Latest Addiscombe road changes are heading only one way

Croydon Council officials’ ability to set neighbour against neighbour plumbed new depths this week at the Traffic Management Advisory Committee meeting held at the Town Hall.

No entry: changes on Lebanon Road continue to blight the lives of residents on neighbouring streets

On the agenda was the council officers’ proposal to make Canning Road and Addiscombe Court Road one-way. To the surprise of absolutely no one, and despite widespread opposition from residents on pretty much every other neighbouring street in the area east of East Croydon Station, the councillors on the committee dutifully nodded it all through.

All that is likely to be achieved by this is to take thousands of car journeys each day from one set of roads and shift them on to other roads down the ladder of streets off Addiscombe Road. As one resident told Inside Croydon, “The 1,500 vehicles a day using those roads will be displaced on to other adjacent roads, and next year the Traffic Management committee will be hearing another petition to close another road, followed by another the following year.”

The saga all began in 2015 when, with barely a mention to anyone, the council decided to make Lebanon Road one-way. This had a transformative effect on Lebanon Road, reducing the noise, pollution and nuisance of two-way, busy traffic. It has probably added thousands, if not tens of thousands, of pounds to property values for home-owners living on Lebanon Road.

That Lebanon Road happens to be where Croydon cabinet member Mark Watson lives is, of course, purely coincidental.

But there were knock-on effects, in some cases quite literally, as cars collided in the confusion created (there was little publicity for the change in the road scheme and the council’s road signs department may not have enjoyed its finest hour).

There were also repeated incidents of impatient drivers attempting reckless over-taking manoeuvres near the Lebanon Road tram stop. And the increase in traffic on neighbouring streets, which now had to cope with Lebanon Road’s displaced traffic, caused misery for the residents living there.

So earlier this year, in response to the complaints and petitions, the council ran another consultation. The brain’s trust in Fisher’s Folly managed to botch that, too.

There has been an increase in incidents of potentially dangerous driving near the Lebanon Road tram stop since the new one-way system was introduced


They even admitted as much in its report to the committee this week: “The consultation documents were delivered to residents in April 2017. Due to a number of properties being missed off the mailing list a new consultation document was sent to all residents in May 2017.” Good job, guys!

Before the original change on Lebanon Road, no other streets were consulted about the proposal. This time around, residents on 35 streets in Addiscombe and Fairfield wards received consultation letters from the council. In many cases, they received them twice over.

The proposal is to make Addiscombe Court Road and Canning Road both one-way. There was no proposal to change the direction of traffic or the one-way status of the now more tranquil Lebanon Road, where Councillor Watson lives.

As the council official’s report on Wednesday night said, “The majority of respondents in Addiscombe Court Road, Addiscombe Grove, Ashburton Close, Chepstow Road and Tunstall Road were in favour of the proposed one-way working in Addiscombe Court Road and Canning Road.

“The majority of respondents in remaining roads were not in favour of one-way working.” No shit, Sherlock.

At no time has the council suggested that it should review traffic flows and management of the area as a whole, including all the residential streets which lie between the busy east-west routes into Croydon, the A222 and A232, from Cherry Orchard Road to Shirley Road. Dealing with the problem as a whole would be too much like commonsense, clearly.

Or it might reach a conclusion which suggested a change to the newly calm Lebanon Road.

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

Mira Armour, the secretary of the HOME residents’ association – representing Havelock, Outram, Mulberry Lane and Elgin roads, which lie to the east of Addiscombe Court and Canning – put a powerful case on behalf of her neighbours in a letter to the council following a local discussion.

“The overall view was that this consultation is an unhelpful continuation of the previous ‘road by road’ approach to traffic problems in the side roads in a small area close to East Croydon that form a rectangle between Addiscombe Road, Cherry Orchard Road, Lower Addiscombe Road and Clyde Road,” she wrote.

“The present proposal, if implemented, is seen not as a solution but as merely pushing the problem on to one or more other roads further to the east.”

One of the key complaints is that, by fixing Lebanon Road as one-way, north to south, it constrains all other options on other streets in the area. With traffic exiting Lebanon Road on Addiscombe Road, it creates safety issues with the tram stop on Addiscombe Road which have never been addressed.

