The council has announced a range of measures on the streets in West Croydon and Woodside to assist social distancing for pedestrians, improve road conditions for cycling, while suspending parking bays and announcing the intention of enforcing speed restrictions on motor traffic.
The measures are to be introduced from this weekend.
Stuart King, the Labour council’s cabinet member responsible for the borough’s roads, made the announcement last night, in response to the changed circumstances created by the coronavirus lockdown and the significant fall in road traffic as people observe the call to stay at home.
The plans were described as “emergency” and “temporary”, although the announcement was welcomed by environment groups and Greens, who are lobbying for some of the measures to be made permanent after the lockdown.
“Pleased to announce… emergency plans to reduce road danger during lockdown,” King wrote on Twitter.
There has been no formal announcement from the council via its website nor press statement.
“We’ll be suspending parking at locations in London Road and Portland Road to allow temp[orary] widening of footway to support social distancing.”
London Road is an area known for its wide range and high number of independently owned fresh food and grocery shops. Portland Road is significant because it falls within the Woodside ward of council leader Tony Newman and his best mate, Paul Scott.
“More locations under consideration,” King noted.
“From this weekend, we will start closing a number of rat runs to help reduce motor traffic in residential roads. Fewer vehicles make for safer walking and cycling.
“We will also introduce a cycle lane in London Rd from Thornton Heath Ponds and West Croydon to help key workers and others travel to Mayday. Additional signage going in to encourage greater adherence to speed limits. Slow down, save lives, protect the NHS,” King wrote.
The announcement was welcomed by Peter Underwood, the Green Party’s candidate in the London Assembly elections (whenever they get round to staging them).
Underwood said, “This is good news and a sensible move by Croydon Council.
“Let’s hope this isn’t just a temporary fix during this crisis. We need to start a long-term project to change Croydon’s streets so that they are good for people, not just good for cars.”
And charity Croydon Living Streets also endorsed the plan. “This is such great news,” they tweeted.
“We absolutely support the reallocation of road space to make safe streets for all. We look forward to supporting the actions and hope this will be the start of some quite radical changes.”
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