Bromley & Croydon residents: join together to help design a Low Traffic Neighbourhood that works for all of us

Google encouraging rat run traffic

Life must be intolerable for some of the Bromley residents in ‘Auckland Island’ who are now experiencing high levels of traffic driving through their area. There are a number of factors at play:

  1. the constriction at the end of Church Road due to the collapsed building
  2. an increase in local residential traffic seeking a way out to Church Road
  3. satellite navigation software directing traffic through to save a minute over driving up Anerley Hill.

This appeal seeks to address the last 2 issues, though perhaps Croydon Council should be petitioned to take a more active role in finding a solution to the collapsed building.

There are obviously many Bromley residents, like their neighbours in Croydon, who are keen to create a safe neighbourhood for their children, one where everyone can socialise and not have to be worried about noise and pollution. One where people dominate, not the car. This is the principle behind Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and they are becoming increasingly popular in this country having proved a success on the continent.

This does not mean that the LTN implemented by Croydon Council was well designed. It was a swift response to the government, who being aware that many more people were taking up walking and cycling in response to the Covid-19 crisis, “expected local authorities to make significant changes to their road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians”. The government & TFL also provided a modest budget.

Here then is a proposal that residents in both boroughs can discuss and improve on.

This website will publish any other proposals that support the basic tenets of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.

Proposition

Defend one road from rat run traffic, then all other roads in the area are protected and most of the current barriers can be removed.

This road is of course Lancaster Road/Auckland Road/Hamlet Road.

A geographic, not political boundary

Click to enlarge

Our Low Traffic Neighbourhood should be defined by the following main roads as boundary:

  • High Street (A213)
  • South Norwood Hill (A215)
  • Church Road (A212)
  • Anerley Hill (A214)
  • + the railway

What needs preventing?

The purpose of rat running traffic is to travel from one of the main roads listed above to another. Before the bus gate was installed the chosen route for nearly all combinations of entry/exit points to main roads was along Lancaster Road/Auckland Road/Hamlet Road.

With only a bus gate installed (at its current location) and no other control points, rat run traffic would be restricted to:

  • in the Southern Peninsula – High Street (A213) <> South Norwood Hill (A215) for which they must drive along Lancaster Road/Auckland Road
  • in the Northern Peninsula – Church Road (A212) <> Anerley Hill (A214) for most of which they would drive along Hamlet Road/Auckland Road although there is another ridiculous route currently being exploited as a rat run along Belvedere Road.

What needs protecting?

Safe route to schools
The outer ring shows 75% of pupils live within 500m of school

Some 700 pupils attend Cypress Road School. 75% of them live within 500m of the school, so we should expect several hundred children to be walking along Auckland Road to school.

Some 1500 students attend Harris Academy South Norwood. Their average distance from home is 1.25km so we can assume that many of them will be walking along Auckland Road/ Lancaster Road.

The homes of the 1200 students attending Harris City Academy Crystal Palace are scattered more widely but with a concentration to the west of South Norwood Hill. Many of those walking would use Auckland Road and also the South Norwood Lakes to cut through to Maberley Road.

London Cycle Network Route 29

LCN 29 provides a safe North/South route along Lancaster Road and Auckland Road leading to Crystal Palace Park. From there it links up with other cycle networks to the city. This is the only viable commuter route which might attract others to ride to work.

It also offers connectivity towards these schools: Kingsdale, the Dulwich Foundation Schools, Sydenham High School, Sydenham Girls School and Forest Hill Boys.

Walking to the shops

Anyone wanting a pleasant walk through Stambourne Woods to get to Crystal Palace triangle would first have to walk along Auckland Road. Even more reason it should be designated as a Local Green Space in the Croydon Local Plan.

Simplified solution

So the proposal here is to install camera controlled resident access points at the entrances to Lancaster Road (3) and Hamlet Road (4) and keep the bus gate at the border of the two ‘peninsulas’.

At the same time remove all the road blocks in Fox Hill, Stambourne Way, Sylvan Hill, Warminster Road and Lancaster Road – rat run traffic will not use these roads if it can’t get out.

More complex detail

Provided the bus gate remains, in the Southern Peninsula there is only need of a single camera controlled resident access point at the beginning of Lancaster Road (3).

The solution for the Northern Peninsula is more complex.

