Call for road closures to be scrapped in Crystal Palace

By Tara O’Connor, Local Democracy Reporter

Campaigners against road closures in Crystal Palace are calling on Croydon council to scrap the Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN).

It has been three months since new measures were introduced in a bid to cut traffic from side roads in the area.

Using planters, Sylvan Hill, Stambourne Way and Fox Hill have all been closed to through-traffic.

Earlier in the summer, Auckland Road was closed off to through traffic, this meant that the 410 bus had to divert from its usual route.

The closure was later replaced with a bus gate at the junction of Cypress Road to allow access for buses.

Now the campaign Open Our Roads is calling for the complete removal of the LTN and has started a crowd funding page to cover the cost of a project to measure pollution in local roads – it has raised more than £1,000.

Roxanne Escobales, who lives in Gatestone Road, was involved with setting up the campaign.

She said: “We know it came into place because residents experienced increased traffic after Auckland Road was closed.

“The council created this mess from the beginning, they have made one bad decision after another. They have not asked the people who understand the traffic patterns.”

Last week Councillor Stuart King announced that a consultation will take place next month on the scheme with the three options to keep, amend or scrap the LTN.

One of the options would be for the introduction of ANPR cameras to allow access for residents, but not those using the roads as a cut-through.

But Ms Escobales added: “We don’t want any restrictions, we want fair and equal access for our residents, we are an inclusive community.

“LTNs are well intended schemes, everybody wants to make this earth a better place, but what this has done is create more pollution on roads that were already above the healthy limits.”

People over the border in Bromley say they have noticed an increase in traffic as Bromely roads have not had any restrictions put in place.

Mala Wilson lives in one of these, Patterson Road, and said that for the first time in 20 years the steep side road is now busy at rush hour, with cars being redirected from the main roads to avoid congestion elsewhere.

“It has been awful,” she said. “In August we noticed something had changed and in September it got worse, you could smell the pollution from the cars.

“I am just a normal person, we don’t even have a car, we walk everywhere but we are impacted by it so badly.

“I think they need to get rid of it and start afresh and for the councils to talk to each other and to people on both sides.”

Bromley council is against the changes implemented by Croydon council and has written to Grant Schapps and Sadiq Khan about their removal.

Defending the changes at a Croydon council meeting last week, Cllr King said: “The aim of the LTN was to prevent through traffic diverting from the principal road network into what we consider our less suitable residential roads, and by doing so providing quieter safer space to help people both choose to walk and cycle.”

Pictured top: Canpaigners against the Crystal Palace LTN


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