The controversial closure of Sylvan Hill, Fox Hill and Stambourne Way has been greeted by some residents, though not all, there with justifiable enthusiasm and people report it is like waking from a bad dream, now that they are not disturbed from early in the morning until late at night.   They are no longer concerned about air pollution, noise, asthma, sleep deprivation and mental health, their streets are no longer rat runs with threatening speeds, dangerous overtaking and drivers using pavements illegally and dangerously.   The devastating effects that it was suggested might have affected Upper Norwood Triangle by the closures have not arisen.  

There is a tailback every morning but cars divert into Rockmount Road, and Bedwardine Road to avoid the traffic jam. In the morning rush hours 06.30am to 0900 am 729 vehicles have been counted using Harold Road at the Central Hill end travelling in a northwards direction.  Of these 549 were cars, 164 vans, 4 heavy lorries but only 6 motor bikes and 6 bicycles.  During the same period 106 vehicles passed in a southerly direction, 86 cars, 18 vans, and 2 motor bikes.  There were 14 occasions when there was conflict between the two streams of traffic and vehicles mounted pavements and sounded horns in frustration.  

A similar count taken at the other end of Harold Road on another day saw 950 vehicles passing along Harold Road but 250 of these diverted into Bedwardine Road and circulated through Southvale and Gatestone Road to reach Central Hill.   In the evening rush hours, 16.30 to 21.00 hours. 600 vehicles have been counted travelling in both directions, 476 were cars, 112 vans, 1 heavy lorry, 7 motor bikes but only four bicycles passed during this time.   Vehicles mounted the pavement on six occasions as a result of conflict between the two streams and horns were sounded unnecessarily and illegally.   In one day 5076 vehicles used Harold Road in both directions with drivers sometimes using pavements illegally and dangerously.  Even at night 20 or 30 vehicles may pass each hour.  

Many of the signatories below, particularly those from Rockmount Road have expressed the opinion that it is only a matter of time before a child, on the way to Rockmount Primary School, is knocked down by a speeding vehicle.   In the evening rush hours in Rockmount Road 284 vehicles came downhill from Central Hill but 115 turned in from Troy Road after using Essex Grove to avoid the traffic jam on Central Hill  131 vehicles came uphill on Rockmount Road 25 turning into Troy Road..   

The Council’s aims to make our roads attractive spaces for people to  walk and cycle in, giving everyone a safer healthier environment may well be working on the Sylvan Hill side of the Triangle but it is gained at the expense of residents living elsewhere in Upper Norwood.   We the undersigned request that Croydon Council should take immediate steps to enter into full consultation with residents to transform the Harold Road Conservation Area into a low traffic neighbourhood.   Re-opening Sylvan Hill, Stambourne Way and Fox Hill to traffic so that  traffic noise, pollution and accompanying problems and dangers are shared, the introduction of further speed controls, with cameras and automatic number plate recognition and strategic road closures, should all be considered so that we too might benefit from a safer, healthier environment.    

Are we less important than other residents in Upper Norwood?  

John Medhurst and Tim Laxton    Contact the author of the petition

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