Wrong direction: South Norwood signs are out of line

You don’t know whether to laugh in derision or cry in embarrassment.

Signs of the times: these TfL signs are 90 degrees out…

Certainly, residents in South Norwood don’t know which way to turn after street signs and a map of the local area were installed last month, with the signs literally pointing in the wrong direction, and the map outside Norwood Junction station identifying landmark buildings and features that have long since been moved or closed down.

One of the signs, installed at a likely cost of thousands of pounds, went up on the junction of Portland Road and the High Street, outside the Albion pub. It points the wrong way and will need to be re-orientated 90 degrees clockwise.

There’s another signpost on Market Parade, Portland Road, which is also pointing the wrong way.

And then last week, there was one of those “You Are Here” modern map monoliths installed outside the busy railway station.

Much of the landmark information on the map is years out of date.

It shows a local Co-op supermarket. The Co-op closed in around 2016 and is now an Aldi (how about that to confuse visiting tourists?).

Sign of the times: TfL needs to do some catching up in South Norwood

It points to a Post Office that closed in 2015 and moved inside Nisa.

And the map shows the South Norwood Police Station which City Hall ordered to be closed permanently seven years ago, and which is now a school.

Meanwhile, the new library being built by Brick by Brick – and more than a year late in being completed – just across the road from the station does not feature on the map at all.

Have Brick by Brick blundered yet again?

One angry resident has written to Transport for London, saying, “This shows a startling disregard for the residents of South Norwood. You must review why appropriate surveying of the area has not been conducted before producing these signs.

“Someone in your team is lazy and incompetent.”

But TfL deny that the signs and maps have anything to do with them. While the style of the signs and the You Are Here installation appear remarkably similar to TfL signage elsewhere in the capital, they claim that the appropriate roads authority for Portland Road is… Croydon Council.

Other locals have taken the road signs with a shrug and consider them to be one of the first impacts of Brexit and “taking back control”, intended to confuse and confound anyone who is not local.

“We don’t want any johnny foreigners coming to South Norwood and being able to find where they want to go,” no one actually said.

But there are gathering and real concerns that some other signage that has gone up recently around the soon-to-open new library with Brick by Brick flats above could attract the wrong sort of visitors entirely.

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 inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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2 Responses to Wrong direction: South Norwood signs are out of line

  1. David Wickens says:

    I strongly suspect that the signing scheme was drawn up by persons (consultants?) doing it as a desk study using out of date data rather than spend time and money actually visiting the area.

  2. Lewis White says:

    Talking of signage, it is obvious to anyone driving through South London that no-one is taking an overview of road signage.

    London is really a collection of villages that grew … but the villages became London districts. Sydenham, West Norwood, Upper Norwood, Brockley, Forest Hill, Peckham, Nunhead, Catford, Deptford, New Cross. Nearer to home, Addiscombe, Woodside, Thornton Heath, Shirey, Sanderstead, Waddon etc etc.

    Try looking for a sign , when in Croydon, to indicate the way to Upper Norwood, Sydenham, or Penge, Peckham, Bromley and Beckenham etc etc etc. Surprisingly large places and nearby places are often not shown.

    Funnily enough, often the most helpful signs are left-overs erected in the 1940’s and 50’s by the RAC or AA. Occasionally, the blue or yellow remnant signs can still be seen , helpfully pointing the way. Long may they remain in situ. Hero signs, worthy of entrance into a signage Valhalla, when their time comes.

    Someone who understands London’s geography should be charged with the task of re-signing London’s villages on London’s main roads. (but clearly not the designers of the TfL signage failure at South Norwood– and p.s. …. their signs should be condemned to Room 101).

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