Residents associations in dispute over latest one-way scheme

Transport correspondent JEREMY CLACKSON reports on the latest diversion for traffic coming down the road in East Croydon

Road users in Addiscombe can prepare themselves for a third change to the one-way system in the area in barely 18 months, as last night’s traffic management committee meeting at the Town Hall gave the green light to implementing the latest piecemeal proposal.

Residents in neighbouring streets off Addiscombe Road have been at loggerheads since Lebanon Road was singled out for preferential treatment and made one-way early in 2016.

Notably, one of the residents of Lebanon Road is Mark Watson, who just happens to be an influential councillor for the ward and a member of Tony Newman’s cabinet on the council.

While residents on Lebanon Road welcomed the changes, a large volume of traffic was displaced on to parallel streets, causing disruption to homes on those neighbouring roads.

Such was the anger, a residents’ association was formed to campaign on the issue: TACRA – the Tunstall and Addiscombe Court Residents’ Association.

The latest set of no entry and one-way traffic management which was approved at last night’s council traffic management committee

TACRA’s campaign has been successful, as last night’s council meeting approved plans to extend a partial one-way system to Tunstall Road and Addiscombe Court Road, while keeping Lebanon Road one-way – and which will in all likelihood just shunt the traffic problems to other streets further down the Addiscombe Road, seeing the people who live on Clyde, Elgin and other roads no doubt petitioning the council for changes on their streets in due course.

Even after last night’s this decision, some members of TACRA are fuming that another residents’ group, ECCO – the East Croydon Community Organisation – lobbied against the road changes.

Speaking at last night’s meeting against the proposals was Rod Davies. Davies is an officer of ECCO.

In July, Davies wrote of the latest scheme, “The problem with many counter-proposals is that they are not fully thought out, and serve only to achieve narrow self-interest.”

Davies lives on Lebanon Road.

One of those at last night’s meeting told Inside Croydon, “I am extremely saddened that there are residents from Lebanon Road who, having secured protection for their own families, have been campaigning to deny us the same protection, for the sake of a few extra minutes on their journeys. I am particularly saddened that they have conducted this campaign apparently on behalf of ECCO.

“I am also sad that this has all pitted street against street, residents’ association against association. If making our road one-way has a detrimental effect on neighbouring streets, then I will support them wholeheartedly in their efforts to find a solution – and not, as some have done – adopt a ‘I’m alright Jack’ attitude.”

Some residents have approached TACRA to withdraw its membership and support from ECCO.

Neither the police nor the council appear prepared to enforce the ban on cars overtaking trams along Addiscombe Road

The introduction of no entry signs and one-way roads appears, in any case, to be merely academic.

According to comments from Davies, the police will not concern themselves with enforcement and the council is refusing to install CCTV cameras to stop speeding, illegal overtaking of trams, or cars travelling the wrong way down one-way streets.

“Allegedly, the police have stated that it would be too dangerous for their officers to attempt to enforce the no-overtaking law on Addiscombe Road,” Davies has written.

Even when provided with photographic evidence, Davies says, the police have declined to take penalty action, issuing the drivers with only a warning. “The police advised that residents shouldn’t challenge offending drivers because they would put themselves at risk of assault,” Davies said.

“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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4 Responses to Residents associations in dispute over latest one-way scheme

  1. Not everyone in the ECCO area and indeed even a few from the TACRA area supported the chnges proposed and as stated TACRA have had their wishes granted. It took the Lebanon Road residents over 10 years to get their wishes granted. I have lived in the ECCO are for over 55 years Oval Rd,Addiscombe Court Rd,Tunstall Rd and now Addiscombe Rd.So was very aware then when using Lebanon Road to access Addiscombe Rd particulary when we were unable to enter Addiscombe Rd at either end I witnessed many arguements and near misses, and understand from the residents of Lebanon Rd had cars damaged.

    It was regretable that not everyone in the area was consulted intially.

    it also seems unfair that Mark Watson has been singled out as having influenced this decision as he lives on Lebanon Rd he is after all only one councillor, with one vote.

    I am a member
    of the ECCO steering group but THESE ARE MY PERSONAL VIEWS.

  2. Rod Davies says:

    As an ECCO member and a member of the Steering Group, I was unaware that TACRA is a member of ECCO. Some people may be members of both organisations, but ECCO doesn’t require people to declare it.
    At last nights meeting within the 2 minutes I tried to represent the interests of over 20 streets. It was a challenge to try to represent such complex and conflicting interests in a rigidly enforce 2 minute period. A large number of Addiscombe Ct Rd, Tunstall Rd and Canning Rd residents spoke, far outweighing the numbers of other speakers, and they articulated their arguments in detail.

    I stated that the report is flawed and that the proposals do not deliver the stated policy objectives. In accordance with the Chairs request I sought not to repeat what had already been said. I commented that had the report intended to address the policy objectives that the Council in conjunction with TfL would have installed enforcement cameras along Addiscombe Rd to address overtaking, and speed cameras to enforce the local 20mph speed limit. I noted that there will be a loss of facility for many residents with the loss of both north-bound routes, and some of this traffic will be displaced onto Oval and Leslie Park Rd, and possibly Cross Rd.

    However. last night’s TMAC was merely a circus, because the decision had been made long ago and it really didn’t matter that the majority of Canning Rd residents oppose the change, or that Elgin, Outram, Havelock and Ashburton Rd already have more traffic each day that Addiscombe Ct Rd or Canning Rd.

    Anyway, so lets be gracious; Congratulations to TACRA & CCRA, on a very successful campaign – you got what you wanted.
    The rest of us, ECCO, HOME, Park Hill RA, Whitgift Estate RA have all learned a lesson.