“Maybe Lebanon Road needs to be reversed?” Armour suggested in her letter.

“In principle, no one says that anything is wrong with one-way changes. However, they need to be properly thought through. Having four roads in a row No Entry, with time-restricted access to the only road that would provide a way out (the Addiscombe Road/Clyde Road junction) seems merely arbitrary and not part of a properly considered plan.”

All three Addiscombe councillors, from left, Mark Watson, Patricia Hay-Justice and Sean Fitzsimons, supported the latest council road scheme

A “properly considered plan”? From Croydon Council?

You could almost sense the resigned shrug of the shoulders by the council traffic official as they wrote the report for this week’s meeting: “It must be accepted that there is no generally acceptable highway engineering solution available which can resolve the problem of high volumes of through traffic using residential roads in this area, without impacting on the access to and from homes for local residents. To effectively remove through traffic would require a new road building scheme to provide a local bypass for vehicles travelling north/south in this area. Obviously this would require a major investment which is not currently available to the council.”

And as Inside Croydon’s loyal reader will be aware, it is currently the policy of this council, as it was of the previous Tory administration, to encourage ever more traffic to drive into the centre of Croydon, to visit the temple to consumerism which will be the Hammersfield supermall (if it is ever to be built).

Councillor Watson wasn’t at this week’s meeting – he was away, probably at Council Tax-payers’ expense, at a conference in Birmingham with his mate, council leader Tony “Soprano” Newman. But Watson, together with his two ward colleagues, supported the council proposals.

Another Lebanon Road resident, Rod Davies, did speak at the meeting, apparently representing the East Croydon Community Organisation, or ECCO, which he helped to form.

Davies spoke against Lebanon Road being made northbound. He also opposed making Addiscombe Court and Canning roads one-way.

The latest proposition was the result of petitioning by TACRA, the Tunstall and Addiscombe Court Residents’ Association, an organisation which was founded because of the strong feelings aroused since the changes to Lebanon Road were introduced.

The public gallery in the Town Hall chamber was packed on Wednesday night which, according to one resident, “reflects how much our lives have been affected and the anger that residents feel about how they were treated by the Lebanon Road proposal”. They were also angered by Davies’ intervention, which was characterised as “hypocrisy”, saying that he has been “down-playing the horrendous public safety issues of the current arrangements”.

The resident said, “He seems very concerned about the risk of displacement of traffic volumes to other streets – apart from when it is his own street that benefits.”

The TACRA resident told Inside Croydon, “We are glad that the committee unanimously recognised the dreadful impact on our lives and the serious safety issues that are occurring with cars overtaking the tram, and we will be glad to put this issue, and the stress it has caused us residents behind us.”

At least, that is, until the next petition from the next residents’ association, asking for their street also to be given one-way status.

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24 Responses to Latest Addiscombe road changes are heading only one way

  1. ronnie101 says:

    The nod-through deliberate-ignoring of consultation results seems to be standard Croydon Council practice now.

    This is the same as with the unwanted tick-box imposition of 20mph limits on rural southern Croydon (instead of focussing on known danger spots), and the fact that almost all injurious accidents happened on the main roads which will be unaffected.

    • traffic382 says:

      There seems to be some confusion as to what a consultation is. It is a process to seek views and opinions. It is not a referendum.

      The residents suffering the brunt of the traffic onslaught expressed a clear view that the current situation is both unsafe and unpleasant. They live with this nightmare. The committee has to weigh their need against the desire of motorists to shave a few minutes off their journey regardless of the impact on residents, pedestrians, trams and other drivers.

      The committee would also have taken account of the tram safety aspect which residents across the wider consultation area would not have been aware of. Public safety is the absolute priority and must surely take precedence over the wants of drivers who on a daily basis have demonstrated their willingness to prioritise a speedy journey over all other considerations.

      • mikebweb says:

        Ok, your right to say it was only a consultation, to get views, but there is not much point in so doing if you ignore them! That said in this case they were fairly evenly split, had it been a referendum then it would have rejected the proposed ideas. (it wasnt and didnt)

        The safety views surely apply to any of the roads that the displaced traffic will use, or have I missed something? Same for polution, of course, although there is probably more greenary to mop it up in Elgin and Havelock. The A2342 and A222 is probably so poluted already it will not even be noticed, but the extra traffic will be!

