It’s jams today and jams tomorrow with TfL’s Fiveways scheme

CROYDON COMMENTARY: Transport for London’s announcement this week of its preferred option for a road scheme at the Purley Way by Waddon Station has generally been regarded as the least bad of two bad choices. Here, AUSTEN COOPER highlights some of the scheme’s obvious failings

Jammed: This could be a familiar view of Croydon if the plans for Hammersfield are not got right

Jammed: Will building more roads make Croydon traffic any better?

Leaving aside the welcome rejection of the flyover, it is hard to make too many informed comments since the detail at this stage is all so vague. I suppose we’ll have to wait for the details to emerge later this year.

But there’s some odd “logic” at work in the claim by Transport for London that, “With 7,300 new homes and 8,000 new jobs planned in the Croydon Opportunity Area and the growth forecast in London as a whole, this is predicted to get worse in the future.”

Predicted? By whom? Using what data? 

My crude totalisation of the DfT’s Average Annual Daily Flow data for Croydon suggests a long-term downward trend in the amount of traffic, as show in this graph:

Austen graphic road use traffic

Rather than tackling preconceptions (not to mention the law-breaking air pollution in central Croydon and climate change), this plan for the A23 and A232 is based on “predict and provide”: “We therefore identified this area for improvement in order to reduce congestion, accommodate future growth, and improve accessibility for all transport users.”

We’ve known for years – particularly since the SACTRA report for the Department for Transport in 1994 – that road “improvements” simply attract more traffic.

A case of jams today, and jams tomorrow.

  • Austen Cooper is a member of the London Cycling Campaign, and describes himself as “one of many people in Croydon who ride a bike and want our roads and streets to be made easier, safer and more inviting for cycling”. He has written this article in a personal capacity

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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
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