

Some of the homes at Fiveways which seem likely to be sacrificed for the

Some of the homes at Fiveways which seem likely to be sacrificed for the “re-modelling” of the junction with Denning Avenue

The Denning Avenue changes, though, are very much an after-thought and have arisen from last year’s public consultation as a result of the demand for re-modelling of Fiveways. That such an option was never put forward by the planners as part of their original consultation perhaps shows how limited TfL’s thinking had been when approaching the area.

In the TfL report, issued today, the City Hall planners state: “The existing Fiveways Corner junction layout contributes to long wait times for all road users. The new design would change the road layout by removing Denning Avenue from Fiveways Corner, reducing the number of arms on the junction from five to four.

“Instead, Denning Avenue would join the A23 directly opposite the retail park… All turning movements in and out of Denning Avenue would be allowed. This would decrease the traffic signal phases required at Fiveways and the wait times for traffic on the A23 and Stafford Road.”

They also add, portentously for those living nearby, “The new road layout would require some land acquisition.” That’s Compulsory Purchase Order territory.

“We intend to make the full design available as part of the consultation planned for autumn 2016,” they add.

Fourways scheme

The TfL sketch map of its proposals for the A232 and Fiveways junctions

And this is not a freebie for Croydon: local Council Tax-payers will be picking up part of the bill, along with TfL and something called the Mayor’s £4 billion road modernisation fund. This, we are told, is to provide “radical ideas and innovative designs…” that “… will make London’s roads greener, safer and more attractive for the benefit of all Londoners”.

TfL is seriously selling the chosen scheme as providing “a safer and more direct route for road users through the area, and help to reduce delays and congestion… and improved bus journey times, delivering a better service to passengers”.

Steve O'Connell: happy to campaign for #BackZacAndCrack, but failed as a London Assembly Member to contribute to the Fiveways consultation

Steve O’Connell: happy to campaign for #BackZacAndCrack, but failed  to contribute to the Fiveways consultation

The real reason is undisguised: it is to simply to speed the “Surrey wallet share” towards the Westfield and Hammerson shopping centre, as described by Steve O’Connell, the Tory Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton who, it is worth noting, made no contribution to this important City Hall consultation.  Nor was there any participation from Chris Philp, the Tory MP for the area.

“The selected design to be progressed further ahead of a consultation this autumn would see roads widened and a new junction layout with signal controls to separate cyclists from motorised traffic,” TfL said today. The proposal will now be developed in more detail for further consultation planned for the autumn.

Locals will be waiting anxiously to see whether, in widening Epsom Road, the historic Waddon Hotel pub will come under threat of demolition.

“We want to transform Fiveways into a more efficient junction and improve the look and feel of the area to accommodate growth in population and the local economy,” was the carefully worded views of Alan Bristow, TfL’s director of road space management. 

“The feedback from our initial consultation has helped to ensure we are balancing the needs of everyone,” he said, without anyone noticing whether he had his fingers crossed behind his back.

“I’m pleased TfL has agreed with this council’s recommendation to widen the junction because we felt the flyover option would have had too great an impact on the local area,” said Croydon Council’s cabinet member for transport, Kathy Bee, who initially seemed to support the ludicrous Boris Flyover plan.

Joy Prince, one of the Waddon councillors who fought against the flyover proposal, tonight told Inside Croydon: “We’re very pleased that Transport for London has listened to us and dropped the proposals for a flyover at Waddon Station, which threatened Duppas Hill Park. The option to widen the bridge and Epsom Road outside the station is a much better solution and we now hope that it can be done without affecting the Waddon Hotel.

“We’re also glad that TfL has recognised the need to improve Fiveways junction to make it easier and safer for all road users.”

About insidecroydon

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
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6 Responses to Homes to be sacrificed as part of TfL’s Purley Way proposals

  1. Lewis White says:

    I fear that all that the Denning Avenue diversion will do is to create another blockage for traffic on the eastern portion of Stafford Road. This will slow up Croydon-bound traffic that has got across Fiveways, only to grind to another halt at the new Denning Avenue junction, which surely must be controlled by traffic lights. It will also add yet another junction to the already ultra-congested Purley Way alongside the Porcelenosa showrooms.

    I must read the full proposals, but I think that the signs are that this is going to create far more pollution and congestion than the existing mess. It would knock a big hole in the housing estate that sits in the island between this section of Stafford Road, and Epsom Road.

    It has all the signs of being an unmitigated disaster.

  2. Aren’t Waddon voters tired of being treated as “lab-rats” yet again.Can anyone believe that this will reduce the stonking air pollution that has shortened their lives,damaged their pregnancies and affected their childrens’ lung development.Boris blundered on,carpet gnome sees a quick killing and Imperial college research shows that:
    Researchers at the Imperial College London found that exposure to air pollution more than 30 years ago may still affect an individual’s mortality risk today, according to a study published Tuesday.

