Council’s U-turn creates a road block to residents’ complaints

A council report to this Wednesday’s traffic management committee at the Town Hall recommends a U-turn on the controversial one-way system on residential streets between Addiscombe Road and Cherry Orchard Road which has caused distress and dismay for hundreds of residents since Lebanon Road was made one-way 12 months ago.

Integrating road traffic with the trams at Lebanon Road tram stop is something the council is failing to manage

Integrating road traffic with the trams at Lebanon Road tram stop is something the council is failing to manage

There’s even a form of admission that the council got the whole process wrong, as it is now recommending an area-wide consultation of all affected roads – something it ought to have done originally.

Back in 2015, the plan was agreed to reduce traffic on Lebanon Road after the council consulted only those people who live on… Lebanon Road. Which just happens to be where council cabinet member and ward councillor Mark Watson has his home.

The council officials are this week responding hurriedly to a substantial petition over the traffic chaos which has been created on nearby streets as a result, and the threat of a referral to the local government ombudsman over the lack of consultation with the wider affected area.

Recent traffic surveys by the council and by a residents’ association which has been formed as a direct consequence of the council’s mishandling of the Addiscombe roads have shown traffic levels on Tunstall Road and Addiscombe Court Road have quadrupled since Lebanon Road was made one-way.

This is included in the report, at paragraph 3.4: “The monitoring showed that there was an increase in traffic flows in Addiscombe Court Road (from around 50 vehicles/hour to a maximum of around 200 vehicles/hour travelling north in the morning and evening peak times)…

“Following on from discussions with ward councillors officers consider that the most practicable proposal put forward is to make Addiscombe Court Road and Canning Road no-entry at their southern junctions with Addiscombe Road.”

But there’s no expectation of any celebratory street parties along Addiscombe Court or Tunstall roads just yet, as residents fear a cunning council plan to set neighbour against neighbour.

“Any knock-on effects from making other roads one-way, as this proposal lays out, will just displace traffic on to Canning, Clyde and other roads, as happened with Addiscombe Court and Tunstall last year,” one concerned resident told Inside Croydon.

“We’ve already heard of one large residents’ association preparing to object to the latest proposed changes, because it’s likely to adversely affect their streets.

“All the council has done is set one street against another to protect their original decision over Lebanon Road, because they’ve said that that road’s one-way status is guaranteed, and won’t change at all.”

Despite repeated requests to Neil Englefield, who is supposed to be the secretary of newly formed Tunstall and Addiscombe Court Residents’ Association, for a comment in reaction to the council recommendations, there has so far been no response.

The affected roads and the council's belated decision to consult the whole area, while protecting the one-way system down Lebanon Road

The affected roads in Addiscombe and the consultation area, taking in all affected streets this time, while protecting the one-way system down Lebanon Road

The council report (from page 23 of the TMAC document here), which has been out since Wednesday, makes three recommendations to Stuart King, the Labour council’s cabinet member for transport. They are:

a) Consider the proposals to make Addiscombe Court Road and Canning Road no entry at their junctions with Addiscombe Road as shown on appended drawings.

b) Agree to the informal consultation with residents within the area shown on the appended plan.

c) Consider the responses to the informal consultation and report back to a future meeting of the Traffic Management Advisory Committee with a recommendation taking in those responses from local residents.

Or in plain language: you’re shafted TACRA.

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The report names the new (and potentially pliant to her political masters) “executive director Place” Shifa Mustafa as the lead official on the scheme.

Her report almost taunts the petitioners from TACRA when it lists the streets which are likely to object forcibly to the proposals.

It says: “Traffic displacement on to other neighbouring roads is likely and it is envisaged that through traffic previously using Addiscombe Court Road northbound will displace on to the next available route to Lower Addiscombe Road. Streets affected could be Elgin Road, Havelock Road, Outram Road and Ashburton Road.”

Thus, the council has created a road block to its own proposals.

The anger with the way they have been treated by one Labour councillor, Lebanon Road resident Watson, could yet have political consequences at the polls in 15 months’ time. Addiscombe has been a Tory target ward for some time.

“With the tram stop at Lebanon Road, the one-way system introduced last year has created a dangerous problem, with cars either blocked behind stopped trams and backing up, or trying to overtake illegally. There’s little or no traffic enforcement. Someone could get badly hurt,” the resident said.

“Watson is among the leadership of a council which has created this mess. He was silent until after his street was made one-way. They have a duty to the residents on all the other streets, not just Watson’s own neighbours on Lebanon Road. It needs to be sorted out urgently.”

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2 Responses to Council’s U-turn creates a road block to residents’ complaints

  1. It is the chaos I predicted in 2016!

    It is so obvious that it pains me (not at all) to mention it.

    If Lebanon Road had been made one way in a northerly direction there would have been no problem. Clyde road is already one way southern and it could have easily coped with any additional traffic leaving Tunstall and Addiscombe Court Road exactly as they are. There would also have been no chaos caused to and by traffic trying to get out of Lebanon Road into Addiscombe Road by the Tramstop.

  2. Rod Davies says:

    There are & were a number of problems about making Lebanon Rd northbound. These are as follows;

    1.The sequence of wholly or partially 1-way streets from Tunstall Rd to Blake Rd alternates north / south and making Lebanon Rd 1-way north would have been out of sequence and created lots of capacity to go north and reduced south bound capacity. Almost certainly it would have sucked in more traffic.

    2. if Lebanon Rd were north-bound then south-bound traffic would only have Tunstall Rd as a route south. Although it is already south-bound 1-way, it is highly undesirable to direct 1,000+ extra vehicles per day along a narrow residential street that is home to Tunstall Nursery. However this solution would have meant the bulk of Addiscombe Ct Rd would have been very quiet indeed.

    3. By making Lebanon Rd north-bound traffic trying to get through to Addiscombe Rd would be forced to join it at the junction of Addiscombe Court Rd and Addiscombe Rd across the front of on-coming and stopped trams, potentially into pedestrians crossing between the stops. Currently this south-bound traffic has the option of joining Addiscombe Rd at junction with Lebanon, behind the tram which is safer, or via Cedar and Bissenden well away from the trams stops and the many pedestrians.

    Whatever was to be recommended was never going to be perfect and the Lebanon Rd campaign left it to officers to choose the best direction.
    As of this evening it is fairly certain that Addiscombe Ct Rd will be closed to north-bound traffic, and possibly Canning Rd will too. Both these roads will have south-bound access to Addiscombe Rd and there would be no restrictions on their northern ends.
    The 1,500 north-bound traffic will be displaced onto other adjacent roads, and next year TMAC will be hearing another petition to closed another road; followed by another the following year – but they seemed resigned to this.

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