Croydon Council’s Streets and Environment Sub-committee meeting on 20 January will be considering reports on:
- Transport Infrastructure in Croydon
It summarises the statutory and non-statutory plans guiding transport infrastructure investment and outlines in certain instances how studies may result in plans for investment. The report highlights TfL’s role in infrastructure planning and investment with a focus on buses, trams, roads, trains and bridges, also indicating the role of other agencies.
For a critique of the plans for Thameslink see Charles King’s article on Croydon Citizen last month. http://thecroydoncitizen.com/economics-business/new-plans-thameslink-franchise-will-leave-croydon-commuters-cold
- Connected Croydon
This report summarises progress to date in delivering the Connected Croydon programme of public realm improvements. It provides an overview of both financial and non-financial onitoring, and explains some of the key challenges that lie between now and the programme’s completion. The report also outlines the role and purpose of the Croydon Local Implementation Plan and the funding TfL provides to support the delivery of the proposals in the Plan.
For Inside Croydon’s analysis of Connected Croydon see http://insidecroydon.com/2015/01/14/croydon-streets-being-paved-with-gold-or-at-least-public-cash
Transport and the Westfield Hammerson Scheme
In commenting on Andrew Kennedy’s submission to the Whitgift Area CPO Inquiry on protecting the heritage along North End Graham Donaldson, who is Events Secretary of the Local Studies Forum, has expressed his personal concern to me that ‘the issue of transport into Croydon Town does not seem to being adequately addressed in the debate on the scheme. He points out that East Croydon station is already undergoing capacity expansion to cope with existing projections of demand let alone more – and the idea of calling it ‘Croydon Central’ is just silly as it is plainly not in the centre! TfL has recently put forward plans to improve Tramlink capacity to deal with demand projections up to 2030 but these seem fairly modest compared with what is really needed. By comparison one could look at Manchester, where the tram network (known as Metrolink) has seen massive expansion since it first opened in 1992 with two basic lines. Further new works currently under construction include a new city crossing, while the new line to Manchester Airport has opened more than a year ahead of schedule! In relation to Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush gained a new National Rail station, plus a new Central line one at Wood Lane to cope with demand, whilst Stratford is easily the biggest transport interchange in the country now featuring National Rail, Underground, Overground, Docklands Light Rail and two bus stations.’
Unless transport is addressed in a submission to the CPO Inquiry, the only opportunity to raise the issue is through questions to Council and developer and TfL witnesses. If members of the public concerned about the transport aspect of the scheme want to have a chance to question witnesses they should contact Joanna Vincent, the support worker to the Inquiry Inspector, who tells me: ‘that those who wish to do this contact me in advance so I can get agreement from the Inspector.’ Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two aspects of transport and the development were raised in Croydon TUC’s working party report What kind of economy do we need in Croydon? Croydon Council’s Growth Plan and District Centre Investment; Growth For All. A Commentary with Recommendations (August 2014) .
- ‘The difficulties of public transport into Croydon will also make it a less attractive venue than for example Westfield’s developments at Shepherds Bush and Stratford where the public transport is very close. The service into West Croydon will need to be considerably improved. The walking distance from East Croydon Station will make the Centre less appealing to visit.’
- Drawing attention to the Plan’s lack of reference to travel to work statistics; both inward and outgoing, it commented.’ Improving travel access in and out of Croydon could mean a significant number of the expected new jobs will not be filled by Croydon residents, leaving a continued pool of unemployed in the most disadvantaged parts of the Borough, and requiring Croydonians to go out of Borough to work even if they would prefer to have a job in the Borough.’
- ‘The announcement by the Prime Minister … that there was a possibility of moving civil service offices to Croydon ‘is likely to mean an increase in the numbers of people travelling into Croydon for work putting pressure on the already inadequate rail service to and from Victoria and West Croydon, and to and from London Bridge. It may also mean an increase of road transport use by those civil servants who are essential car users, as well as in lorries and vans supplying the offices. London Rd is already over congested. Any further increase in road transport will further gridlock the system and also increase air pollution which is at its highest in terms of nitrogen dioxide in the Norbury stretch of London Rd.’
The Working Party recommended that a travel to work analysis should be undertaken on the numbers of people coming into Croydon to work and the number of Croydonians going out of Borough to work, the analysis to include ward level so as to ascertain whether there are particular problems facing people living in the more deprived wards.