Time for London’s politicians to redesign streets for people

South Norwood Country Park, one of Croydon’s many ‘green lungs’ which have served us so well during lockdown

CROYDON COMMENTARY: For South Croydon resident CONNIE MUIR, it is a manifesto from a community organisation which has impressed her most during the latest election campaign, as she’s voting with her feet

During the pandemic, people in London have rediscovered the simple act of walking – the oldest, cheapest and greenest transport there is. It has allowed us to stay healthy, happy and connected to those around us.

But lots of us still struggle with narrow, cluttered, uneven pavements, crossings that prioritise cars rather than people, and growing numbers of speeding vehicles.

That’s why I support Living Streets’ Manifesto for Walking – London.

It calls for candidates in our mayoral election to pledge to tackle air pollution, transform our streets for people of all ages and abilities, make walking the natural choice for short journeys, and for an end pedestrian deaths and injuries on our roads.

It is time we redesigned our streets around people, not cars.

That way we can all continue to enjoy the benefits of walking and healthier, happier communities.

Read more: Climate crisis protest brings Selsdon Road traffic to a halt
Read more: Climate Crisis Commission is a last chance to make a change

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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
This entry was posted in 2021 London elections, Croydon Friends of the Earth, Environment, Walks and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Time for London’s politicians to redesign streets for people

  1. Lewis White says:

    Sadly, local authorties have had their funding from Central Government reduced year on year, so our footways are too often affected by “trip hazards”.

    There seems to be a bit of a “green lobby” that footways generally are too narrow. I would certainly agree that in South Norwood , on the North side of the main East to West road,the High Street, the footway is very narrow, as a result of history. It could be changed, by knocking down the Victorian shop fronts and moving tem back. The road is already very narrow.

    In Addiscombe, Purley, Selsdon, Coulsdon, Sanderstead ., London Road West Croydon, and any number of other places in the borough, the footways in shopping areas are wide and well able to acommodate all the people using or potentially using them.

    Road users probably would rather not use South Norwood but there is no other East to West route available. The road is narrow . The buildings close to the road. The air is polluted, Not nice for pedestrians or drivers

    I can’t imagine any driver suffering the traffic jams there for fun.

    In the 1960’s , much maligned now, local councils used to do precisely what I have said above–knock down buildings and widen roads.

    Redesigning streets for people is a great idea… but please remember that drivers too, are people, with generally legitimate needs to be driving….and being driven, in buses.. And I just don’t believe that crossings prioritise vehicles, not people. Constantly stopping traffic at crossings actually results in more pollution from idling engines, and slows buses as they convey their passengers . A balance needs to be struck.

    • Great idea Lewis. If you start a petition to widen South Norwood’s narrow streets by knocking down that tatty Victorian architecture, so helping the area rival Wellesley Road or the Purley Way, you’ll get loads of support.

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