The Addiscombe traffic balls-up is set to be discussed at a public meeting next week.
The organisers were unable to confirm whether a proposal to change the name of Lebanon Road to “Alderman Watson Boulevard” will be on the agenda.
But according to a local community group affected by the controversial and poorly consulted changes to the one-way system along Addiscombe Road, “Recent road changes have divided opinions in Addiscombe…”, nah, everyone agrees it has been a gigantic balls-up by the council, “… and we are now keen to come to a solution that is agreeable to everyone.”
Good luck with that.
“The objective of the meeting is to find a group of individuals representing all of the key views and to take matters forward,” the ECCO website (which was set up by a couple of Lebanon Road residents) states, just a tad optimistically.
It’s also a curious position to take, since this area of the borough has the benefit of probably more residents’ associations per square mile than almost any other area in the whole United Kingdom, as street by street along the residential roads that spring off from the A232, there seems to be another separate group of community-spirited neighbours who have banded together to try to represent their common interests.
And in one thing all of these groups agree: they’re fed up with having their street used as a rat run by motorists and delivery drivers.
Trouble is, perhaps because of some vested interests, the council has singularly failed in taking an overview of the problems created by rising traffic levels, to provide a more holistic solution than what it has offered so far, which has amounted to a piecemeal roll-out of one way streets, with all of the associated knock-on effects for neighbouring roads.
The notice of the meeting offers car parking at the venue, rather than encouraging people to walk or to use public transport. So they clearly haven’t properly grasped what is at the root of the problem.
The meeting is being staged at the behest of Addiscombe East’s councillors, Labour’s Maddie Henson and Tory Jeet Bains.
“Whatever your views, please come to ensure that they are recorded,” the notice states.
There has, of course, been two formal consultations conducted in the area in the past four years – the first of which just failed to consult anyone living in roads neighbouring Lebanon Road (somewhat conveniently for the then council cabinet member who lives on Lebanon Road), before that residential street was made one-way.
This latest meeting does not appear to have any formal status within council procedures, though it is indicative that the changes which the council have implemented, rolling along the Addiscombe Road, have simply and entirely predictably, shunted the problem (sometimes literally) east towards Ashburton.
The meeting takes place at 7pm next Tuesday, January 8, at Ashburton Hall, Ashburton Park, Lower Addiscombe Road.
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I can tell you exactly the reason why these 4 parallel roads in East Addiscombe are experiencing more and more traffic. To a degree, certainly the blocking off the South ends of the counterpart West Addiscombe roads must have a contributory factor.
However, in my view over some 4 decades as an occasional motorist going from the Wallington or South Croydon area to Elmers End and SE London, the real culprit is the fact that, since the introduction of the trams, the motorist is now unable to drive up George Street past East Croydon Station and turn left down Cherry Orchard Road, to get from the Fairfield Halls down to the Lower Addiscombe Road at the Morland road roundabout. Or access Cherry Orchard Road via the Law Courts (Fairfield Road) and Altyre Road, and the Threepenny-bit tower roundabout, which is now almost no-go area for .cars and vans.
For this reason, a large number of people doing that journey from the Flyover to Elmers End , wanting to access the Lower Addiscombe Road, go Eastwards on the A 232 from the Flyover/ Fairfield Halls roundabout, up the hill past the Law Courts along Fairfield Road, and then down Chepstow Road to the pinchpoint at the junction with ….the tram tracks……at Addiscombe Road, then will use one of Elgin, Havelock, Outram or Ashburton Roads to get down to the Lower Addiscombe Road.
In my opinion, the problem is probably the morning “South to North rush hour rat running” , so the solution would be to ban entry into Elgin / Havelock/ Outram and Ashburton from 7a.m to 10 a.m.(camera enforced) .
But also, reopen the section of George Street (East) and Altyre Roads to let through- traffic back into Cherry Orchard road, so that traffic can flow around the West side of ( and thereby avoid entirely) the whole Addiscombe residential area from Oval Road to the West to Ashburton Road in the East..
Ironic that in an article about attempts to stop a neighbourhood being plagued by rat runners we have someone who appears to blame the prioritisation of public transport for causing problems and overlooks the A232 as the best way of driving from Wallington or South Croydon to Elmers End. No doubt too much motor traffic is the problem; over the last 50 years across Britain, motor traffic mileage has tripled. The good news is that in Croydon, it has declined by 17% since 2000.
What Addiscombe – and other Croydon neighbourhoods – need is to have closures that are planned properly, so that across a whole cell of residential streets, there is no direct route through for rat-running motor traffic. Barriers stop the rat runners while allowing people travelling on foot or by bike to travel along traffic-calmed streets. While people can still drive to and from their front door, the rat runners are kept on the main roads, where they belong. Schemes like this have been successfully deployed in places like Waltham Forest and indeed parts of Waddon, so there’s no reason why they can’t be adopted in Addiscombe.