Last year, it was the mystery of Croydon’s vanishing bins*.
Now, the borough appears to be losing another piece of street furniture that we usually take for granted – bus shelters.
Workman rocked up at Upper Selsdon Road, South Croydon, yesterday afternoon, for the speedy removal of the JCDecaux advertising platform there.
According to one of the workmen, it is one of around 140 being removed from around the borough.
As bolts were undone and glass panels carefully removed, the workman suggested that the shelters on the borough’s highways – those which are not the responsibility of Transport for London – are subject to a rental agreement with the council, and for some reason or another, Croydon hasn’t been paying its bills of late…
Such an assertion is impossible to verify with the over-staffed and thoroughly useless council propaganda department (who are never available on weekdays, never mind at weekends). Though a Katharine Street source today suggested that Croydon Council may have entered into an arrangement with an alternative supplier (how many bus shelter suppliers are there?).
Of course, noticing the absence of something is always tricky, but there appear to be holes in pavements by bus stops at other locations, including the town centre, where bus shelters once stood. So clearly, something is going on.
The illuminated advertisement disguised as a bus shelter on Upper Selsdon Road was approved by a council planning sub-committee more than 20 years ago, against the advice and recommendations of council planning staff.
But as one bus passenger observed, while forced to stand in the rain this morning waiting for their 412, the removal of bus shelters “is hardly going to encourage the use of sustainable transport”.
But they added, “On the plus side, it will reduce light pollution and the generation of litter.”
*On the matter of litter, and the bins to place it in: in 2020, the number of the borough’s street bins decreased markedly.
No one at the council would ever admit it or confirm it, but the word on the street was that this was done at the bidding of Veolia, the council’s contractors, to reduce their workload in doing rounds of bin-emptying. Instead, with far fewer road-sweepers now working in Croydon, litter is just allowed to blow through our streets, with not even an attempt made by the local authority to keep the place tidy.
Meanwhile, in tribute to the borough’s vanishing bus stops, here’s some music…
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