Old town, new ideas: The master plan, part 3

By - Friday 9th August, 2013

Following on from last week’s review, Wes Baker gives his final thoughts on the master plan for Croydon’s old town

Roman Way

Effectively an urban motorway slicing the old town in two, and not encouraging anyone in a vehicle to stop or drive at city speeds so as to take in more of the area. The idea is that Roman Way could be re-imagined as more of a local road and, controversially for some, reduced down to one lane partially. I really like this idea and believe for local residents living the Wandle Park side of Roman Way this could help them to feel more connected with the town. I do recall quite a few attendees to both the ideas workshop and master plan telling me how they felt the current road destroyed the area. Ideas around Roman Way include:

  • Cycle lanes and connecting streets
  • Additional staircase added to Jubilee Bridge on Cairo New Road spanning the railway line
  • Potential right turn at Salem Place for cars heading northbound
  • Improved entrance and access to memorial gardens

Drummond Road

Being a connection from the old town to North End and a proposed new entrance to Centrale, its felt that the road as it is doesn’t fulfil its potential. I’ve always felt this passing by and the team have highlighted that the bus stop doesn’t offer bus users much space. Ideas include:

  • Increasing space at the bus stop with a minor realignment of the road
  • Moving the Reeves Corner stop to Drummond Road
  • Improved lighting along Tamworth Place to Church Street
  • Contra flow northbound for cyclist to ride to North End

There were two ideas for Drummond road:

  • Retain the car park and move Reeves Corner bus stop to Drummond Road
  • Replace the car park with housing, improve Tamworth Place walking route, and improve the entrance to Jubilee Bridge car park. This would involve opening up an entrance on New Cairo Road and using the current entrance exit on Booth Road/Lower Church Street as an exit. Jubilee Bridge car park is underused and the thinking is with the entrance being hidden people have no idea where it is so don’t go in.

Scarbrook Road

There are two ideas for Scarbrook Road/Wandle car park:

  • Addition of an entrance at the western end of the car park with a pedestrian and cycle route running through from Church Road north and south of the flyover.
  • The cycle and pedestrian route through the car park, but in addition to this and the bus stand there would be room for a new mixed use development fronting onto Scarbrook Road to improve the street and also screen the car park.


The idea is to help shops on Church Street to restore or preserve the shop frontages and façades above the shops. I would be surprised if anyone wanted to see anything of notable historical significance demolished to make way for a modern structure. Saying that, I am a fan of modern architecture and would gladly see modern buildings within old town if they were designed in such a way as to complement the history of the area.

The Minster could get a café and new church hall, but in my view I’d like to see these structures be modern as opposed to a replica, despite the fact the new section of old palace looks great. I think we should make our mark in design on our town so those that follow us understand what we added to the history of the town. Like Bath, we should maintain the feel of the area by using the same stone used to build the minster to clad these buildings.

Overall I believe the local residents are quite pleased with the ideas that were taken from the workshop and developed. The next stage is to take all the feedback from this exhibition and move into developing these ideas. I believe the exhibition will be later in the year and is likely to be more visual. For anyone wishing to pin down when the next stage of the masterplan is due to be exhibited, I advise you to contact the Portas town team via their website.



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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  • Anne Giles

    Excellent article.