Croydon Council, a local authority that pays £10million per year to burn the borough’s rubbish in an environmentally harmful incinerator, is trying to jump on the COP26 bandwagon by announcing that it is making permanent what it describes as “successful walking and cycling schemes” in the town centre and along London Road.
COP26 is the UN climate conference, being staged in Glasgow and which begins on Sunday. Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough would probably take a look at Croydon’s feeble efforts and ask why it took a global pandemic for the council to just begin to introduce the kind of cycling infrastructure which was commonplace in other parts of London 20 years earlier.
The announcement from the council’s propaganda bunker said, without a hint of shame, “Announced ahead of the COP26 climate change summit, the proposals are a significant step toward [sic] Croydon achieving its target of a 34 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2025, encouraging more people to leave the car at home for more journeys.”
The council’s press release makes no mention of the incinerator at Beddington Lane, one of the biggest contributors to Croydon’s highly polluted air and CO2 emissions.
“Encouraging healthy transport is one of several actions the borough is taking to fight climate change and make Croydon greener,” the disingenuous council claimed.
The cycle lanes and street improvements were put in temporarily in August 2020 as part of the council’s Streetspace programme. Public feedback was collected and, the council states, “has been used to make changes to the permanent proposals, which are now open for consultation”.
The works are being funded by Transport for London and the Department for Transport. Proposals for London Road from Thornton Heath Pond to North End include:
- Making the cycle lanes safer by adding improved measures to separate cyclists from vehicles and making them permanent
- Making the street safer and more attractive for pedestrians with increased footway space, and new and improved crossings
- Making the 20mph speed limit permanent
- Tree planting and a new sustainable water drainage “rain garden” to improve street scene and environmental resilience
- Addition of parking and loading bays on side roads for use by local businesses
According to the council, “Dingwall Road will see a new public space created at the former junction with Lansdowne Road, as well as new zebra crossings, making it a more pleasant and safe place for pedestrians. In response to feedback, improved taxi and loading facilities will also be included.
“In the town centre, the safer separated cycle lanes on High Street and Mint Walk would [sic] be made permanent, and quicker bus journeys can be expected for public transport users thanks to improvements around St George’s Walk.”
Long-suffering bus passengers, inconvenienced and often bewildered by diversions to routes and the relocation of stops in the area around the Town Hall, are expected to welcome the decision to bring bus stops back into the town centre.
Southbound buses will run via Park St, St Georges Walk, Katharine Street west and the High Street. Northbound buses will run via Fell Road and Park Lane. They will then access bus stops closer to the town centre via Park Street, St Georges Walk and Katharine St east.
“Changes to traffic flow will mean buses will no longer have to divert on to the Park Lane roundabout,” the council said.
Muhammad Ali, the cabinet member for unsustainable Croydon, said, “The council declared a climate emergency in 2019, and we remain absolutely committed to reducing emissions and enabling a green recovery from covid-19.
“Everyone can do their bit to make healthier, sustainable travel choices, but it is our responsibility to enable those choices by making streets safer and more friendly spaces for walking and cycling.”
The public consultation began yesterday and will run until November 18.
To take part, residents need to submit comments by email to Parking.Design@croydon.gov.uk, or to visit the consultation page by clicking here.
Click on the links below for pdfs of the council’s plans in detail:
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