    The new report comes from one of the world’s longest running air pollution studies, which included 368,000 people in England and Wales followed over a 38 year period.

    The researchers estimated air pollution levels in the areas where the individuals lived in 1971, 1981, 1991 and 2001, using measurements from Britain’s extensive historic air pollution monitoring networks.

    “We were surprised to find pollution has effects on mortality that persist over three decades after exposure,” said lead author of the study, Dr. Anna Hansell, from the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health at Imperial College London.

    Highest risks were seen for respiratory disease, such as bronchitis, emphysema and for pneumonia. Air pollution also affected mortality risk from cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, according to the study.

    “Our study found that more recent exposures were more important for mortality risk than historic exposures, but we need to do more work on how air pollution affects health over a person’s entire lifetime,” said Hansell.

    In the study, risks from pollution exposures were reported in units of 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Researchers compared these levels of exposure with data on disease and deaths. The study suggests that for every additional unit of pollution that people were exposed to in 1971, the risk of mortality in 2002 to 2009 increases by 2 percent.

    The researchers also looked at more recent exposure and found a 24 percent increase in mortality risk in 2002 to 2009 for each additional unit of pollution people were exposed to in 2001.

    Pollution in the womb affects the immune system predisposing to respiratory infections in infancy and subsequent athma

    Here’s another little summary of all the ways Waddon air is good for you:

  3. houseocdfan says:

    There are 2 problems at Fiveways. One is the main Fiveways corner and then the next set of traffic lights on Waddon Bridge. You get passed one to get stuck by another. The congestion will never go.

    I live here and rarely do I go down the Purley Way on a Saturday or Sunday. The only way to actually ease congestion, would be make a super highway with no stopping anywhere (not gonna happen). Make Fiveways a roundabout, it will keep the flow going, but then you need to sort out the next set… maybe that could be a roundabout too.

  4. arnorab says:

    Just add the pollution from the Beddington Incinerator to the mix and you have the perfect recipe for an unliveable-in borough!

  5. sandilands02 says:

    Connecting the A232 Croydon road straight over the A23 to Duppas Hil would have solved the congestion issues on the A23 and Epsom Road. The new plan doesn’t really address it, what a botch job

  6. Lewis White says:

    Hi Sandilands 02– I might well be wrong, and excuse me if so, but I think that the original TfL-favoured Option would not have created a flyover to allow the A232 to cross over the A23– the proposed flyover was to straighten out the route from the existing road coming in from Beddington (Croydon road–aka the Paynes Poppetts road) to Duppas Hill by flying over the railway at Waddon Station. The existing traffic-light controlled junction at the junction of Croydon Road (the A232) ) with the A23 Purley way would have remained (The “Petsmart / Macdonalds Drive-thru” junction) . Thus the conflict between North-South A23 traffic would have remained with the East-West A232 traffic. However, as the new flyover would have been directly opposite the Croydon road, the very sharp right turn which dramatically slows the speed of Croydon-bound A 232 traffic would have been eliminated– the latter would now have had a straight-over exit, which would have speeded-up the vehicle through-put across this junction. This would also have substantially reduced the amount of Croydon-bound traffic from Beddington going on to the A 23 to go Southwards a few hundred yards before turning left into Stafford Road (East section) . This would have helped clear a lot of East-bound traffic off the A23 .

    The new proposals purport to address the snarl-up at Fiveways, but in reality, the new proposals for creating a new exit from Denning Avenue just a 100 m NE , into the NE part of Stafford Road (by taking out by taking out some houses, so it seems) must create a new snarl up where none exists now. This is daft !!

    I am not a Traffic Engineer, but having driven along these roads for decades, I can say that I have some useful insights into why the Croydon -bound traffic from Purley (A23) and Stafford Road B271) is delayed so badly at Fiveways. Part of it is mundane– a bus stop in Stafford Road by Morrisons impedes Croydon-bound traffic when a bus stops in it. A bus layby would help!

    The traffic lights which admit people into the ex Homebase, now Morrisons and Porcelenosa retail park are a major source of disruption to the smooth flowing of the A23, which the new Denning Avenue exit will make worse, in my opinion.

    Whilst I would not have supported a Fiveways underpass , as it would have been massive, I still think that there is a sensible tunnel scheme to be worked out, which would take the E-W traffic under the A23, and would also take the Croydon -bound traffic coming along the A23 from Purley under the South-bound A23. I will suggest this to TfL and local Croydon Cllrs. I won’t hold my breath, but, nothing ventured……..

    Having said that, the health issues are inescapable. Sadly,there are thousands of people who commute in to Croydon and through Croydon who could use the train. If only they realised that their own health would be improved, and that of local residents in Waddon too, if they left the car at home.
    The car is useful , but is killing us too.

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