Our transport correspondent, JEREMY CLACKSON, on the major road works in Selsdon that have sent buses on lengthy diversions
The withdrawal of almost all bus routes in some parts of the south of the borough may be down to a careless builder bunging up one of Croydon’s main drains.
That’s according to contractors who have been digging a hole in Farley Road for the past week, carrying out emergency sewer works on behalf of Thames Water.
Residents in parts of South Croydon, the Ballards Estate and all of Croham Valley have been without their bus services for five days. The disruption could continue until the end of the month, according to Thames Water.
The loss of the 64 and 433 buses will continue until at least November 30.
The original estimate was that the works might continue until December 5.
The closedown of the two routes came without any notice, after Thames Water sent in contractors to cope with emergency works that now block the entire roadway at the top of Farley Road, near Selsdon.
Contractors have told residents that the entire sewer needs to come up after being blocked by a massive 12-metre-long bung of concrete.
It is a mystery how so much concrete has been put down the drains. Thames Water’s contractors speculate that any builder found to be responsible will be pursued for costs by the utility company.
Only slow progress is being made on an 18-metre excavation underway in the middle of Farley Road.
Meanwhile, there are no bus services between Coombe Road and Selsdon along South Park Hill Road, Croham Road, Croham Valley Road and Farley Road.
The area has an older-than-average demographic. These older residents, who need to use public transport to go shopping, to collect prescriptions or to visit their GP, are facing serious difficulties.
Residents in Croham Valley face a walk of at least a mile to the nearest tram stop or to Park Hill or Selsdon for other bus stops. Trams and buses to New Addington are unusually crowded, as the 64 and 433 buses get delayed by going via a long diversion up and down the Selsdon and Upper Selsdon Roads to the south, instead of the usual route to the north of Croham Hurst.
For some, the inconvenience is even worse.
Contractors say that in houses up the hill from their works site, residents are unable to use their toilets properly.
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