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.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 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.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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