Residents’ plans to erase Addiscombe’s magic roundabout

Less-than-magic roundabout: this junction of five roads, including on Lower Addiscombe Road, is described as ‘horrible’ and ‘confusing’

Orchard memories: the plans for the junction include new tress

There is a public meeting being held tomorrow night to discuss plans to reshape the junction of Cherry Orchard Road and Lower Addiscombe Road to make it more pedestrian-friendly.

The radical plans being proposed would remove the current mini-roundabout outside the long-neglected Leslie Arms pub for what those organising the meeting describe as “this horrible, confusing and dangerous junction that is so awful to use if you are on foot”.

Planning gain: suggestions for the junction, where the hatched areas would be pedestrianised

According to meeting organisers, “Doing away with the roundabout and the islands in the middle of the roads will free up space for wider pavements, cycle lanes, trees and pedestrian-friendly crossings.

“It will join the four corners into a proper shopping area which will bring out the best of the great shops we already have here and give locals somewhere safe and pleasant to do their daily shop. That is the dream anyway!”

The meeting, which is expected to be attended by the councillors from the two Addiscombe wards, will also be a chance to discover what modelling has been conducted on traffic flows and the likely impact the changes might have on the use of the usually very busy junction.

The meeting is being held on Thursday, February 24 from 7.30pm at Nazarene Church Hall (the white church building by the Coop).

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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
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4 Responses to Residents’ plans to erase Addiscombe’s magic roundabout

  1. Lewis White says:

    Great idea to improve the look of the road-dominated shopping area, create a better pedstrian environment, and introduce a good number of new trees along with the footway improvements. Maybe some decent developer might come along to rescue the Leslie Arms as a result.

    My reservation is not about the concept, which is clearly excellent, but a concern about proportion —- the question whether the proposal shifts the balance from “too much” road to “too little” road.

    Specifically, the road exit to North East side of the junction looks far too tight, and much too small. The traffic speeds through the juction would perhaps be slowed down in all directions so much as to create a major bottleneck, not just in rush hours but all day, resulting in much more pollution and driver stress, delays to delivery vehicles, emergency vehicles and buses , with the arising delays and stress for passengers and bus drivers.

    As with all such traffic management and environmental schemes, there has to be a balance between the legitimate needs of keeping Croydon and London serviced and moving, and the other benefits of creating a much greener and spatially improved urban focal point.

    My gut feeling is that the scheme needs to address the former, maintaining reasonably quick flow through the junction for small and larger vehicles and their passengers, while achieving the latter environmental benefits………. and that it can do so by good design.

    A very good example at much larger scale is the hugely improved Elephant and Castle junction– once a ruthless race track, now a much safer road sytem, which also has more pedestrian space and more trees.

    I hope that at this Croydon site, the necessary balance is achieved.

  2. Dave West says:

    As a former local resident who still gets his hair cut along this parade of shops, I have known this area for years. It’s not perfect by any means but I really don’t believe that this will make a huge difference to pedestrians who are not confused in my experience and have numerous crossing points. Any attempt to add a cycle lane or six will undoubtedly create even more traffic jams. Whatever your view on bikes vs cars, creating more stationary cars cannot be in anyone’s interest. It’s also a regular route for ambulances on their way to Mayday.

    The reality is that it’s one of those crossing points where several key routes meet; ancient roads that have evolved over centuries without any central planning. Exacerbated by the decision many years ago to close Addiscombe Road and George Street to through traffic which inevitably pushed more along Lower Addiscombe. That’s simply a fact of life caused by the tram rather than a criticism.

    As for the quote, “It will join the four corners into a proper shopping area which will bring out the best of the great shops we already have here and give locals somewhere safe and pleasant to do their daily shop.”, that’s just trying to wind back the clock I’m afraid. Over my lifetime, what was a lively parade of local shops with a large historic pub, has degenerated into a more limited vista of a dozen hairdressers, takeaways and a couple of restaurants clinging on. Many of the shops have been converted to housing, after all this time the Leslie Arms is never likely to be restored and the only good news really is the continued presence of the Co-op. Like all the shops in nearby Portland Road which might have been saved with some foresight, it’s now history, and successive council administrations have shown no interest in either area.

    Sad to say, I really think that there are other places where money could be spent to achieve something significant and the danger is that all the tinkering will do is plant a few trees which will soon die from the pollution created by the even longer traffic queues.

  3. Hazel swain says:

    and how do you turn right from Cherry Orchard Road ? and where does all the traffic go?oh I forgot TFL and planners hate motorists except as cash cows

    • You turn right from Cherry Orchard Road by giving way to traffic on your right that is proceeding westward along Lower Addiscombe Road towards Windmill Bridge. There is a left turn ban at that junction, but not if you’re travelling on foot or by bicycle.

      Where does all the traffic go? Who knows? There’s a lot less of it, according to the Department for Transport traffic counts on the two roads mentioned above.

      On the A222, motor traffic has declined by around a sixth since 2002, while cycling has more than tripled, despite the hazardous road layout at Windmill Bridge that cost one woman her life in 2016. With Cherry Orchard Road, it’s a similar trend, with cycling more than doubling since 2002 while use by other vehicles of all kinds has dropped by nearly a third.

      The Prime Minister, in his foreword to the 2021 Department for Transport report, “Gear Change: One Year On” wrote “I know many people think that cycling and walking schemes simply increase car traffic on other roads. But there is now increasing evidence that they do not. We sometimes think of traffic as like water: if you block a stream in one place, it will find the next easiest way. Of course some journeys by car are essential, but traffic is not a force of nature. It is a product of people’s choices. If you make it easier and safer to walk and cycle, more people choose to walk and cycle instead of driving, and the traffic falls overall. I support councils, of all parties, which are trying to promote cycling and bus use. And if you are going to oppose these schemes, you must tell us what your alternative is, because trying to squeeze more cars and delivery vans on the same roads and hoping for the best is not going to work.”

      It’s good that local people are coming together to discuss how their part of Croydon can be improved. We shouldn’t be bound by the mistakes of the past, but should instead work with the trends that are evidently there and reduce danger, congestion, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and increase safety, transport choice and “liveability”.

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