News in brief December 2015 / January 2016

By - Thursday 21st January, 2016

The big Croydon news stories from the end of 2015 and the start of 2016, summarised for your convenience

TfL plans to widen Fiveways Bridge to increase car capacity

The History & Social Action Blog reported that Transport for London has, after a consultation with Croydon Council and with the public, decided on ‘proposal 2′. This will ‘widen the existing bridge carrying the A23 Purley Way over the railway, and widen Epsom Road to accommodate two-way traffic’. Croydon Council is now obliged to commit £20m towards the costs of the scheme, which is understood to be motivated in part by a desire to increase road capacity into Croydon from the south before the Westfield-Hammerson development opens (currently planned for 2020). The council cabinet’s official report on the decision said they ‘will look to establish plans to improve roads across Croydon and give disabled people, pedestrians and cyclists greater protection and make their journeys safer’.

Tiger Tiger nightclub closes down

Citing declining footfall, Croydon’s best-known nightclub closed on Sunday 10th January. The Croydon Advertiser announced the closure in advance, quoting a senior sales rep as saying ‘it’s been a long time coming. Footfall in Croydon has gone down a lot. We’ve been in a shadow of decline. We’re a really big venue, with such high rent, and we’re just not making the money we need to survive’. The club is not the first Croydon night spot to shut down in recent years: Black Sheep Bar closed in 2013, and Yates’ last year.

Young Muslims clean up the streets in the early hours of new year’s day

Photo by AMYA, used with permission.

Readers wondering why Croydon town centre was clean and tidy so soon after the biggest night out of the year may be interested to know who to thank. Writing in the Citizen, Adeel Shah reported that more than sixty young members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association were out bright and early on the first day of the new year, carrying out a litter sweep. The group’s activities in 2015 also included providing food at Croydon University Hospital for the elderly, delivering gifts to the hospital’s children’s ward at Christmas, weekly work with Croydon Nightwatch, blood donation, and the dispatch of more than ten volunteers to assist with the Cumbria relief effort after floods struck the north of England.

Riot compensation bill makes its way through parliament

Riot compensation laws have not been updated since 1886, which led to serious consequences for victims of the 2011 riots in Croydon and across London. The Riots Compensation Bill has cross-party support and is currently progressing towards becoming law. Croydon North MP Steve Reed, Labour, is a member of the committee scrutinising the proposals and has called for them to be ‘strengthened’, including ‘action to stop insurance premiums rising to unaffordable levels in areas affected by riots, assurances that donations from the public will not be deducted from official compensation payments, and a stronger voice for communities in overseeing riot compensation’.

Green Party mayoral candidate pledges to stop Beddington incinerator, even at this stage

Some of the Croydon activist group which took place in the march.
Photo by Grace Onions, used with permission.

On a visit to Croydon covered by the Croydon GuardianSian Berry met with long-time anti-incinerator campaigner Shasha Khan and confirmed that she would do ‘whatever she can’ to stop the controversial Beddington incinerator if elected mayor, even though building work is scheduled to begin almost immediately after the election. Viridor was granted planning permission to build the incinerator in 2014 by Sutton Council, which says the incinerator’s generation capabilities will provide energy for up to 19,000 homes.

Airport expansion decision delayed until after mayoral election

The transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, confirmed the delay in determining the plan for expanding London’s airport capacity in December. Sir Howard Davies’ independent report in July 2015 had favoured a third runway at Heathrow, but acknowledged that the proposals for Gatwick Airport were ‘feasible’. The delay to summer 2016 means that the decision will not be made until London’s next mayor has been elected. Of the candidates, the BBC reports that Conservative Zac Goldsmith is opposed to a third runway at Heathrow, while Labour’s Sadiq Khan agrees but also favours expanding Gatwick instead. The Greens’ Sian Berry opposes all airport expansion in the South East, Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon proposes expanding rail links to the non-Heathrow airports, and UKIP candidate Peter Whittle is opposed to expanding Heathrow. In Croydon, there is cross-party support for an expansion of Gatwick Airport, with Croydon Council particularly vocal about the economic and transport benefits that would have a knock-on effect on the borough.

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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  • CroydonSurrey

    I just read the consultation, nearly everything points to option 1 being the preferred proposal, and the one that works best. How on earth can they choose option 2?!

    So annoyed.

    • Anne Giles

      What was option 1?