Campaigners take bid to reopen Crystal Palace’s roads to the High Court

Campaigners fed up with traffic chaos and mushrooming fumes in previously quiet streets have begun a High Court action to have road blocks lifted.

The Open Our Roads campaign, battling road closures around the Crystal Palace Triangle, has applied for a judicial review of Croydon council’s decision to implement them.

The town hall’s imposition of a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) scheme there and in South and Upper Norwood has sparked daily jams – and masked protests.

The protesters say displaced traffic from the closed roads has been forced on to main roads already at saturation point.

People driving to schools, shops, businesses, medical centres and places of worship have all been hit. They say pollution has hit residents’ health, as well as businesses’ trade.

The judicial review application was submitted to the High Court on Monday – the day after 650 residents gathered along Church Road to protest against Croydon’s LTN schemes.

The application was validated by the High Court on Wednesday and an electronic copy was sent to Croydon council today, as well as to Bromley council, named as an interested party in the judicial review.

The applicant of the judicial review, Eliska Finlay, on behalf of thousands of petitioners in Croydon and Bromley, said: “We believe Croydon council acted unlawfully with the decision to close our roads in Crystal Palace, Upper Norwood and South Norwood.

“Amongst other failings, Croydon council did not undertake the necessary impact assessments, nor did they consult key stakeholder groups such as residents, businesses and people with protected characteristics before implementing the LTN.

“Croydon also deliberately diverted traffic onto roads in the neighbouring borough of Bromley.

“The supporters of Open Our Roads have written hundreds of emails to the council to voice their opposition to these schemes. But the council has not listened.

“We felt we had no other choice but to seek legal justice for the residents of Croydon and Bromley who have been negatively impacted by Croydon council’s woeful mismanagement of the traffic network and its neglect of its legal duties as a local traffic authority.

“We hope that Croydon council will do the right thing: remove all restrictions on our roads and then conduct a full and robust traffic survey, undertake pollution monitoring, and work towards a network wide traffic management plan that takes into account all road users and businesses.”

Croydon council launched an online consultation today – three months after the controversial road closures were implemented.

It is expected that the High Court will wait until this consultation has concluded before deciding if it will hear the case.

The town hall has received opposition from 551 people, and support from 170 people, via email and its feedback webpage.

Croydon council has been approached for comment.

Pictured top: Protesters want Crystal Palace’s LTNs to be reversed


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