November’s submissions for “I would make Croydon better by…”

By - Wednesday 12th November, 2014

How could Croydon be improved? We want your suggestions today! Email us at

A few months ago, we launched a campaign to get your suggestions to make Croydon a better place. Why? From the beginning, a big part of the Citizen has been about proposing concrete, achievable solutions to the town’s problems. Now we want to do more and involve readers on a larger scale than ever.

These are three of the ideas that you, the readers, came up with last month:

Bike hub

I think a bike hub, similar to the Finsbury Park station example where people pay a small monthly subscription to leave their bikes in a secure gated unit, complete with its own mechanic to carry out any repairs or upgrades to their bikes, would be a great idea for one of the empty units around the square.

Once your bike is securely parked, you would then be in an ideal spot to do a bit of food shopping along the Surrey Street Market, or in an ideal spot for the centre of town and any of the shops you needed to use. Even cycle commuters who work in Croydon would be able to use this service, and be secure in the knowledge that their bike is in a secure and monitored space before making their way on foot to their workplace.

Kasper Seward

Bike tours

This unit-come-bike park could then become a central hub for guided tours of croydon, or also even a ideal spot for some hire bikes to be rented from. Perhaps a fleet of bikes could be stored for people to use for the day to investigate the green spaces so nearby to the sprawling metropolis known and loved by so many; or even ride along the wandle way a ride that goes all the way up to Wandsworth along the local river Wandle which is a great scenic ride.

Kasper Seward

Croydon, London

I would make Croydon better by changing its address. Why is it Croydon, Surrey and not Croydon, London?

Since 1st April 1965, the county borough of Croydon and the urban district of Coulsdon and Purley have been part of London. My change would rid us of an anachronistic postal address: a remembrance of counties past that haunts so many parts of London.

Cultural geography is distorted. Visitors will no longer suffer cognitive dissonance from expecting Croydon to be in Betjeman’s ‘conifer county of Surrey’. East Croydon is 13 minutes from London Bridge by Thameslink: around half the time it takes from Betjeman’s Highgate to London Bridge on the Northern line.

I know local people who genuinely have no idea they live in London, and do not feel part of one of the great cities of the world. ‘London’ is not some distant, rarely-visited destination of unimaginable wealth and danger, it is our home town.

So, I propose we all replace ‘Surrey’ in our addresses with ‘London’; encourage local businesses to change their headed paper, persuade the council to fall into line.

Our de facto location will change if we stop addressing ourselves as residents of Surrey and simply speak the truth: we are Londoners.

Stephen Black

The Pump Station

Turn the old pump house building in Exchange Square into an arts centre a la Battersea power station!

Anna Arthur

Drinking fountains

Install drinking fountains all over – people would drink fewer sugary drinks and save money, there’d be less waste and rubbish to dispose of.

Elaine Garrod

Think you can do better?

Tell us your specific, concrete idea in no more than 100 words and we’ll aim to feature it in our next print edition. It doesn’t have to be something that you can do – just something specific that’s achievable for someone. Ambition is great, but it must be achievable and well defined.

Whatever your idea, we want to hear it.

Send submissions to

The Croydon Citizen

The Croydon Citizen

The Croydon Citizen is a non-profit community news magazine for London's most populous borough.

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