Should Bromley residents opt in, then a camera controlled resident access point at the beginning of Hamlet Road (4) would be the main defence. There would need to be additional defence of Belvedere Road (*) which could be a combination of resident access point and/or making streets one way (eg Belvedere one way down hill). This would be up to Bromley residents to decide.

If Bromley residents opt out, then a camera controlled resident access point in place of the width restriction at the green on Auckland Road (1) , plus blocking up the small off-shoot from the bottom of Fox Hill to Belvedere Road and another camera controlled resident access point on Maberley Road (2) somewhere between Belvedere Road and Mowbray Road would completely stop rat run traffic.

Who should be on the databases?

The camera controlled resident access points would have to be connected to databases which will be populated with vehicles that are registered to local streets. Residents would only have access to their own peninsula.

Should Bromley Council decide to opt out, Bromley residents in the northern peninsula should not be penalised. Croydon Council should accept all valid applications from Bromley residents living in the northern peninsula.

Benefits

  • Easy emergency access to all roads
  • Residents would have direct access to their own roads
  • Residents would get access to both main roads on their peninsula
  • Non-residents would only have access via one main road on each peninsula eliminating the incentive for rat-run traffic to enter the LTN (this traffic has to enter and leave by the same main road)
  • Residents in the north peninsula would not be forced to go around the Triangle
  • Residents in the south peninsula would not be forced to navigate the traffic lights at the bottom of South Norwood Hill.

Costs

  • 3 cameras + setting up the resident databases
  • minor road improvements

Bus gate

Retaining the bus gate is central to this proposal. Who should be allowed through has not been addressed specifically here as it is a complex issue in its own right. At the very least it should be possible for less abled people to gain direct access to the surgery in Auckland Road. In the meantime, see:

37 thoughts on “Bromley & Croydon residents: join together to help design a Low Traffic Neighbourhood that works for all of us

  1. The proposal seems to stop residents south of the bus gate at the end of cypress rd from accessing auckland road and driving to anerly via hamlet rd. Is this correct??? We have several people in the cypress rd/ sunset gdns who are old and infirm who would need to use a car or uber to drive through this bus gate to reach their doctor and pharmacy.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. We have made an appeal to allow old/infirm people to pass through the bus gate (independent of this proposal).

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    2. A simple way to fix this for the surgery/pharmacy (assuming you mean the one on Auckland Road, not the one on Church Road) is a “double Bus Gate”. You put in two gates – one in the existing location (Cypress Road corner) and one just a bit further up (Sylvan Hill corner). No fine or ticket unless you drive through BOTH gates within ten minutes. Surgery accessible to all who need it.

      This is already being used in West London, I don’t see why they couldn’t do it here.

      Anerley via Hamlet Road is a bit more complicated – only because the number of people potentially wanting to drive that way (Auckland Road, Lancaster Road and all the adjoining streets) is actually fairly large. So there’s a question mark over whether allowing this would still meet the “low traffic” criteria needed for the northern end of Auckland Road. Driving via the Triangle or Penge Road from south of Cypress Road isn’t _that_ much longer – annoying if you’re having to do so twice a day, but a couple of times a week is OK.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. This proposal is a much simpler solution than the existing scheme. In effect in calls for just 3 cameras and the removal of all the plant barriers.

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    2. 20 years living in the rat run that is Auckland Road IS a very serious problem for residents
      speeding , overtaking and pollution in particular

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      1. Thanks Kathy. Some of the issues we need to think about:

        1) is it only rat runners who speed?
        2) do people moderate their behaviour when they are in their own locality?
        3) is there something in the nature of rat running (ie you are trying to save time by cutting thru’ residential roads) that leads to people speeding up?
        4) is the move to SUVs an attempt to float over speed bumps thus overcoming the requirement to slow down?

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  2. Will this solution help with the reduction of the traffic flow on the Triangle? It was always busy, but lately the traffic has turned this place into a very unpleasant high street.

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    1. It will eliminate all the residential traffic going unnecessarily around the triangle to get to/from homes. It won’t stop people using the main roads – a different solution is needed for that.