        Has anybody done any traffic census on Lower Addiscombe Road (A222) in recentr years – it now appears much more conjested travelling East to West than it ever was, so we want to route more traffic over it for short journeys to get from Canning and Addiscombe Court Roads. Think up the logic for THAT!


        • traffic382 says:

          Addiscombe Court has a significantly higher safety risk than any of the other possible or conceptually possible northbound routes off of Addiscombe Road because of:

          1. the position of the tram stop. The northbound traffic is travelling east up Addiscombe Road looking to turn left for a northbound route. The (Lebanon Road) tram stop is actually on the corner of Addiscombe Court, so if a tram is blocking the turning then cars overtake the tram and turn sharp and blind straight into ACR and it’s oncoming traffic (and the passengers decanting the tram and crossing the road). No other potential northbound route (including Lebanon Road itself) would have this complication.

          2.the complication of Tunstall Road, which can only be accessed from Addiscombe Court Road at the top and the bottom of Addiscombe Court, and is one way southbound. When traffic in ACR grinds to a halt drivers simply decide to turn into Tunstall, and drive the wrong way down one-way Tunstall and rejoin ACR at the northern end of the street. Drivers decide to do this on a frequent basis, and we heard from one of the Councillors how they had received evidence from a resident demonstrating this. Again, no other potential northbound route has this complication of a highly attractive yet highly dangerous shortcut.

          So whilst drivers and some residents might be upset at a slightly longer journey, Councillors have a duty to consider the significant level of risk to the public posed by the use of this specific street.

          • mikebweb says:

            Well I never thought that motorists could be so irresponsible as to travel down the wrong way in Tunstall, for ANY reason other that with Police authority and somebody on duty at the North End. If residents take photographs of these incidents would the council take action?

            There does not seem to have been any input from the pre-school in Tunstall Road (forgive the name if I have it wrong) What view do they have? They dont seem to cuirrently have any issues, yet one would have thought they had the same problems as the residents.
            One, one other thought – The Electrical Wholesaler is on a corner here – do they have or see any problem?
            So, given the arguments ands residents experiences, it does seem to me that there is a case for Canning Road to be made Northbound!

            Perhaps the residents can look into this seriously and see what the actual problems would be, over and above those already being experienced in ACR.

            With Canning made northbound only, increased car parking could be tolerated

  2. mikebweb says:

    Having been at the meeting I can say that the feeling for an against was pretty much 50/50. The various residents associations would do well to get togrther and resolve the problem rather than pushing it alsehere and the Councill for their part, say they WANT TO SEE TRAFFIC pushed back to the A222 and the A232, thus causing slower movement there and even more conjestion, because, they say, these side roads are not designed for the heavy traffic being experienced – No and neither are the Park Hill and Whitgift Estate roads which will now suffer in a similar way, once the scheme goes ahead, following the official consultation later this year. The stated aim is by Christmas 2017! No serious though can have been given to how the residents of the area are going to escape into Addisombe and the Lower Addiscombe Road shopping area (Via Park Hill, Chepstow Rd, Fairfield Rd, Addiscombe Grove and Cherry Orchard Road – what a nightmare as traffic already queues back past the Fairfield Rd/Addiscombe Grove lights which are badly phased)

    One solution, not considered, would be to remove the all day parking from both sides of these roads and allow the swift and smooth flow of traffic, but that would only please a few passers by and not the residents!

    True, the solution is not very obvious, but needs to be found before the problem is just moved down the line, a bit. Reversing Lebanon Rd would help greatly and would presumably have no material effect to Councillor Watson and his friends.

    So motorist can reverse in safety are turn bays going to be provided at the ends of Addiscombe Ct Rd and Canning Road. At the meeting we were told of regular heavy lorries and skip lorries – how are they going to reverse?

    Come on you traffic “MANAGEMENT” guys, come up with a sensible, workable solution rather than just moving it a bit and into already conjested main roads. Remember you admitted at this meeting, and said sorry, you had made a botch of the Lebanon Road one way job.


    • traffic382 says:

      The support was 50/50? I’m not sure which meeting you were at?

