By Tara O’Connor, local democracy journalist
After six months of back and forth, Croydon Council has decided to go ahead with an “Experimental Order” that will restrict traffic on a number of roads in Crystal Palace and South Norwood.
Last year, a low traffic neighborhood (LTN) was introduced to the area, with planters stopping through traffic on Fox Hill, Stambourne Way and Sylvan Way, as well as a bus barrier on Auckland Road.
It also included restrictions on Warminster Road and Lancaster Road on the south side of Norwood of Auckland Road.
While some said it reduced the number of cars crossing closed roads, others locally claimed it increased traffic on the roads around the project.
Roads fall on the Croydon side of the border with Bromley and some Bromley residents have said this pushes the problem of congestion on their roads instead.
After opposition from local residents and MPs, Croydon Council withdrew the planters earlier this year.
But during a cabinet meeting last night (Monday, June 7), he agreed to introduce ANPR cameras on the roads instead.
This means that only those who live on certain roads will be allowed to cross the area.
The meeting learned that Ellie Reeves, MP for Lewisham West and Penge and Steve Reed, MP for Croydon North, had both written letters opposing the scheme.
Responding to concerns that consultation on the proposals was not adequate, Councilor Muhammad Ali, a cabinet member of Sustainable Croydon, said more consultations will take place during the experimental LTN.
He said, “We will be going out and actively collecting information during the experimental phase of this program once the lockdown is released.”
While Councilor Leila Ben-Hassel said it was important for the council to notify apps like GoogleMaps and Waze and put up signs before cameras kick in.
But Councilor Scott Roche said he was concerned the consultation might not have a true representation of what businesses in the Upper Norwood Triangle thought as many were shut down during the lockdown.
He said, “I am concerned about the reliability of corporate feedback for the triangle last year. He said only 47 responded and some were not accepted because the wrong code was submitted.
“Were all companies open and were they really consulted? Businesses need our support more than ever [instead of] hamper the resumption of trade with increased traffic in the region.
He added, “I find it misleading that the 25 percent response rate is not representative. Local election councilors are often elected with a similar amount of the electorate. It is misleading to deprive the 25% of those who answered of their right to vote.
“Why is the council advancing when there is very clear opposition to the previous LTN? “
After the meeting, the Open Our Roads group, which formed in opposition to LTN, tweeted: “So [cllr Ali] continues its ANPR project. He ignored the evidence, MPs, neighboring councilors, local residents and his own consultation.