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  3. I have lived in Belvedere Rd for over 36yrs and never has it been so busy & and loud with speeding traffic and large vehicles.
    Making the road one way is an ill thought out plan . If I were to drive from Beckenham it would mean going all the way to the top of Anerley Hill to the lights, and along Church Rd to turn into the top of my road . So far I have managed to avoid Church Rd and the “temporary” one way system at the junction of The Alma & White Hart as the queues have been unbelieveable !
    One solution maybe to extend the width restrictions to Belvedere Rd to stop lorries etc thundering up the road . As to goggle how do we stop them suggesting using the conservation area as a rat run ??

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    1. Thanks for your comment. Bromley residents should be the ones to decide how to tackle this issue, so please take the suggestion of one-way as just a possible way of controlling through traffic.

      As to Google, it works on an algorithm that constantly looks for faster routes, and if there is a jam on a main road, it automatically routes traffic through inappropriate residential streets. Bromley Council knows this, but is unwilling to put in any measures to block such traffic.

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    2. I think there’s a few Bromley-specific options that would work here, but all need Croydon to own responsibility for traffic emanating from its streets.

      Specifically, that means Milestone Road (and Belvedere, Cintra feeding it) canNOT be the main access point for Croydon traffic (Fox Hill, Auckland Road etc.) on to Church Road. Croydon needs to get a permit scheme in place so that its residents can use Sylvan Hill or Fox Hill etc. to get up to Church Road.

      Once you do that, and you only have Bromley traffic to think about, there are three options:

      – Leave things as-is. You’ll still have Anerley Hill traffic cutting through, but none of the Croydon residents living south from Belvedere Road. That’ll be quite an improvement on now, but still busier than would be ideal. If Bromley Council aren’t interested in playing ball, it’s realistically your only option.

      – Block off Milestone Road or make it entry-only, just uphill of the Patterson Road corner. This would prevent Anerley Hill traffic cutting off the corner, but also make it inconvenient for Bromley residents (Belvedere, Cintra Park etc.) to access Church Road by car.

      – Put in a permit scheme, as per Croydon, allowing residents to drive out of Milestone Road, but not allowing the cut-through traffic. It might be more difficult to get Bromley Council to support this, but it’s the best overall.

      In either of the last two cases, the access control has to be just above the Milestone / Patterson corner, so that Triangle visitors can still use the very “top” bit of Milestone to park.

      What do you think?

      I think there’s a few Bromley-specific options that would work here, but all need Croydon to own responsibility for traffic emanating from its streets.

      Specifically, that means Milestone Road (and Belvedere, Cintra feeding it) canNOT be the main access point for Croydon traffic (Fox Hill, Auckland Road etc.) on to Church Road. Croydon needs to get a permit scheme in place so that its residents can use Sylvan Hill or Fox Hill etc. to get up to Church Road.

      Once you do that, and you only have Bromley traffic to think about, there are three options:

      – Leave things as-is. You’ll still have Anerley Hill traffic cutting through, but none of the Croydon residents living south from Belvedere Road. That’ll be quite an improvement on now, but still busier than would be ideal. If Bromley Council aren’t interested in playing ball, it’s realistically your only option.

      – Block off Milestone Road or make it entry-only, just uphill of the Patterson Road corner. This would prevent Anerley Hill traffic cutting off the corner, but also make it inconvenient for Bromley residents (Belvedere, Cintra Park etc.) to access Church Road by car.

      – Put in a permit scheme, as per Croydon, allowing residents to drive out of Milestone Road, but not allowing the cut-through traffic. It might be more difficult to get Bromley Council to support this, but it’s the best overall.

      In either of the last two cases, the access control has to be just above the Milestone / Patterson corner, so that Triangle visitors can still use the very “top” bit of Milestone to park.

      What do you think?

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    3. Just a thought as I don’t want to push the Belvedere Road one way solution, but under the proposal the most logical route for a journey from Beckenham would be enter the LTN at Hamlet Road, go up Fox Hill, right into Tudor Road and then right into a one-way-downhill Belvedere Road. Missing the Triangle & Church Road.

      But the proposal does say that this decision should be made by the Bromley residents of these roads.

