A raft of new initiatives will help residents and visitors stay safe while travelling and supporting local shops in Croydon as more businesses prepare to reopen next week.
In line with government guidance, around 60% of Croydon’s businesses are planning to open their doors on 15 June for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, with more expected to follow in July.
And with social distancing still in place, Croydon Council has been working with its partners across transport, business, safety and the voluntary sector to support everyone to follow the guidance as the town and district centres start to unlock.
The council and Croydon BID have provided businesses with advice and support to help those who can, restart safely, ensuring they are aware of government guidance and helping them to access PPE where required.
In streets and public spaces in the town and district centres, new signage, pavement stencils and one-way systems for pedestrians will support visitors to maintain social distancing while navigating the town and waiting to enter shops. Pavements will be also be widened in busy areas, giving people more room to pass each other.
At the same time, new transport schemes are being introduced to help reduce motor traffic and create more space for people to walk and cycle safely. The council is exploring options for new low traffic neighbourhoods and pop-up cycle lanes to support the rapid increase in cycling and walking.
The council, Transport for London (TfL) and the rail industry have worked together to help the public use public transport safely and ensure safe space can be maintained. Capacity on public transport will be greatly reduced and so people are asked to only use it if their journey is essential.
From 15 June, some roads and street space will undergo temporary changes to support social distance measures in the town and district centres.
In the town centre, temporary traffic management and pedestrian measures will be rolled out to accommodate social distancing in certain areas where the pavement is too narrow. Locations include Dingwall Road, Fell Road, High Street, Katharine Street, Park Lane, Lansdowne Road, North End, Wellesley Road, and St George’s Walk.
Outside the town centre area, pavements have also been widened at the following locations: Portland Road, High Street South Norwood, Crystal Palace Triangle, Brigstock Road, London Road, Southbridge Road, Clifford Road and Craignish Avenue.
Throughout the borough the council will continue to build on the success of the Streetspace schemes, introduced to give pedestrians and cyclists more room during Covid-19, with more locations planned.
“Since the start of this pandemic, Croydon’s residents, businesses and key workers have come together and united to support each other.
“As lockdown restrictions ease and we begin to unlock our local economy, this fantastic community spirit is more important than ever.
“We are supporting those businesses who are preparing to reopen to do so as safely as possible, and adapting our streets and public spaces so that people can feel confident travelling to and from work, and supporting their local shops.
“However, health must come first and everyone has a part to play. It’s more important than ever that people follow the social distancing and hygiene guidelines, so that together we can begin to revive our local economy and support our local businesses as safely as possible.”
Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed, cabinet member for economy and jobs
“As more people start to leave their homes to return to work or go shopping, we can all help to prevent over-crowding on public transport by using other means of travel such as walking or cycling.
“We’re introducing new measures to make it easier and safer to walk and cycle across our borough and into our town centre. I would encourage everyone to do their bit and help us to keep our air clean and healthy.”
Councillor Stuart King, cabinet lead for transport and environment