      Other than Mira, Rod and one other angry guy (which I presume was you) everybody – and there must have been nearly 50 present – was in favour. I personally knew most of them as Addiscombe Court and Tunstall residents.

      And that spontaneous applause that you heard at the end of the meeting? That was Addiscombe Court and Tunstall residents applauding a decision which might restore some peace and safety to their streets.

      The Council had little option really – the reckless behaviour of motorists overtaking the tram to turn blind into streams of pedestrians crossing Addiscombe Court, and the persistent behaviour of motorists driving the wrong way down Tunstall Road, and the constant speeding, meant that action had to be taken. It is a very serious accident waiting to happen.

      As to the skips – there is no need for them to turn around – simply stick to the arterial roads as they should always have done. The streets are for residents – not skip trucks.

    • sandilands02 says:

      If they could make the tram go underneath the A232 instead of stopping traffic when crossing over then that would be a massive relief on Whitgift and Park Hill. As it stands it feels like the M25 between 7 and 8, it’s only a matter of time before one of the many verbal arguments turn physical.

      I wonder if a extended tram network would help remove all this traffic flowing through Croydon.

      • mikebweb says:

        The TRAMLINK proposals are to extend the ends of the system and to, thus, increase the flow of trams through this junction. Work out for yourself what this will do to A232 Traffic!


  3. Put simply, its a really stupid proposal which serves no useful purpose whatsoever… except, perhaps, to allow councillors to feel that they are being busy. The two roads, as they are, need no changes.

  4. mikebweb says:

    With the greatest respect, Arno, I am not sure you are correct in your assumption. Even the council admit that the Lebanon Road scheme was inept, with hindsight. Reverse Lebanon and May be block off Addiscombe Court and you have a deal with Canning becoming one way to the North.


    • traffic382 says:

      Absolutely. At the Committee both Councillor Fitzsimmons and Councilor King (on behalf of the administration) apologised to the residents of Addiscombe Court and Tunstall Rd for what they had been put through.

      To be clear, this isn’t just a few cars taking a short cut but thousands of vehicles recklessly speeding through a tiny street, recklessly overtaking trams when it is patently unsafe to do so, and driving the wrong way down a one way street (Tunstall Road).

      And let’s not even get onto the behaviour of motorists swearing at and intimidating residents, tailgating drivers trying to observe the speed limit, and overtaking one another on speed ramps in a street that is only wide enough for single file traffic.

      The behaviour exhibited is quite frankly disgusting and dangerous.

  5. tonycroydon says:

    Having lived on Addiscombe Court Road 1963-1980, Tunstall Road 1980-2000 and Addidcombe Road 2000 to date I can say that I have expience of the traffic flows in all three roads.I cab remember when both Addiscombe Court Road and Tunstall Road were to way, now that was a dangereous situation.The situation in Lebanaon Road was also dangereous at times due to very lomited sight lones due to bend in road, traffic entering from Cedar Road and parking on both sides of the street leaving very few passing spaces.Since moved to Addiscombe Rd using Lebanaon Road to exit or access Addiscombe Road particularly when the time restrictions at either end were in place I can fully understand the residents on Lebanon Road wanting something done. As residents cars were damaged and quite a few heated arguements over giving way.I understand it took them over ten years for this to happen(please correct me I am wrong),So I was amazed how quickly the Council have reacted this time. I understand that more traffic is using Addiscome Court Road to go North but half to two thirds of Addiscombe Court is one way In that direction so the possible head on issues only apply mostly at the Addiscombe Road end whreas it was the whole of Lebanaon Road which was having this issue.As per previos comment perhaps Lebanon Road needs to be one way North,Once the proposed changes are made every resident in the area will have to go North using Chepstow Road,Elgin Road or try and get onto Cherry Orchard Road via Addiscombe Grove are already congested.Indeed if residents of Addiscombe Court Road,Tunstall Road and Canning Road will have the same issue if coming from the South Croydon Area.There is no easy answer but it seems the Council hsve made a knee jerk reaction without proper thought.

    Quite simpy it is mess and needs sorting out how you do this with entreched attitudes is very difficult.