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  4. Will this not increase traffic by drivers looping around when they realise they can’t go certain ways? This also pushes all the traffic into south Norwood hill and high street as recently demonstrated. Surely cars sat in stand still traffic chugging out emissions (by schools) isn’t helping? Using local streets avoids congestion on the main roads. At a time when space on buses is limited and were to avoid unnecessary public transport this seems daft. Not all journeys can be made on foot or on bike.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Hannah. Yes for a while there may well be some drivers looping round. But the intention would be to sign post it properly so that it is clear there is no way through. And drivers learn pretty fast and Google maps will update immediately. It seems perverse to advocate for pushing traffic onto residential roads because main roads are congested. Surely the best way forward is to find ways of reducing traffic on main roads. You are right, not all journeys can be made on foot or on bike, but 22% of car trips could easily be walked and 38% of car trips could easily be cycled.

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  5. The closure of these roads has a massive knock on effect on the roads to the other side of South Norwood Hill. We are getting the vast majority of the traffic displaced by the road closures. This is at a time when the schools are off when the roads are always normally quiet. If the current closures continues then the only solution would be to close off all the roads banded by Whitehorse, Grange and South Norwood. Obviously adding to already intolerable levels of traffic.

    The proposal on this site is even more misguided. To close off a large area to most local residents and then allow the residents in the closed area to drive to avoid the traffic that the scheme has produced is not going to happen . It seems to me that this proposal misses the point that the aim of the scheme is to prevent all car traffic as much as possible. That includes the residents of the closed area. If you allow the residents access via Church Road or Lancaster then you have a convenient option to use the car when the scheme expects you to walk or cycle. You can’t have your cake and eat it.

    While I’m against the scheme in the current or amended form, I am in favour of it base aims of getting people to use the car less, making it easier for cycles and controlling the speed of traffic. Other than slapping up a 20 mph sign Croydon has done nothing to slow the traffic down. Why no speed cameras or the sign that states you reg and speed Like those found on grange road. Why no separate cycle lanes? There’s no width restriction on Lancaster so larger vans and lorry can cut through. They could easily make a very obvious cycle route via the Lakes. Church Road is the most heavily used road for cyclists but there’s no cycling lane there and they allow parking on the road. So much can be done to make a real difference.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Peter. I’m not going to refute what you say as I think you are right in some of your criticisms. But I will address some of your concerns so that the discussion can be taken forward.

      One of the objectives of the LTN is to return through traffic back to main roads. If it is adding to traffic in neighbouring residential roads, then it is failing. Which indicates that controlling traffic can’t be done in isolation – there can be no perfect LTN on its own. The supporters of CP-LTN on this website are advocates for active travel and safer neighbourhoods who are not just interested in their own backyard. We would support any neighbouring area that wants to take control of their own streets.

      Yes you’ve got us on the ‘cake and eat it’ front. I’m not sure that it would be possible to design a simple scheme (ours has only 3 cameras) that allows easy emergency access and offers some benefits to residents within the LTN who would no longer have to go around the Triangle for example to reach their homes. Our proposal also makes it much easier for delivery vehicles

      Our proposal is not the last word; it is open for improvement or a completely different proposal. It is though the first step in local citizens attempting to design their own environment, rather than having it imposed on them, either by the council or the road lobby.

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      1. Robbie,

        I think this looks pretty sensible and hopefully is something that local residents who currently feel trapped can get behind. Ultimately we need to be reducing our dependancy on cars for obvious health, safety and environmental reasons and this suggestion seems to do that in a more inclusive way than simply closing roads to all traffic.

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    2. Hi Peter,

      Like you, I’m on the other side of the hill – and I’ve also noticed the increase in traffic. Wharncliffe Road is especially badly affected, and to some extent Ross Road, Canham Road and Whitworth Road.

      But I think it may be too hasty to blame it on the LTN – there have been massive gas works on South Norwood Hill, at the Whitehorse Lane corner, which has caused big tailbacks especially Southbound, which in turn diverts people on to Wharncliffe Road etc. to go parallel to South Norwood Hill.

      I’d love a proper cycle lane on Church Road. The LTN actually mitigates one of the biggest hazards there – large numbers of people turning in and out of the side roads at speed – but there’s so much more that could be done. South Norwood Hill would be nice too for that matter.

      And I’d personally love to see a “smart” LTN around Grangewood Park to prevent traffic cutting through (perhaps closing the roundabout at the Ross Road / Wharncliffe Road corner, or only allowing certain movements there to try and block off the ones used by cut-through traffic); I know that some of the Ross Road / Falkland Park / Wharncliffe Road residents have been mulling asking for one, but I’m not sure the Ward Councillors in our ward are all that much in to active or sustainable travel. Certainly haven’t seen much indication of it, though I’d love to be proved wrong.

