Croydon Tramlink is a success. Passenger numbers have grown from 20 million trips per year in 2000 to around 30 million a year now, and are predicted to reach 56 million by 2031. Transport for London (TFL) have identified the current Town Centre set-up as a major bottleneck to this growth and are proposing an additional Town Centre Loop, based on Dingwall Road, to help provide capacity to meet this new demand. Addiscombe Councillors are keen to see the growth of the tram network but we are concerned that the needs of bus passengers are being side-lined, and we urge residents to let TFL know that we want to see buses that used Dingwall Road, such as the 410 bus, protected from any detrimental changes.
Although we are keen on increasing the capacity of the Croydon Tramlink system and we welcome the consultation, if you read the information provided by TFL, there is very little mention on the impact of the buses that currently use Dingwall Road. TFL staff say that there will be a separate consultation on the bus route changes once a decision is made on which of the three loop options is chosen. We say that this is far too late and that changes to bus routes should have been highlighted in the current consultation, so residents can make an informed choice concerning the options.
Buses which use Dingwall Road include 64, 194, 198, 250, 367, 410, 689, N64, T33, X26.
Only Option 3 has any information provided about the impact on buses, and this is because it has no impact as it states “The existing bus routes would remain during the operational phase of the loop”. Option 1 and Option 2 fail to mention buses but it is clear that existing Dingwall Road buses will be diverted back down Wellesley Road and up George Street, or will not serve East Croydon Station area at all. If buses are diverted back down Wellesley Road and George Street this will cause more traffic congestion issues on this already busy junction. Indeed the reason why the buses use Dingwall Road is to avoid the very congestion bottlenecks that the trams are now trying to avoid.
Having attend the TFL consultation at Croydon Library on 22nd November 2014 and reviewed TFL’s documents, then the option that has the least negative impact on bus users from Addiscombe and beyond is Option 3. This option gives the additional capacity the tram system needs, but protects the many local buses that many residents use.
TFL consultation on the new Town Centre Loop continues until 14th December 2014. You can see the proposals on their website at https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/tramlink/dingwall-road-loop, and complete an online survey at Online Survey. You can email TFL your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org