    • traffic382 says:

      In significant part Addiscombe Court still is two way. And it is still dangerous, even more so with vehicles constantly overtaking the tram to turn blind straight into pedestrians who have alighted the
      Tram and are crossing the road.

  6. Surely the obvious solution is to make all those parallel streets alternate one way, similar to used in Boston and New York. Maybe it is too obvious.

    • mikebweb says:

      Yes, alternate one way streets, North/South and South/North does seem an answer, and I would have tried it first as a simple cheap experiment with temporary signs, at little cost. Residents see things differently and dont see this reducing the emissions and noise – personally I do and would like to try it.


      • And thereby you demonstrate what this was all about: favouring one street (Lebanon Road), for whatever reason or influence.

        It must be a very important influence, hence the council’s reluctance even to consider any adjustment to the traffic plan across the whole area, lest they risk altering the cosy set-up for Lebanon.

      • mikebweb says:

        Sorry, but turning Lebanon round, but still one way will not make a jot of a difference to noise and emmision control, and I dont believe thare is any hidden agenda in this respect, although Monday’s meeting seemed to indicate that the council will not change its earlier decision, even though ti admits it was in error. The people who have a realistic concern are in Addiscombe Court Road, and may be Tunstal who say there is constant conjestion and queing, yet, though I use this road out of the rush hours, I have never seen any!l

        We ALL HAVE TO ACCEPT there is increased traffic, noise and pollution during the rush hour, My own road becomes a fast moving rat run in the morning, but for the rest of the day is quiet. That is life and people have to get to work, given they wont (or cant) use public transport. I have travelled to Kingston from Croydon – in the rush hour 1.5 hours, out of it 3/4th of an hour, so the clear alternatice is change your travel pattern, but, I had a sympathetic employer who allowed flexible working hours.


        • Rod Davies says:

          The problem with many counter-proposals is that they are not fully thought out, and serve only to achieve narrow self-interest.
          If we look at the period from 1990 onward we can see a dramatic shift in inter-trading and labour movements in the Outer London boroughs. Whereas up to 1991/2 the Outer London boroughs tended to be orientated towards the City & West End, by the mid-1990’s there was a clear shift towards inter-trading around the Outer London boroughs. In 1997/8 South London Chamber of Commerce emerged to reflect this, and most London boroughs welcomed this development and sought collaboration. Those Outer London boroughs that had been included in LCCI territory by agreement with LCCI, joined SLCC. In 1998 Barbara Roche , Minister for DTI, welcomed the initiative taken by Lewisham to propose that business support services in each borough should specialise and cooperate to allow businesses & residents from the Outer London boroughs to access them. (Lewisham – Overseas Trade / Sutton – Greening the Supply Chain; etc)
          The entire concept centred on Croydon as the hub-borough, and the arrival of the tram facilitated it. The other Outer London boroughs expected that Croydon would benefit massively from job creation as no other borough had the volume of commercial properties and is as well connected to central London or Gatwick; and as start-ups in adjoining boroughs outgrew their premises they could be directed towards Croydon thus ensuring that existing workers would be able to keep their jobs.
          However, Croydon Council nor Croydon Chamber of Commerce in practice opposed collaborating with adjacent boroughs, and the idea collapsed. (SLCC fractured into 3 parts SouthEast, SouthWest & Croydon) Lacking these key relationships with adjacent boroughs and the will to collaborate from business representatives ultimately precludes the potential for coherently addressing the problems of traffic and public transport on an area wide basis.
          & Ultimately a large proportion of Croydon residents suffer because of it.

    • traffic382 says:

      Its not too obvious, but unfortunately it does not address the problem we are facing – the problem is that northbound traffic vastly outweighs the southbound.

      And in itself such a simplistic solution does not take account of the fact that some streets are narrower than others, and that some streets have houses set well back from the traffic whilst others have virtually no front gardens.

      Addiscombe Court and Tunstall are the narrowest of these streets, and have tiny front gardens.

      Add in the tram safety aspect and it’s virtually impossible to envisage that more ill-suited streets could have been rationally chosen to have become the major northbound route for the entire area.