      – Angus.

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  6. Hi, How will this deal with all the delivery drivers, builders vans, mini cabs who wish to drop-off, pick up or go to work in the roads south of the triangle? Not sure that the residents of the current closed roads will be happy when they realise this suggestion is their roads are only route in and out. It also does not address the problem of traffic wishing to divert off Church Road. Some signage at the top of the roads may help but it will not asist with traffic on matchdays at CPFC…..I think your suggestion has some value if you make Fox Hill one way up the hill. Stambourne Way, one way down the hill and leave Sylvan Hill two way.

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    1. Thanks for your response Alan. The idea was that all the roads to Church Road and South Norwood Hill would be open to all. This would not generate any ‘rat run’ traffic as this would have to go out on the same road as entered but would allow deliveries etc.

      I have no answer for CPFC matchdays. Round my way you could never drive or park on these days. I guess this is the price one pays for the privilege of having such a great football club on our doorstep.

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  7. Currently I cannot see any of suggestions being effective as they all just displace vehicles onto other roads that are seeking to access the Auckland Island, either as residents or rat-runners.
    The only solution I can see is to adapt the current proposal and incorporate some of the suggestions made on this blog, namely:

    – make no distinction between residents and non-residents, so no need for a database

    – remove all barriers and have all roads the entire length of Hamlet/Auckland/Lancaster Road two-way

    – make Milestone Road and Fox Hill no-entry from Church Road and Waldegrave Road no-entry from Anerley Hill

    – bus only access into the Island at Hamlet Road and Lancaster Road entrances points, but allowing unpenalised exit

    – create three smaller sub-islands/segments, i.e.:
    1. a bus gate between Belvedere Road and Stambourne Way,
    2. a bus gate between Sylvan Hill and Cypress Hill,
    3. a bus gate between Howden Road and Woodvale Avenue

    These three gates only attract a fine if two or more gates are crossed within 10 minutes including either the Hamlet or Lancaster exits

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    1. I like the general approach of this, but have some questions about the detail. Would this not make it possible to drive from e.g. Stambourne Way to Anerley Hill via Hamlet Road, which is one of the movements they’re trying to prevent?

      I’ve been pondering whether you could do a similar “two-gate” arrangement between (for example) Stambourne/Auckland corner and the exit from Hamlet Road, but it’s not really clear whether these kind of permit-less double gates are legal yet (and whether WAZE etc know what to do with them). The mapping/routing software would need to be able to understand a logic like “if you do ‘A’, then you can’t do ‘B'”, and I don’t know if it’s clever enough. Will see what I can find out…

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      1. On the Stambourne Way/Anerley Hill scenario, the double gate would be triggered firstly by the gate between Belvedere and Stambourne and then at the second gate at the entrance of Hamlet Road and Anerley Hill.

        Your route leads on two good questions though, firstly that 10 minutes is probably too long between gates, so possibly crossing 2 gates within 2 minutes should indicate rat-running and attract a penalty Secondly, it will encourage using Waldegrave and Cintra Park as exits out to Anerley Hill to avoid the gate at Hamlet Road

        I think an adaptation would therefore have to be making that very short stretch of Belvedere Road from Waldegrave to Hamlet Road, one-way only going down the hill.

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    2. Hi Daniel,

      Thanks for this. Unfortunately, if I’m reading this right, it falls down on one key area. If entering the “island” at Lancaster Road attracts a penalty on its own (and if it doesn’t, there is nothing to stop people coming in at Lancaster Road and out at Southern Avenue to avoid the lights at the High Street / South Norwood Hill), then residents of Warminster / Avenue Roads (and the various offshoots) travelling along Penge Road would still need to go down the High Street and turn right at the lights onto South Norwood Hill in order to access their homes via Southern Avenue. This is one of the “three sides of a square” I refer to in my other post, and therefore pretty much leaves all of the main objections for residents in that zone un-addressed. Certainly from my own point of view, I’d remain opposed to anything that left the need for that detour in place.

      One way round this might be a “double gate” like you mentioned, with the first one triggering at Lancaster, while the second triggers just before you get to Southern Avenue. That would enable residents of Avenue / Warminster Roads to access their homes via Warminster Road without penalty, and effectively add another “sub island” .

