Photostory by SARAH BOWELL
Croydon town centre came to a standstill yesterday afternoon after a car crashed in to a shop front at the junction of Tamworth Road and London Road, opposite West Croydon railway station.
According to the emergency services, the air ambulance was called in and two people were taken to hospital. A spokesperson for the police said, “The driver of the car, a woman, was taken to hospital; her injuries are not life-threatening. She is believed to have suffered a medical episode at the wheel.”
Eye-witnesses said that the vehicle had gone off the road “at full speed”. It was, perhaps, a modern-day miracle that no pedestrians or anyone in the shop was seriously hurt.
The incident, which happened just after 1pm, necessitated an alert being issued by the Croydon Council resilience team, who confirmed traffic and public transport disruption. Trams stopped running between Reeves Corner and East Croydon (this was in addition to the planned no service between Addiscombe and Elmers End and Birkbeck while bridge engineering work takes place), and several bus routes being placed on diversion, or simply terminating the route early.
“Several road closures in the area [are] causing severe congestion,” the council notice stated.
For many using buses or trams, they found themselves stuck at West Croydon, forced to wait it out.
The London Fire Brigade removed the car and made the shop safe very quickly. Soon after, buses were escorted through Derby Road or supervised U-turns happened in London Road. The scene was clear by 2.30pm.
With bus route changes proposed by Transport for London under Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, with several services to be curtailed either side of Croydon town centre, the incident highlighted how difficult it is for those with disabilities or who are more elderly to get across the borough if these changes happened.
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