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Council mulls legal action over neighbouring authority's road closures

Bromley Council has threatened to take legal action against Croydon Council after temporary road closures have caused displaced traffic to congest Bromley's roads.

The Croydon scheme, intended to keep traffic away from residential streets and encourage socially distanced exercise and travel has led to severe traffic problems, according to neighbouring Bromley Council.

According to a report Cllr Colin Smith, Leader of Bromley Council said in a local newsletter that he believed Croydon ignored section 121B of the Road Traffic Regulation Act (1984) when installing the roadblocks. He went on to say that, should Croydon fail to remove the blocks voluntarily, the council would seek a legal resolution.

On 3 August, Croydon closed Sylvan Hill, Stambourne Way and Fox Hill under a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order which Bromley say increased congestion in and around the ‘Crystal Palace Triangle’.

Cllr Angela Wilkins of Bromley said that the increased congestion has hindered emergency vehicles and negatively impacted Bromley residents. She also suggested that Croydon did not correctly consult Bromley on the closures.

In a letter to Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport and Deputy Chair of Transport for London, Cllr Wilkins said: "Following the implementation of these closure on 3 August, we have seen large increases in the congestion around the Crystal Palace triangle and feeder roads, with emergency vehicles on occasion unable to get through, plus increased traffic and increased speeds on very narrow and hilly residential roads."

She added: "There is some lack of clarity about whether Croydon consulted with Bromley prior to implementing these closures, but even if this did take place it was neither early nor comprehensive enough in my view."

"Inevitably this also leads to increased congestion on linked side roads; residents on most of these roads are actually Bromley residents, who feel particularly aggrieved at not being consulted in any way and also, to use a phrase I have adopted for this issue, seem to be suffering 'all of the pain and none of the gain'."

A Croydon Council spokesperson said: "This temporary scheme, welcomed by many local residents, is already encouraging more walking and cycling for all people in the area, and addressing the issue of reduced capacity on public transport resulting from COVID-19 social distancing measures.

"We are confident in our use of the emergency powers. Feedback is very important to us; we have already made improvements based on local input, and we remain keen to work closely with Bromley to resolve any concerns."

Adam Carey

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