      The other issue I’d mention is that I think your original proposal of 10 minutes between gates would be needed, rather than the shorter 2 minute timescale. If you used a 2 minute trigger, it would actually be worth drivers stopping for two minutes between gates to avoid the penalty. That would almost certainly be quicker than going via the routes that avoid the “island”.

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      1. Jason,

        Yes, both are good points. A further sub-island at the Lancaster end makes a lot of sense. There’s zero value and will have nil buy-in from residents if the current arrangement stays in place worsening most residents lives/travel arrangements. Maybe the solution is that all gates are triggered in either direction of travel and for a penalty to be issued when any combination of two gates within a (TBD) time period are crossed

        With regards to Angus’ point about the satellite navigation systems needing to be programmed for this double-trigger approach, I’m not sure. I think street signage is enough, as it is each driver’s responsibility to drive in accordance with the road markings, layout and highway code. The fact that the sat navs might be misleading, won’t be a new phenomenon or a unique problem to the Auckland Island.

        Daniel

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  8. I have to be up front here , and admit that my starting point is that I feel that the LTN was a bad idea, and creates significantly more problems than it “solves”. If that means my views aren’t welcome here, just say and I will avoid intruding into the discussion again.

    However, despite the above, I’d like to applaud the proposal in the blog as a really good starting point in terns of trying to come up with a solution we can all live with. I’m not against the principles that people are trying to work with through the LTN (After all, who doesn’t want better air quality and safer roads?),and the idea of getting people out of their cars where another option is possible is to be applauded. I’ve increasingly moved to cycling over the past year or two myself (although I still need to drive regularly) and certainly see the benefits of it being adopted more widely.

    But the LTN as it stands creates some major problems for those that do need (and I say need rather than choose) to drive, and the way the Council have handled the issue hasn’t helped much imho. The LTN means that many local residents are literally unable to access the main road at the end of their own street by car, or (as is the case for me) the main road only a few hundred metres away. That lack of access can result in a detour that is literally three sides of a square, and result not just in travelling more distance on main roads , but (again as is the case for me) travelling more distance on residential side streets to get to a main road that isn’t the one they need to be on for their journey anyway!.

    The reality for many residents, is that they (I say they, but this applies to me as well) will oppose pretty much anything that doesn’t address the above problem, regardless of the possible benefits. The personal cost to them is just too high, particularly in a context where the changes took place without consultation, and (more importantly) many residents were not really made aware at the time of implementation that this was something being set up with a view to in being a long term change. It all creates a situation where there is a lack of faith in the Council from those who are unhappy, and their approach to dealing with complaints hasn’t helped much here. That doesn’t create a good environment for a constructive dialogue.

    But despite all of that (and actually, perhaps because of it), I think that what you have put together here forms (at the very least) the basis of a meaningful discussion about how we can come out of this process with something that we can all at least live with reasonably happily. That in itself is progress, and something that can help avoid a situation where the local community ends up with serious long term divisions. . . . . .and given we all want to live here and enjoy our neighbourhood, that can only be a good thing.

    Like I say, if the fact that my starting position is not one of being in support of the LTN means that I’m not welcome as part of the discussion, then just say and I will leave it there. But if differing perspectives are welcome, I’d love to contribute further and see how we can come up with something that we’re all at least reasonably content with

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    1. The short answer Jason is “you are very welcome here!”. We need a wide range of views if we want to create a better neighbourhood (or society – where will this thing stop?). As long as there is an acknowledgement that some things have to change, that we need to identify them and agree a solution, then there will be space on this website for a range of views. The only thing we will not publish is point scoring that seeks nothing other than going back to the old situation which didn’t work anyway.

      We would agree with you about the ridiculously long journeys some residents have to make to get to their own home. We would like to think our proposal addresses these issues, but we are open to other suggestions (as you will see from other comments) or maybe a different proposal altogether that meets the needs of encouraging more ‘active travel’ and the safe streets for it to be possible.

      As for the council… I suppose they did respond to the governments urgent instruction to provide better and safer streets for the huge number of people who are taking up walking and cycling. Was it a good design? No! Should there have been a consultation? It was a response to an emergency, so no. Should they have informed us? Yes. How good are their communications with us? Abysmal. One of the motivating reasons to set up this website was the utter frustration with the council not explaining what they are doing or even try to defend their own decisions – completely unlike Waltham Forest councillors. We are looking for local citizens to do a better job of it.

