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East Croydon locals call on council to reinstall safe crossing

Life-saver: residents want the safety of a pedestrian crossing reinstalled on Cherry Orchard Road

If ever our loyal reader needed a reminder of how crassly incompetent the council’s planning department can be, then take a look at the busy junction of Billinton Hill and Cherry Orchard Road, which hundreds, if not thousands, of commuters need to cross each day on their way to or from East Croydon Station.

There used to be a pedestrian crossing there, but it was removed as part of the building works on the Morello development alongside the station.

You know, that vast, £350million scheme which 10 years ago promised to provide a new Addiscombe-side entrance to the station, but has yet to fulfil the promise, leaving East Croydon with the £22million Bridge to Nowhere. If only someone in the planning department had thought of applying some strict conditions to the planning permission or something….

Danger spot: the Billinton Hill junction today, where a crossing used to be

It’s probably too obvious to state, but it has long ago been established that profit-hungry private developers will always dodge and weave and do as little as they possibly can get away with as far as their broader responsibilities to the public, and the public realm, are concerned.

And if they encounter a push-over council planning department that is in thrall to developers, at the expense of the broader public interests…

Thus, as with the Bridge to Nowhere, so it is with the Cherry Orchard Road crossing.

Removed at the developers’ behest for their convenience while building works took place, the council’s planners and road management department never considered insisting that a temporary replacement should be arranged, nor insisting that a crossing be reinstated as soon as practicable. There’s nothing in the planning permission conditions one way or another.

The bottom line here is not Redrow or Sir Robert McAlpine’s financials, but public safety. And at least one pedestrian has already been involved in a road traffic collision, trying to cross the road where a pedestrian crossing should have been.

Step forward civic-minded local resident Szymon Zaborski, who has raised a petition for the council which already has nearly 200 signatures and the support of ward councillors.

With the completion of two latest 25-storey Menta towers, and with them finally access to the station bridge, at least 12 months away, Zaborski’s petition is calling on the council to take some road safety action before someone gets killed on this busy road.

“The issue is that the footpath in front of the new flats has been taken over by the construction company, which needed the space for their equipment,” Zaborski told Inside Croydon.

Ideal world: developers Menta’s own CGIs show a pedestrian crossing. But then, they also show an entrance to a station bridge…

“I guess that’s fair enough, but what also happened was that the crossing that was there was removed, forcing everyone to cross the street at the junction of Cherry Orchard Road and Billinton Hill.

“Technically, they could walk another 50metres up to the crossing at Addiscombe Road, but practically, judging by the stampede that occurs every day in the morning and evening, not many people choose to do that, and this creates chaos for the pedestrians that are trying to cross and the cars that are trying to drive through there.

“It’s a perfect storm, and from what I understand one person has already been hit by a car in that spot.

“I have started a petition to have a temporary crossing installed, till, I assume a permanent crossing can be installed once the construction of the flats is finished to connect the bridge with the other side of the street.”

The petition can be found here: https://www.change.org/p/install-temporary-crossing-to-east-croydon-station

Read more: Nearly 10 years on, Bridge To Nowhere close to completing
Read more: Developers must finish station bridge, residents demand
Read more: Council orders halt to work on Menta site over unpaid levy

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