Our Town Hall reporter, KEN LEE, on the latest twist in the saga of the borough’s Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes
Pat Ryan, the veteran councillor for Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood ward, has been removed as a member of the Traffic Management Advisory Committee, ahead of a crunch meeting tonight to decide the next steps for the borough’s Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes.
No official announcement nor explanation has been given for the removal of Ryan from the committee, which tonight will consider the use of CCTV cameras on key side streets off Church Road in Upper Norwood to reduce traffic and deter rat-runners, while making the streets less hostile places for pedestrians and cyclists.
“It’s probably meant to spare Pat from embarrassing himself and voting with the Tories again,” a Katharine Street source said today.
At the previous meeting of TMAC, Ryan, a former Labour chief whip at the Town Hall, voted with the opposition Conservatives, who themselves managed to vote against the traffic-reducing policies of their own government.
In the past, Ryan has been appointed to positions at the council by Tony Newman, the disgraced former leader of the council who was suspended from membership of the Labour Party last week, pending an investigation into his role in the financial collapse of the council. Ryan is also a staunch supporter of Progress MP Steve Reed OBE.
Recently, Ryan’s conduct has become increasingly eccentric, including going out leafleting during the latest coronavirus lockdown, ignoring the law and his own party’s instructions, while his outburst at a branch meting last year, which resulted in two women volunteer officials resigning, is subject to an investigation.
Since the last meeting of the traffic management committee, physical barriers, such as planters, have been removed from the LTNs in Upper Norwood and South Norwood.
Tonight’s meeting is expected to approve plans for a 12-month trial using ANPRs – Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras – which issue fines to the drivers of any vehicles using designated roads without a valid permit.
During last year’s initial trial, which used an ANPR at a bus gate on Auckland Road, the camera was subjected to regular and repeated vandalism – something which Councillor Ryan “liked” on social media.
Following a recent High Court ruling in favour of black cab drivers opposing a scheme elsewhere in London – a decision which is being appealed by Transport for London – Croydon Council has now introduced so many categories of vehicle which should be allowed a permit that some supporters of LTNs feel that the measures have been rendered virtually worthless.
An addendum to the report to tonight’s meeting “recommends increasing the categories of vehicle to which Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera technology… shall not apply, to include, taxis and buses, including Dial-a-Ride vehicles.”
Also exempted from the LTN restrictions are to be “Vehicles of staff employed at Cypress School and Harris Academy Crystal Palace”, “Vehicles used by care-givers of sick and/or disabled residents within the area of the LTN”, and “Vehicles registered by Blue Badge holders”.
Read more: Court ruling forces removal of Crystal Palace traffic measures
Read more: The next battle in the culture wars? Traffic bollards
Read more: London’s toxic air is ‘a public health emergency’ says charity
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This alternative plan is so complicated and costly that the council should just give in gracefully and withdraw its scheme now
Poor Pat, he must be wondering what he’s done wrong to justify this when his pals Butler and Scott are still allowed to carry on as if Brick by Brick and borough bankruptcy never happened.
The Broad Green LTN already has a camera and many have been fined. There are benefits though – no longer do rat runners travel down the roads at speeds over 40mph, there are not many Mexican standoffs and no violent attacks on Derby Road… well, not as many perhaps.
Still the speed dial deliveries have moved to the other side of the London Road as have the mini-cab sleepers and takeaway delivery drivers. But it is a lot safer to walk for those wanting to get their fix now, albeit on the other side of the London Road. Strangely over the last week many of the Mercedes, Audi and Golf speed merchants have moved to the back end of Elmwood Road, St Saviours and side streets around and opposite the Windmill holding centre. Clearly smart rat runners these.
Now that all the danger issues have increased and multiplied on the other side of the London Road it makes it a bit more adventurous for children to walk to the two schools on Lodge Road and St James’ Road. But hey, it was never really about children’s safety anyway – just get the TfL money in and look like we are doing something.
On the council website it states, “No permits or exemptions will be issued to visitors, contractors or council workers. All properties within the LTN are still accessible via alternative routes.”
No mention of any increase of vehicle types here – Still it would be nice if Croydon Council actually specified how one is supposed to access a property within the zone via an alternative route. I have had a look at the map and unless my vehicle (or myself) take up paragliding or charter a helicopter, I am struggling to find those li’l ol’ alternatives. Perhaps they mean alternative methods? Or maybe alternative realities?
I wonder how many voters the Councillors will have lost on that side of the road come the next election?
Must be a local IT company capable of producing apps simple enough for even the most challenged Croydon driver to use to avoid PCNs
Ian, if you’ve seen motorists speeding and dealing drugs on the streets you mention, please give the police details so that they can take action to stop someone being seriously injured or killed.
If you need to drive to a street inside the Broad Green Low Traffic Neighbourhood, then Google Maps will give you directions that take account of the recent changes there.
And if you want the benefits that LTNs clearly bring, contact your local councillors.
Austen – the SNT Police at both Selhurst and Broad Green have been notified.
Speeding there is little they can do unless they themselves witness it – We had photo’s and some video and got that response. They were notified of the brothels and drug houses multiple times and with photos of people also, However they need to witness this themselves and have clear evidence and the drugs in the persons hands. The Customers arriving and illegally parking was recorded and got the response that it was a parking issue and take it to parking enforcement – Which it was – They also said unless they catch them there there is little they can do and if they do catch them they can issue a ticket. Have you tried over the last decade calling parking enforcement? We have, hundreds of times, and waited and waited and sometimes got lucky and cars were ticketed. But that is it.
With the three houses on my street it was working with the owner of one of the houses that they were able to evict and regain possession and sort out matters. One has had the Police around so many times but they are unable to do anything as yet, but it has lessened through us working together.
The other Landlord just ignored it until his other tenants kicked off at him also and is now developing.
Two of the Councillors were made aware some time ago – nothing has been done nor heard from them since.
However the Council Anti Social Behaviour team have attempted a lot and work very hard and diligently but unfortunately their process are very limiting and the regulations are unfit for purpose in many circumstances so it is very difficult for them to achieve any permanent success despite the incredibly good and difficult work they do.
With respects to Google Maps perhaps the Council should show this tool on the site and those with that facility can then use it.