      • Rod Davies says:

        TMAC stated, confirmed by TACRA & CCRA, that there is 4cm variance in the width of the roads from Canning to Colson. People’s perception of road width appears to be influenced by the proximity of the buildings to the actual road and the level of car ownership on individual streets and thus the presence of parked cars.
        This myth of one north-south road being wider than another was put out in the early days of the TACRA & CCRA campaign and gained some credence.
        I think the exception may be Oval Rd around the “oval”, it seems distinctly narrower than other streets in the area.

  7. Rod Davies says:

    Well, first of all congratulations to Inside Croydon, TACRA and CCRA on their amazingly successful campaign; achieving in little more than 12 months what it took Lebanon Rd 13 years to achieve. And as a bonus they received the profuse apologies for each of the councillors and officers involved. I am sure that other RA’s will examine the tactics very carefully and consider how they can emulate them.

    I would like to point out that I did not represent ECCO at TMAC. I spoke as myself and as someone who had been involved in the Lebanon Rd campaign. As far as I am aware ECCO doesn’t have a position regarding individual streets. I do believe ECCO holds the view that there should be a thorough evidence-based area wide review of traffic management. i am aware that some ECCO members have expressed the view that Leslie Park Rd should be closed to motor vehicles as it is part of the TfL cycle route through Lebanon & Cedar Rd’s.

    What I recall saying to TMAC was that the proposals were just another minor adjustment which would push traffic into the adjacent streets in an elaborate game of “Beggar My Neighbour”. I pointed out that it had been Tunstall & Addiscombe Ct Rd that became 1-way first; then Canning Rd was closed to HGV’s; then from Chisholm to Blake Rd they were made No Entry and effectively 1-way; leaving Lebanon Rd the only north-south road that was 2-way over its entire length and 3,000 vehicles per day using it as a rat-run. And now we’re back to where it all started in the first place.
    In respect of making Lebanon Rd north-bound I pointed out to TMAC that it would result in all the south-bound traffic (approx 1,000 vehicles per day) using the remaining south-bound route, Tunstall Rd. (Of course TACRA could have proposed that all the one-way systems were reversed so that north-bound traffic uses Lebanon Rd, and south-bound traffic uses Addiscombe Ct Rd.)
    The decision to make Lebanon Rd south-bound was made by officers and the basis that it was consistent with the adjacent roads. The Lebanon Rd campaign simply wanted an end to 2-way traffic.
    I said to TMAC that I confidently expected that we would all be back in a year or so’s time as another road demands traffic calming measures. (I expect this to come from Oval or Leslie Park Rd’s as north-bound traffic uses them as a rat-run to get to the Lwr Addiscombe Rd / Leslie Park Rd junction). The chair nodded resignedly.
    As TMAC made clear there is almost no possibility of an area wide transport review which could address the East Croydon issues, so there is no alternative but for individual streets to campaign in their own narrow interests, which has been the practice for the last 3 decades.

    In terms of consultation although the scope was the widest there has ever been, it omitted the roads to the west of Cherry Orchard Rd. As I stated in my written submission, the loss of a north-bound route will compel drivers to use Cherry Orchard Rd and it is inevitable that more drivers will discover that they can avoid the Lwr Addiscombe Rd / Cherry Orchard Rd roundabout by using Cross Rd, which is undesirable in my opinion. Cherry Orchard Rd will also slow down as residents of Tunstall, Addiscombe Ct, Leslie Park, north-end of Lebanon Rd’s stop and turn into Oval Rd or Leslie Park Rd to get home.

  8. So illegal overtaking, illegally driving the wrong way on a one way street, driving without due care and attention, speeding… Hmm sounds like a job for the police! Right, can someone evict a couple of officers from a cosy office somewhere and they can issue fines for a few days, problem solved!

    • Rod Davies says:

      Allegedly the police have stated that it would be too dangerous for their officers to attempt to enforce the no-overtaking law on Addiscombe Rd.
      On another occasion residents provided the police with photographic evidence to cars driving through no-entry signs, allegedly the drivers got a warning. The police advised that residents shouldn’t challenged offending drivers because they would put themselves at risk of assault.
      The council has been asked to install cameras to catch speeding and overtaking drivers. They have declined to do so.
      Everyone may conclude that they may overtake stopped trams, go through No-Entry signs and speed because neither the police nor the council will enforce the law.

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