Old town, new ideas: The master plan, part 2

By - Friday 2nd August, 2013

After kicking off his review of the Croydon Old Town Master Plan event last week, Wes Baker presents the potential futures of Reeves Corner and the Minster quarter

Popping back into Matthews Yard, I had a second look at the Master Plan exhibition. To condense the strategy down, the focus is on Movement (for pedestrians, cyclist, and motorists)

  • Movement (for pedestrians, cyclist and motorists)
  • Rejuvenating Reeves Corner
  • Creating a Minster quarter
  • Reimagining Roman Way
  • Drummond Road
  • Scarbrook Road
  • Preserving the heritage of the area


The movement looks at how pedestrians, cyclist, and motorists gain access to old town and key destinations within it. The current road management has a lot of one way roads that add extra time to journeys. For visitors it must be confusing;  I would find it hard to explain how to drive to a location myself.

  • Pedestrians – would gain new street level crossings on Roman Way into Reeves Corner on the southern side of Jubilee Bridge and another between Latimer and Howley Road. The idea is to increase permeability.
  • Cyclists – would have contraflow lanes as well as bicycles lane on Roman Way. I believe the cycle lane would be on Jubilee Bridge’s pavement as it sees very little footfall. The contraflow lanes would be on Old Palace Road, Drummond Road, and Charles Street. As a cyclist I really like this as it opens up the options for alternative routes.

  • Tram and bus – I’ve seen this in Bilbao; the idea with the tramway by Cairo New Road is to grass over what is currently a hard, man-made surface. This then softens the tram in line with what could be a residential area. In the workshop it had been suggested that the buildings used by the churches could be a location for new housing.
  • Motorists – Northbound traffic has no way of turning right off of Roman Way after the flyover roundabout till you get to Jubilee Bridge/Reeves Corner. The suggestion is this could be solved with a right turn into Cranmer Road or Salem Place. Further improvements to old towns key destinations could be aided with two way traffic on the northern section of Church Road to make it easier to get to Q-Park.

Reeves Corner

There are three ideas for Reeves Corner…

  1. Keep it as it is, minus the hoardings, and use it as a series of sports courts as a temporary measure until a decision is made on what to do with the square/island site. I really like this idea as there’s scope to also have temporary art installations or a single storey building, be it a container or wooden structure, to then become something like an art gallery.
  2. Connect the island site to the church street side of Reeves corner so effectively it becomes a peninsula. It would stay as open space in addition to the square on the opposite corner of church road to the minster church hall and the green areas by the gym and jubilee bridge.
  3. Keep the island site as an island but place a building onto the site but to one side so the sightline of the house of Reeves is maintained when approaching the corner from Church Street.

Minster quarter

The Minster is what I see as an area you pass through rather than stop and stay at for hours on end, unless attending the minster. There were two ideas…

  1. New almshouses fronting onto minster green and Church Street, replacement church hall and amenity space for old palace school also fronting onto the green with a clearly defined triangular green which could play host to performances. The parking for the Minster, which is currently outside of the main entrance, would be relocated to the road surrounding the green.
  2. New almshouse fronting onto Church Street, a replacement for the church hall and a small retail/community building also fronting onto Church Street. The route from Minster Green to Church Road would be closed with more space given to old palace to use for an amenity building. The open public minster green mentioned above would instead be an enclosed cloistered space.

One idea I heard was of the removal of the ramp and stairs to access the underused tunnel under Roman Way, fill it in, remove the wall and have a café in its place. I believe this would really make the minster quarter a destination point.



Street photographer, 1st of the Frohicans and Croydon's No.1 fan according to my parents. I graduated in Transport Design at Coventry University summer 2012 and made my way back to the town I love to continue working on my Croydon facebook page. I eventually met some of the other local creatives with the same enthusiasm and soon knew it was my mission to engage with and hopefully help to get the word out about the creative potential and future of Croydon.

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