The Croydon Streetspace project is expanding to seven new locations next week, creating more space for people to walk and cycle during Covid-19.
The latest step in the borough-wide initiative, will see the pavements widened at six busy pinch-points in Crystal Palace, South Norwood and Thornton Heath, to make it easier for pedestrians to socially distance when passing each other.
Parking bays will be suspended with barriers set up to expand the pavement on Church Road and Westow Hill, both in Crystal Palace and Clifford Road in South Norwood on Wednesday 27 May and at on High Street, South Norwood and two stretches of Brigstock Road, Thornton Heath, on Friday 29 May.
The initiative was welcomed by Vivienne Bartholomew, owner of Vien Vintage on Church Road, who said: “I think this is a great idea because that stretch of footway is very narrow and Church Road is always a busy thoroughfare. It will give people more confidence, especially those who are a bit more cautious and I think that will help encourage people back to the high street.”
The works to Clifford Road and Brigstock Road will make social distancing easier for commuters needing to use Norwood Junction and Thornton Heath train stations. Measures for other transport hubs are set to be introduced over the coming weeks.
Next week’s expansion will also see the partial closure of Holmesdale Road in South Norwood as part of the low-traffic street scheme, extended on Friday 29 May to include the area east of the roundabout at the junction with Oliver Grove.
The closures preserve access for residents and other essential journeys while offering cyclists and pedestrians, who are able to pass the barrier, a safer route that avoids the busier Selhurst Road.
“As more people prepare to return to work and journey numbers increase, we’re working to quickly bring new schemes into areas where they will be most effective at keeping residents moving safely in line with social distancing guidelines, while helping the wider borough get back on its feet.”
Councillor Stuart King, cabinet lead for environment and transport
As part of the Streetspace project residents have the chance to close a small section of their cul-de-sac for a few hours a day, creating an Exercise Street and giving them more room to exercise safely. To further improve road safety, speed awareness signs are being installed on roads where speeding has been reported and the council is considering temporarily reducing the speed limit on some of the busiest roads as it works to make every journey in Croydon safer.
All the changes are temporary, lasting an initial 21 days, but can be renewed or made permanent if they prove popular.
More information on the Croydon Streetspace schemes is available online.