CROYDON COMMENTARY: In an open letter to council leader Hamida Ali, Kenley resident RICHARD RUSSELL expresses his dismay with the current state of the borough
I received a penalty charge notice, fined £65 for driving into Parsons Mead low traffic zone.
I was taking my wife’s car to get it MOT’d at Motaplus Garage in Canterbury Road, a garage I have used for this purpose for about 30 years. Having now seen on the internet all the protests about the fines served on countless drivers and that an adjudicator has stated that the signage is adequate, clearly I made a mistake in using Parsons Mead, so I have paid up.
However, it is hard to believe that the council is sincere about the reasons for making Parsons Mead a low traffic zone. I missed all the signage, which seems to be set too high up on the poles for drivers in small cars to see, though no doubt it is compliant.
Gardeners Road (my usual route to the hospital and garage for many years is from Mitcham Road via Albion St) does not seem to have any guide painted on to the road surface saying all traffic must turn right before the junction with Parson Mead. Having made an illegal left turn into Parsons Mead… again the prohibition sign may be legal but it is an unusual style for a prohibition sign.
Nor is there a warning on Mitcham Road to the effect that Albion Street is for access only. If there was such a sign, I did not see it.
Clearly, the council is only interested in the money, not making sure traffic keeps off Parsons Mead.
One cannot escape the feeling that Parsons Mead is simply a ruse to entrap motorists.
Not long ago I tried to pick up a new lawnmower from Argos in Market Street. The loading zone outside the store was blocked by two vans, so I went to look for a nearby parking place.
Having found a space I had to give it up because the parking meter screen was defective and I could not understand what to do to pay the parking fee. I drove home to Kenley and cancelled the order for the mower.
We used to be regular users of Grants, the Fairfield Halls and the Whitgift Centre.
Now “downtown” Croydon is a no go zone for us, unwelcoming, even hostile.
The saturation of the area with flats is going to overwhelm the local infrastructure anyway, so tinkering with traffic schemes now, even if well-intentioned, will make little difference in the long run.
The roads are too dangerous to ride a bike on, so you are unlikely to turn Croydon into an Amsterdam.
Over the years we have spent a lot of money in Croydon but it is just too easy for drivers to get fined there now. A leisurely day out at the Whitgift Centre with a nice lunch is a distant memory.
But is anyone at the Town Hall bothered?
Read more: Broad Green driver has 12 penalty notices dropped by council
Read more: Taking a U-turn on road measures risks a traffic accident
Read more: Residents take to the streets to protest Parsons Mead LTN
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