Residents of South London will know that the road network in London suffers from major congestion, and it’s even worse in south London than the rest of the capital. Croydon resident Peter Morgan recently met with Chris Philp, MP for Croydon South. Here’s a note on the meeting which you may find interesting.
He found it was a positive and useful meeting, this is his understanding of what was agreed:
1 Acceptance that building sections of new road, and improving existing roads could deliver real and lasting benefits in terms of improved economic activity and productivity and reduced congestion and pollution. Road schemes can often deliver very high cost/benefit ratios. The Coulsdon Bypass was one good example of this.
2 South London between the M25, A3, A205 and A20 has been badly neglected compared with other parts of London and the wider country. This has led to very slow journeys in the south London quadrant, and this has a major negative impact on the lives and productivity of millions living and working in this area.
3 There is a systemic problem due to no-one with overall responsibility for movement in this area. Responsibility is divided between national government, Highways England, the M25 management group, Surrey and Kent county councils, the London Mayor and TfL, and local councils such as Croydon, Sutton, Tandridge and Reigate and Banstead. The Mayor of London has tended to ignore issues of movement crossing the GLA boundary, and instead focused on central and inner London – where very different travel and transport situations apply.
4 We need to know what Croydon and TfL are planning or proposing for roads in Croydon – reference government money for schemes that reduce congestion and boost the economy. We are concerned that they may focus on the wrong sections of road, and they may propose the wrong kind of scheme, notably involving the promotion of the positive primacy of cycling ahead of all other modes and purposes. TfL’s Fiveways scheme has a low benefit / cost ratio in part due to this. Commuting to work by car, and movement of goods by lorry are key elements of a successful and productive society. We looked at specific examples for concern, notably at Fiveways, Purley Cross, Thornton Heath Pond and the Lombard Roundabout.
5 We noted that building massive new roads may well not be feasible. Instead we should look at improving the A23 and its links.
6 Specific schemes to address these sections of road should be developed.
6A A bypass for Hooley – a major scheme with big benefits. 6B An improved means of movement between A23 north and M23 south, and M23 north and A23 south at Merstham, notably a free-flow u-turn facility using the currently unused over bridge. This could be done quickly and cheaply with a huge benefit cost advantage. 6C Improvements between Hooley and the southern roundabout at the end of the Coulsdon Bypass. 6D Improvements to Lion Green Road and the junctions at either end. 6E Improvements between the northern junction at the end of the Bypass and Purley Cross, and at either end of this section. 6F Improvements on the A22 between Downscourt Road and Purley Cross, notably possible widening and using the northern bridge arch. 6G Improvements on the A23 along the length of Purley Way.
7 Grade separation offers huge potential benefits by keeping traffic mooing, rather than stopping and waiting at red lights. Grade separation improvements do not need to involve massive property demolition, nor building huge new slip roads. Small scale 30mph and 40mph schemes can offer real benefits at relatively low cost. 6C and 6G are examples of this.
8 There were other schemes on the M25 which could deliver real benefits in Croydon, notably my suggested new junctions at Westerham and Walton on the Hill.
Peter is looking forward to the next steps to making our road network more fit for purposes. But he has surely identified some of the issues and the problems that should be tackled.
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