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  9. Thanks for the welcome Robbie. There a number of reasons why my starting position is that in terms of “Auckland Island” the LTN probably isn’t the way forward. But, while I may promote / discuss that view elsewhere (and in the interests of honesty, I wrote to the Council a while ago now requesting removal of the LTN infastructure on Auckland Island, especially at the Southern end as that’s where I live!), I’m not here to promote that argument. That would just be bad manners given the nature of this site!, and risk side-tracking the thread. It would also defeat the whole object of why I have posted, so that’s the last you’ll hear from me on that subject. And in that spirit of trying to be constructive . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    There is a lot about your proposal that I really like. Most importantly, It addresses the resident access issue, which for me personally is probably the key objection. Indeed, from my own perspective, I would have no real issue with what you put forward in this post being adopted pretty much “as is”. It resolves the biggest bugbear I have with the scheme (the “three sides of a square” trip to Penge Road from my own Street and other local roads), and the inconvenience of the measures you propose from a driving perspective are something I can live with given the benefits to others.

    But thinking about this from the perspective of some of my neighbours who have to drive in the direction of Streatham / Clapham etc., some might be less happy. As Angus Hewlett says (in the post about the pharmacy issue), having to do the run from the South End of the Island to the West / North (EG towards Clapham, Streatham etc) every day without the use of Hamlet / Lancaster / Auckland Road is no fun.

    But of course if you don’t “cut” the island into two parts via the bus gate, much of the rest of the scheme falls down. This is because it then becomes possible to “rat run” from Southern Avenue, all the way to Belvedere Road using Lancaster / Auckland roads. It’s the bus gate that effectively means that there is no practical value in trying to “rat run” via Lancaster / Auckland road because the distance you can cover doing so is so limited.

    So I don’t know what the solution to that particular problem is (or even if there is one). The other issue that you might need to consider are the impacts on people regularly visiting residents, particularly for care related reasons. I’m not too concerned about people driving for social calls, as people visiting from nearby, there are usually other travel options (and getting people to use them is part of the reason for the scheme in the first place!). And if people are making longer trips by car to visit residents, the extra travel time caused by the LTN (as proposed in this post) is a relatively smaller part of the journey.

    But if you have people coming in every day to care for vulnerable people, or even relatives / friends providing regular childcare, perhaps a way could be found to consider those people as “resident” for the purpose of the scheme. Of course, such a provision adds complexity, and there is also the issue that having more “permitted users” goes against the principle of reducing traffic. But if you wanted to get more people to go from hostile to the LTN to supportive (or at least neutral), something that gave regard to the needs of some residents to have very frequent visitors might be something to think about ?

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  10. The current LTN is a radically and very blunt solution to reducing traffic and increase active travel within the Island. It forces residents abandon the car as the alternatives just take too long. As soon as you start diluting the status quo a lot of the aims of the LTN are gone. There’s no incentive for residents within the LTN to change their ways. Whilst you can encourage people use public transport, walk or cycle more you are only going to get real change when you make it economically or in this case making car journeys take much, much longer.

    The LTN have now have super quiet streets, the price is lengthy car journeys, whether essential or not. The negative is also the increase in traffic in the area outside of the LTN, especially the Triangle. This is quite ironic as chances are this is probably the main local destination for residents of the LTN. As a resident on the other side of South Norwood Hill, I have all the negatives you have plus we now have a large chunk of your traffic as it tries to avoid South Norwood Hill. As for residents of Church Road and Penge/ Croydon Road they now have much more stationary traffic.

    I’m struggling to see a solution that achieves the aims of the LTN and doesn’t create negatives that are just a too high a price to pay for most. If the aim is to significantly reduce traffic then the bus gate does this. The time restrictions on Cypress Road never really started before lockdown. I hate the fact that I am now forced to drive via the triangle to access beckenham, Penge and beyond.

    If the LTN becomes permanent then there’ll be a groundswell of other local areas to adopt a similar thing, Certainly I know a number of residents in Ross, Falkland and Wharncliffe Roads who disagree with the LTN but will have to petition for one in our area as the traffic increase is so noticeable. There’ll be even more pressure on South Norwood Hill and then Whitehorse will come to a standstill.

