All in it together for four months of closures to Epsom Road

Don’t you get sick and tired of seeing a road dug up, the works finish and the road nicely relaid, for it only to get dug up by another utility service soon after?

Now, in a ground-breaking initiative, Croydon council, SGN the gas infrastructure company, Thames Water and their various contractors and sub-contractors are going to try to get their act together and co-ordinate their works on a road in the borough, in what is hoped will be a model for future collaboration across London.

By working together, and concentrating work on Epsom Road, along side the railway tracks approaching Waddon Station, into a four-month programme, there’s a hope that 98 days of unco-ordinated disruption will be avoided.

It will be a case of short-term pain for the long-term gain for residents and users of the road that links to Duppas Hill and the Purley Way near the always-busy Fiveways Junction. Overruns to the timetable are always a risk when unexpected complications are discovered after the ground is dug up.

Work, it is hoped, will progress in phases along Epsom Road starting at the A232 end of that road from March 25 until the end of July. The co-ordinated works aim to:

• Replace the old metal gas mains
• Replace water pipes and
• Have Croydon Council’s highways team follow close behind the two utilities to carry out work to provide a fresh new road surface and to work with Veolia to keep bin collections going

Bus route 157 will be on diversion during the works and other traffic will need to use diversions to Duppas Hill Road.

Letters have gone out to local residents inviting them to a Croydon Council-organised drop-in session being held tomorrow from 5pm to 8pm at The Minster Nursery and Infant School on Warrington Road.

The council’s letter might not fill residents with an overwhelming sense of confidence that this might all go smoothly: “Refuse collections will also operate as normal as far as possible. Please report any missed collections via the LB Croydon website.”

Given the performance of Veolia bin collections over the past nine months, Inside Croydon’s loyal reader would be forgiven for wondering what is meant by “operate as normal”…

The council’s letter also seems to suggest that the Minster Junior school will not be entirely on-side over the proposed works: “Will access to Minster Junior School be affected during the work? Footpaths around the works area will remain open as usual allowing pedestrians to safely access the school during our work. We’re continuing to liaise with the school to establish alternative temporary entrances for parents, pupils and staff while the work is carried out.”

The school has a poor relationship with residents over the twice daily car parking frenzy outside the school gates.  That relationship has soured further with a planning approval being sought, and granted, for floodlit football pitches, which will be hired out commercially long into winter evenings.

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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