Crystal Palace and South Norwood Low Traffic Neighbourhood
Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood
In Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood, public transport usage is usually very high. However, with social distancing on public transport, its capacity is down by 70%, and many people are now seeking alternative forms of transport. Many households in Croydon do not have access to a car. For those that do, Croydon does not have the road capacity or environmental capacity for all to drive.
Croydon Council and Transport for London’s concern is that if there is even a small increase in the percentage of people choosing to use cars for their daily travel, this could likely result in significant traffic congestion, noise and air pollution on the borough road network.
Without a continued reduction in motor traffic and a shift toward more sustainable forms of transport, we will not meet our climate and healthy lifestyle goals, so it’s important that we prevent a car-based COVID-19 recovery.
Further, for many years local residents have expressed concerns about the volume of motor traffic in the area, often speeding through quieter residential streets that are also home to several schools.
What’s happening in Auckland Road and Lancaster Road
At the start of lockdown, we quickly moved to partially close streets to through traffic and increase space available for people to walk, cycle and socially distance as required by central government and Transport for London. The aim of this Streetspace scheme is to provide space to allow the residents to exercise and play, and to walk and cycle while public transport capacity is reduced due to social distancing.
We have received numerous concerns over recent years about the levels and speed of traffic on Auckland Road and surrounding streets, such as Lancaster Road and Southern Avenue. We received further requests for action early in lockdown. The closure of Auckland Road/Lancaster Road was made easier as Auckland Road was already closed for works by Southern Gas Networks (SGN).
The temporary closures (including SGNs) meant that:
- Auckland Road was much quieter and calmer
- some nearby streets also became quieter and calmer, such as Southern Avenue
- other nearby streets were getting more traffic, such as Sylvan Hill and Stambourne Way
- the 410 bus route had to make an inconvenient diversion
After the SGN works ended, we quickly moved to keep the street closed. We then worked to return the 410 bus to its route on Auckland Road whilst keeping it closed to other motor traffic. At the same time we took action to remove through traffic from Sylvan Hill and Stambourne Way, and to protect Fox Hill from likely displaced traffic.
Our goal is to keep the benefits to Auckland Road and its surroundings without having a negative impact on other roads or the bus route.
Why it matters
As lockdown eases, we are facing new challenges. Capacity on public transport is much lower than before, but we can’t rely on more people using their cars for several reasons:
- Croydon does not have the road capacity or environmental capacity for everyone to drive
- it would not help the many households in Croydon that don’t own cars
- it would help people become healthier and more active
We have an opportunity to make it easier and safer for people to walk or cycle more often to help avoid problems of increased car traffic, while giving many residents a better environment for exercising and staying healthy. This is particularly important during the current pandemic, as evidence suggests that healthier people have a better chance of recovering from COVID-19.
As the temporary measures have evolved, we've kept listening.
Many residents have highlighted our School Streets (such as the one at Cypress Road) and the exemption for cars belonging to residents within the Zone. They asked us whether a similar exemption can apply at the bus gate in Auckland Road. We set out on this page some of the options we have been looking at including:
- Allowing motor vehicles owned by residents living within the Low Traffic Neighbourhood, (bounded by the A roads and the railway line), to drive through the ‘bus gate’; and
- replacing the planters (used to temporarily physically close streets to though motor traffic) with camera-enforced ‘no-entry’ signs, with an exemption for vehicles belonging to residents of the ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhood’
We have received over 1000 comments on our Crystal Palace scheme via our feedback page, and we appreciate everyone who has taken the time to share your views. Based on what we have heard, we have developed a series of options which we intend to begin consulting on this November.
We will be closing the Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood LTN entries from our wider Streetspace survey pages, while continuing to seek public feedback for other Streetspace schemes.
Those wishing to provide comments and get in touch with us regarding the Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood scheme are encouraged to wait until the upcoming consultation period