Croydon Council is to re-open several roads that were closed to through traffic in trials introduced last year.
Next month planters that blocked access to motor vehicles on Croydon Healthy Neighbourhood (CHN) schemes will be replaced with ANPR cameras.
Removing full road closures on the majority of streets in the seven CHNs will allow improved access for emergency services and local residents, the council said.
Exemption permits will be offered to local school staff, Blue Badge holders and designated carers, while buses and black cabs will be automatically exempt. Drivers without exemption permits will be issued with penalty charge notices if they drive through Healthy Neighbourhoods, said the council.
In a few cases planters will be replaced with lockable bollards, which means the roads will remain closed to residents but emergency services will be able to open them.
The amended schemes will run for 18 months initially, starting on 30 September, and objections can be formally submitted during the first six months.
The seven CHNs are: South Norwood - Holmesdale Road Area; South Norwood - Albert Road Area; Broad Green - Parsons Mead Area; Broad Green - Sutherland Road; Addiscombe - Dalmally Road; Addiscombe - Elmers Road; Addiscombe - Kemerton Road.
In May 2020 Croydon Council introduced five Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) as part of Transport for London’s Streetspace programme in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In June 2021 the council renamed the LTNs Croydon Healthy Neighbourhoods (CHNs), which involved replacing some planters with ANPR cameras to allow access for local residents and emergency services.
At the time, the council said the aim of CHNs was to make streets safer, cleaner, and quieter – “addressing long-standing concerns from local residents around congestion and road safety”. CHNs would also “support more sustainable methods of travel like cycling or walking - addressing concerns around air pollution and the climate crisis” and “encourage and enable increased physical activity - addressing concerns about poor physical health and obesity”.
In the local elections in May Croydon Council switched from Labour to no overall control, with Conservative Jason Perry becoming the borough’s first elected mayor. While a Conservative councillor, Perry had expressed his opposition to low traffic neighbourhoods.
A month before the local elections, Perry told the anti-LTN campaign group Open Our Roads: “LTN schemes have increased levels of traffic and congestion, increased journey times, increased pollution, impacted on business and fined residents for driving on their own roads.
“Furthermore, the schemes have caused issues for the emergency services. We are yet to be presented with any data to prove the success or failure of these schemes. These schemes are having a huge detrimental impact on our communities.”
As changes to CHN schemes were announced yesterday, Perry said: “Since being elected I have listened to local residents to improve the temporary schemes introduced by the previous administration. These changes will open up the roads to make sure more residents have access, and to make it easier for emergency services.
“Improved signage and an exemption scheme for residents in the affected areas will mean local people can once again access their own streets, while still cutting down on rat-running.”
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