  3. Tunde Hinton says:

    I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree with you Rod. Addiscombe Court and Tunstall are clearly within the geographical boundaries of ECCO, and this is obvious from the map on the homepage of the ECCO website.

    If you recall on Saturday 7th October you posted on the East Croydon Community FB Page expressing your intention to speak on behalf of ECCO residents on this matter. I asked you then not to speak on behalf of ECCO given that both Addiscombe Court and Tunstall Roads are also supposed to be represented by ECCO – but rather to speak in a personal capacity. I received no response.

    You will also be aware as part of this on-going discussion on FB that I asked for clarification as to when and where a formal position was taken by ECCO to oppose Croydon Council’s recommendations to the one way system to Addiscombe Court Road. Given that the ECCO constitution states (section 4, para H) “before representing ECCO members, the steering group shall first seek their views as widely as urgency and resources permit. They shall set out any strong minority view, as well as the majority view, explain how the views were obtained, how representative they are of the members and shall publish them on the ECCO website”, how views were collected to inform the organisation’s position.

    At the ECCO AGM in July, I raised my concerns of how the one way system consultation was being reported negatively on the ECCO website. The ECCO reporting repeatedly omitted coverage of the tram safety issues at the top of Addiscombe Court Road. I also participated in the transport subgroup discussion held at the AGM and I don’t recall ECCO’s position on the consultation being discussed there either.

    Lastly you will also recall I asked whether ECCO also objected to the one way system to Lebanon Road.

    None of these questions have been answered.

    I understand this is not the first time that concerns have been raised by residents regarding representations in public forums on behalf of ECCO and its members. There was a similar issue about flawed and biased representation with the Local Plan Consultation being raised in the 2016 AGM.

    It’s disingenuous to try and change the narrative, persistently overlooking and downplaying the fact that residents on these roads campaigned as a result of the negative impact directly caused by the implementation of the one way system in Lebanon Road.

    What I will say is that residents that I’ve spoken to on both ACR and Tunstall Roads are getting really frustrated about the emotive language used by representatives of ECCO in social media. Not only has this been extremely divisive but has only acted to inflame divisions between streets in the entire area.

    As an individual you are of course entitled to express your opposition to issues/policies you may disagree with, however when these opinions start to encroach on your position as an ECCO representative to effectively represent a measured and balanced view for all residents in the area then I will object strongly.

    The role of ECCO should be to foster community spirit in the East Croydon, not to divide it.

  4. I find it distressing that there is a lot of evidence emerging to suggest that there is an attempt to portray ACR and Tunstall as being at odds with the other streets and to seek to blame ACR residents, whilst ignoring the real catalyst – one way working in Lebanon Rd.

    In fact public opinion in the area included in the informal consultation is not nearly as one-sided as comments in social media portray. A majority of residents who voted in ACR, Addiscombe Grove, Ashburton Close, Chepstow, Granville, Leafy Way, Leyburn Gardens, Park Hill Rise, and Tunstall voted to support no entry in ACR.

    Even more astonishingly, and flying in the face of the portrayal, 50% of Chisolm Rd residents and just under 50% of Lebanon Road residents also supported no entry for ACR. This significant minority view has received no articulation by ECCO or its spokespersons in any medium of communication.

    If one aggregates the votes of residents on the roads consulted which lie wholly within the ECCO area, a majority of residents voted to support no entry for ACR. Yet the ECCO position at traffic management committee was to not represent that majority, or even acknowledge it as a different view, but to speak against.

    The presentation of traffic stats by ECCO on their website has also been concerning. For all streets except ACR the ECCO website counted north and south traffic together, but for ACR reported north and south volumes separately. This of course makes the ACR count look lower. This is at best misleading – for much of its length ACR is two way, and residents on these stretches of road are experiencing all the problems and traffic volumes that Lebanon Road previously had.

    Notwithstanding the plight of these residents ECCO appear to have deemed their predicament unworthy of reporting even once, let alone offering support. In contrast an entire ECCO article was devoted to problems in Lebanon Road when rat-running motorists were denied access to ACR for one weekend to facilitate tram works.

    Similarly the photo of ACR repeatedly used in ECCO articles about the informal and statutory consultations shows a completely traffic free ACR. The two and a half thousand cars a day have simply disappeared.

    Perhaps most damningly of all not one ECCO communication to residents even bothered to mention the tram safety concerns, as cars overtake the tram, to turn sharp and blind into ACR, through streams of pedestrians leaving the tram.

    And ECCO have failed to include in their communications to residents any news of the public apology that Croydon has made to the residents of ACR for their exclusion from the Lebanon Rd consultation, and the fallout from it, effectively displacing all that northbound traffic to ACR.

    At traffic committee ECCO suggested ACR residents were seeking an oasis of calm for themselves – whilst the Councils two traffic surveys clearly demonstrate Lebanon Road now enjoys unprecedented low levels of traffic relative to other streets.

    ECCO articles urged residents being consulted to consider emergency vehicle access if ACR were given no entry, implying that access would be hindered. Yet the Lebanon Road campaign argued that no entry was essential for Lebanon Rd to ensure emergency vehicle access. Who would have thought that two similar streets would require such different solutions? The emergency services themselves offered no objections to the proposal for no entry to ACR.

    Finally there has also been no ECCO coverage that Whitgift RA called for the reversal of Lebanon Road in their objection to the current proposals, and that many objectors expressed similar views. A number of objectors supported ACR being made no entry, and this also has also not been reported.

    Put all of this together, and it looks shockingly unbalanced. As another commenter has said this all looks in contravention of the ECCO constitution which specifically calls for for area opinion to be canvassed and significant minority views to be fairly represented.

    Half of ECCO Steering group members, including the transport spokesperson, are Lebanon Road residents.

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