All change! Town centre one-way system to get re-opened

Hold very tight: the one-way system introduced during the covid lockdown is to be unlocked

After repeated calls to unlock the poorly-implemented covid one-way system and the pedestrianised zone around Croydon High Street – including criticisms raised here on  Inside Croydon – the council has today announced a re-routing scheme for buses and cycle lanes in the town centre.

Roadworks are already underway, described by the council as “a raft of measures to improve journeys for all road users”. The council’s press release has been issued more than a week after the works began.

Bus stops on Croydon High Street for services heading southbound will be reopened and new one-way systems on Katharine Street and the High Street will mean shorter bus routes through the town centre.

“To make it safer and easier to walk and cycle around the area, a new crossing will be added to High Street by Robert Street, and the existing zebra crossing on Katharine Street will be moved to the end of the road, at the corner of The Spread Eagle pub,” the council announced this morning.

Time for change: how Inside Croydon raised the issue of the inconvenient town centre bus stops earlier this month

There has been much criticism of the pedestrianisation of the area of the High Street between Katharine Street and George Street, which has been done piecemeal over several years, was poorly conceived and implemented. With the stalled development on St George’s Walk having cleared out all the shops along one side of the road, it has been turned into something of a town centre no-go zone.

The council has a plan: how the road changes will be implemented

Today the council said, “For the part of the High Street that is already pedestrianised, access will be improved by levelling the pavement and removing the gates.”

The council is to trial two-way traffic on Fell Road, they say for “better vehicle access for local businesses and residents”.

From February 17, Fell Road, from Mint Walk to the Croydon Flyover, will become two-way for traffic giving access to drivers to turn left into the road from the Flyover.

Works are taking place now until February 17 with the following road closures in place:

  • Jan 4 – Feb 10: Closure of Katharine Street from Fell Road/St George’s Walk junction, to the High Street, outside The Spread Eagle pub
  • Jan 18 – Feb 17: Closure of High Street from Katharine Street to Whitgift Street

The council is running a fait accompli public survey on the changes, but only after they have begun to implement them, rather than in advance, to be considered as proposals.

Further details of the project and details of the diversions in place while roads are closed can also be found at

Jason Perry, the part-time Mayor, claimed that he is “pleased that the new cycle lanes and crossings will improve road safety for everyone”, and that the changes will create a “vibrant town centre”.

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
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11 Responses to All change! Town centre one-way system to get re-opened

  1. Bus routes assisted 60, 119, 166, 312, 405, 407, 412, 455, 466, 468, 645 and N68.

    Good for South Croydon, Waddon, Purley, Coulsdon, Old Coulsdson, Kenley and the ailing town centre.

    • Dan Kelly says:

      What we need are the services to West Croydon reinstated as there’s not going to be any building works in Wellesley Road for the foreseeable future.

  2. Jo says:

    I’m hoping this means that buses going south will no longer have to take that ridiculous diversion around Park Lane just to get back onto the High Street (once the work is finished, that is).

    Also that pedestrianised bit around Grants has become a parking bay for food delivery bikes, so good to hear that will be reopened again.

    Still, the St George’s Walk development is the real problem around that area currently, it’s sad to see it empty and little hope it will change soon

    • Angus Hewlett says:

      The southbound buses will be fully restored, and northbound will run via a reversed Fell Road – so stops near the Town Hall / Library again in both directions, which is a v positive change.

      The Grants bit looks like it’s staying pedestrianised though, going by the drawings. I think that’ll become a nice space once St George’s Walk is eventually done – it already has the makings of it, nice enough place to sit outside for lunch on a sunny day – there just isn’t quite enough life (nor, to put it bluntly, disposable income) in the area to make it work. I’m optimistic that as the ratio of actual inhabitable flats to half-finished building sites improves, we’ll see a corresponding uptick in the town centre. The green shoots are already there, you just have to squint rather hard to see them.

      • Owen Garner says:

        If it is ever finished, I haven’t been there in a while but the company doing it is in financial turmoil

  3. Liam Johnson says:

    This is a step in the right direction.

    Next should be sorting out the mess for buses outside East Croydon station. Often takes over 5 minutes for a bus to pull out of the station due to the ridiculous layout and traffic lights that turn red every 15 seconds.

  4. Compromises were made when the tram was put in so as to save costs leaving trams with full priority over bus passengers wanting to go to North Addiscombe, Shirley, South Croydon and Selsdon. A possible mitigation might be to send either the 64 or 433 and perhaps say the 119 and 466 via Addiscombe Grove which would take some public transport out of the double jeopardy two red light system at East Croydon. In the case of a diverted 119 and 466 it would provide a new access to public transport for south-east Park Hill.

  5. derekthrower says:

    Well this will create more rush hour problems of queues along Addiscombe Grove during busy periods when this traffic is still subject to tram effected lights and will not be welcomed by the residents of this immediate vicinity. Buses has access to park hill road directly and even accepting the inconvenience of having to deal with an extra set of lights, the gridlock provided by Mr Pelling’s proposal above do not seem to consider the opportunity costs of such alterations which have the possibility of creating worst outcomes than currently exist.

    • Liam Johnson says:

      I think it’s an important proposal by Mr. Pelling, for residents in South Croydon it is actually quicker to do the 1 mile walk than get the bus due to the issues getting out of the station. It’s an inconvenience for residents and leads to lost revenue on buses as many of us just walk now.

  6. The “proposal” to make Katharine Street one-way for all road users, including cyclists, is a retrograde step that is contrary to both Croydon Council’s Cycling Strategy and Transport for London’s Cycling Design Standards manual.

    Cycling in both directions on Katharine Street can and should be maintained.

  7. Ian Kierans says:

    A person once said to me ”it does not matter if you are right if no one listens or believes you” I learned that lesson very quickly and managed to save a very good idea and major project from failing.

    The pedestrianisation of the Georges walk area in some circumstances and designs could (and should) have been a good thing for Croydon. Especially if it had a vibrant night life and venues many would want to frequent. It did call for some serious changes to how transport could and should be routed for the best impact on all users and also to bring footfall to and through the area from the North South and East.

    I am sure that in a normal environment the flaws, pitfalls and downsides would have been voiced by the skilled and experienced logistic planners and project teams.
    the consultation time would have provided more issues to take into account including some that would alleviate disproportionate impacts that had not been recognised prior. This would have come to the team from ALL residents users and local businesses affected.

    Croydon’s plans did not appear to deliver this. More to the point it was pretty clear that it would not do so at the outset. There was too much (assumed on old data?) if’s with very little evidenced is and will and the scheme was subject to the vagaries of known impacts outside of Council control.

    This latest change appears to be an attempt to reverse that failure. So far so good.

    But the failure of process is still apparent.

    A lot of changes were made over the last decade by the Council. But one thing has not changed and that is their attitude to actually consulting with residents and businesses in good time and prior to implementation.

    Does not matter if it is Negrini or Kerswell – Newman or Perry – that disrespectful arrogant disregard for Croydon people and business – and their rights to be consulted meaningfully, apparently remains a facet of this Council.

    To paraphrase – the definition of idiocy is not just doing something stupid repeatedly – it is the expectation of a different outcome.

    But hey the Building works of that development on Fell Road must be nearly done and therefore traffic can come down again. Or was that just an amazingly helpful coincidence?

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