Back in May 2011 the Mayor of London announced that Croydon was a cycling borough and would receive £450,000 over a 3 year period to improve cycling in the borough.
Croydon is one of the largest boroughs in London, both by land and by population. £450,000 is not going to change cycling in the borough for everyone. Wondering how the money would be spent I asked the council if they could give me some information on their plans.
The majority of the money is being spent on a cycling hub at East Croydon station. The idea being to attract people to cycling by getting those who use the tram or bus to get too and from the station on their way to work in central London. It’s probably the best place in Croydon to build a cycling hub, it is the busiest train station with a huge range of destination. The east Croydon area is going over a massive re-development process for the 2020 vision. This includes high-rise buildings, arenas and all sorts. The footfall around the area will increase dramatically and it won’t just be seen as a transport hub.
Money is also going to be spent on making Wellesley Road ‘feel less concrete cars-ville [and] more “Connected City” ‘, those are the words from Croydon Council!!! The way they are going to do this is by adding in several surface level pedestrian crossings. Something which Wellesley road hasn’t seen for a number of years! This should help connect East and West Croydon together making it possible for people to easily move around the town.
£105,000 of the money will go to marking more cycling routes in the town centre and to encourage and enable cycling through parks. Croydon has a vast quantity of parks but most of them have bylaws that prevent you from cycling in them. Getting through the town centre is also a bit of a tricky task at present, the options are to go down an urban motorway or try to survive with the buses and trams on the back route.
Money is also being given to provide cycle training at schools and to those who want it, community led rides, and cycle awareness training for HGV drivers.
I’m sure we could all think of ways to spend £450,000 to make cycling better in our boroughs, the Cycle Hub is probably one of the best things that could be done and if done well, will last us for decades!