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    1. Thanks Peter. We wouldn’t want to claim that our proposal will resolve all the issues of excess traffic – death by accidents and pollution; ill health etc – all the things that opponents of the LTN are happy to live with (and in some circumstances where they are safe, are happy for others to live with). The old normal wasn’t working and with more people going back to work and seeking alternatives to public transport, a vast increase in car usage was predicted unless other modes of transport are adopted.

      What the LTN has already achieved is the provision of a safe corridor for walkers and cyclists and as someone who often walks along this route, I have seen a massive increase, particularly of walkers, but also cyclists of the non-lycra kind.

      Undoubtedly it has caused problems too. But these need to be tackled at source, not just ditch the LTN.

      There’s too much traffic on main roads. Yes. How do we discourage people making car journeys of less than 3km (49%) for instance?

      Too much traffic is diverting from main roads onto other neighbourhoods. We would back you setting up your own LTN.

      In short the resolution lies beyond the LTN, not in getting rid of it.

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  11. Do you have an example of a successful scheme based on a camera and a residents data base? If a camera based system was used, how do deliveries, taxis and visitors access the area ? Now that the roads are blocked off why not wait and see and monitor how people’s driving routes and habits change. Then use that information to inform future decisions? This is a really good opportunity to do that. Croydon council must resolve the building collapse on Church road before we can assess the current scheme. Until then it’s impossible to say any negative impact is permanent.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Caroline. The present ‘school streets’ such as Cypress Road allow access for residents based on a database connected to a camera. In our proposal, deliveries, taxis (in fact all non residents) would have access from all roads from South Norwood Hill in the ‘Southern Peninsular’ and all roads from Church Road in the ‘Northern Peninsular’. Residents only would have additional access to either High Street at the end of Lancaster Road or Anerley Hill via Hamlet Road.

      I agree that the current scheme should be given time to see what pans out, and our proposal if approved would take some time to implement. However the council’s current design does have some serious problems such as emergency vehicle access, access for less abled people and some residents having to go three sides of a triangle to get to their homes, which our proposal does resolve.

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  12. As a cyclist, and like many residents who live in South Norwood who travel on foot or by bike, the problem is that Church Road is our main artery into the Triangle (which I cycle every day) – and this has been massively compromised. It is in fact worse for pollution than before lockdown. On paper I should be supporting an LTN, but you have hit the nail on the head with it being badly designed. The feedback from residents our way, especially those of us who love running and cycling, is that this is a scheme that benefits the few and penalises the many. Even when the repairs are made on Church Road, our roads will be worse off for traffic… and what all about the school children walking along there every day?

    I often hear people comparing the success of the LTN in Walthamstow, which I have seen myself. The reality is that Church Road and Anerley Road are logistically essential for people travelling to and from the borough, for journeys that will always be by car (IKEA/retails parks in Croydon etc), whereas as Walthamstow has major A-roads nearby to take the load off.

    I’m not trying to be deliberately dismissive of the scheme, I know we must cut traffic and meet climate goals, but as a devoted cyclist, and a designer myself, this simply pays lip service to the problem without actually solving it for those of us who don’t use cars.

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    1. Hi James. I must confess you have left me completely baffled!

      First up, I can’t tell if you are criticising the Council designed LTN or the completely different proposal above.

      Then I can’t understand why a cyclist from South Norwood is travelling along Church Road to get to the Triangle. You must be filling your lungs with very heavy pollution going up South Norwood Hill when you could be going along the now quiet Auckland Road which the LTN has made much safer for cyclists. As a runner myself, I have noticed probably a tripling in the number of runners in Norwood Lake woods and playing fields since the Covid-19 lockdown. And virtually all these runners are using Auckland Road to get there. Now most runners are running in the road to give space to people on the pavement.

      Whereas Auckland Road is the major access road to local schools, I don’t see many school children walking along Church Road and why would they as there are many safer alternatives.

      Nobody suggests that LTNs will solve the problems of excessive traffic. What they do is provide a safe environment for people who decide to change from travel by car to walking and cycling. Excessive traffic will start to be addressed if the car journeys that can easily be converted to cycling (38%) or walking (22%) happen.

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