About turn! Trams’ town centre loop set to go in reverse

A leak from the Town Hall reveals the latest craziness from the planners that run Croydon.

All change: how the Dingwall Loop was first proposed. Now the scheme is being looked at again

Following the collapse of the Westfield dream, Transport for London pulled the plug on the scheme to put in new tramlines down Dingwall Road and Lansdowne Road. While the official reason in favour of it was to support Croydon’s £1.4billion town centre redevelopment, the real intention was to use public money to ferry shoppers arriving at East Croydon Station to within a stone’s throw of the temple of retail mammon.

That was seven years ago, well before the shopping mall bubble finally burst, and before the pandemic fuelled a massive and permanent increase in online shopping.

That hasn’t stopped the planning department’s Heather Cheesbrough coming up with the idea of connecting Croydon in a “different” way. For a mere estimated £30million, trams will no longer travel around the town in the order of East Croydon, George Street, Church Street, Centrale, West Croydon and Wellesley Road.

Instead, they’ll do that in reverse order.

The thinking (we use that term very loosely) behind this is based on analysis of journey patterns, thanks to people using Oyster and contactless bank cards. These show precisely where and when people board and leave the tram.

If the trams go anticlockwise, up to 15 person seconds will be shaved off peak-time journeys. When you multiply that by the number of people travelling the current loop and some notional hourly rate of pay, it all adds up to a monumental return on investment. Apparently.

It all seems so simple and straightforward.

That is until you think about the implications for road transport. For example, buses that go up and down Tamworth Road will now have to drive on the “wrong” side of the road. Same goes for Station Road. The relatively recently redeveloped West Croydon bus station will have to be torn down and rebuilt to accommodate the transition to continental driving.

Reverse order: the revised plan is for trams to travel around the town centre anti-clockwise

Then there’s the cost and upheaval of re-siting all the traffic lights and road signs.

According to a Katharine Street source, there is even a proposal to contract Soft Cities Ltd, the consultancy recently formed by Colm Lacey, to take forward the feasibility project from its current back of a fag packet form into a glossy brochure and website.

The scheme is still subject to sign-off by the Mayor of London, as well as whoever is elected as the executive Mayor of Croydon. And that could take at least 12 months, and is not expected until April 1 next year.

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About insidecroydon

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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7 Responses to About turn! Trams’ town centre loop set to go in reverse

  1. Nick Davies says:

    I was hoping that the Planning Department were to be seconded to San Serriffe to share their expertise with the islanders.

  2. Brian Finegan says:

    “A new direction for Croydon”? 😂

  3. Clare says:

    Worryingly, I can’t even tell if this is an April Fool these days!

  4. It’s hard to spot the nonsense from reality in Croydon these days. I kid you not but back in the days of Phillip Goodwin there were ideas for a monorail but using individual “cars/cabins” rather than a train type of carriage.

  5. Woody says:

    Nice one IC but these days,sadly, it’s almost plausible ‘CroydonThink’. !

  6. Robert Buchanan says:

    Ha! Ha! Very funny Lipraloof! 🙂 Please tell me this is a joke!!!

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