Road closures around Crystal Palace are causing ‘traffic hell’

Drivers are going through hell at one of South London’s biggest traffic hubs because of the surge in traffic after the easing of lockdown.

A Bromley councillor representing Crystal Palace has urged London’s deputy mayor for transport to take action on the “absolute traffic hell” caused there after three key roads were closed, leading to an explosion in complaints.

Cllr Angela Wilkins lobbied Sadiq Khan’s deputy mayor, former Lewisham MP Heidi Alexander, to step in on the cross-border tussle, after Croydon Council closed three roads to through traffic, to reduce congestion.

But Cllr Wilkins said Croydon’s action had dumped “disoriented traffic…onto Bromley residents’ doorsteps”.

The three roads closed by Croydon council – Fox Hill, Stambourne Way and Sylvan Hill – were used as a cut through between Church Road and Auckland Road, but drivers now need to go through the Crystal Palace triangle or find another route.

Planters blocking the roads have been welcomed by some residents who praised the boost to cycling and walking in the area.

But some residents of Bromley borough claim the changes have backed up traffic for miles.

“The objectives behind low traffic networks are great in principle. Who doesn’t want cleaner air and increased safety for pedestrians and cyclists?” Cllr Wilkins told the local democracy reporting service.

“But anyone could see these particular closures would dump displaced and disoriented traffic from Croydon roads onto Bromley residents’ doorsteps.  If ever anything needed cross-border consultation, this did; my inbox has never been so full of justifiably angry emails.

“We need a swift, strategic solution – so I’m hoping that the deputy mayor will get involved here and bang some heads together.

“Residents in Belvedere, Patterson, Milestone and Hamlet Roads plus Cintra Park might live on the border of two councils, but that mustn’t mean they to live in absolute traffic hell.”

In her letter, Cllr Wilkins tells Ms Alexander there has been “large increases in congestion around the Crystal Palace triangle and feeder roads” since the August 3 implementation of the closures.

She also said there was a lack of clarity over whether Croydon Council consulted Bromley residents on the measures, “but even if this did take place it was neither early nor comprehensive enough in my view, which is regrettable”.

The letter finishes asking the deputy mayor if there was anything her office can do to alleviate congestion on Church Road, as well as easing Bromley resident’s difficulties while supporting Croydon’s objectives.

The low traffic neighbourhood measures are funded by Transport for London’s Streetspace programme, which is aimed at encouraging more sustainable transport such as walking and cycling in post-Covid London.

The schemes are set to be reviewed in autumn.

Croydon council have been contacted for their say on the issue.

Pictured: Cllr Angela Wilkins

Please support your local paper by making a donation



Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.

So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *