London’s first walking and cycling commissioner visited Croydon on Friday (24 March) to learn about the council’s plans to put the borough on a par with the most cycle-friendly cities in Europe.
Will Norman met Councillor Stuart King, cabinet member for transport and the environment, at East Croydon station with council officers for a tour of the town centre. He experienced, first hand, the benefits of the council’s extensive public realm improvement programme, which has been delivered to make it quicker, easier and more pleasant to travel round Croydon’s growing town centre on foot. This first phase has already seen £50m invested in creating step-free, pedestrian routes that join different areas of the town centre, including transport hubs and shops. The next phase will focus on improving and linking cycle routes.
The commissioner particularly welcomed the council’s plans to make walking and cycling a key part of Croydon’s future as the town’s £5.25bn regeneration progresses. Mr Norman said: “It’s fantastic to see walking and cycling being built into the future fabric of Croydon. Croydon’s changing and the town’s growth is already evident with the new developments all around us. It’s great to see the council planning for, and investing in, new pedestrian routes and cycle lanes, so that, as the town regenerates and develops, people have sustainable ways of travelling.
“We are determined to make physical activity a bigger part of Londoners’ every day and that’s why we’re investing record levels across the capital to improve our streets and encourage active travel. This will be outlined even further in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy when it’s published this year.”
“We are delighted to welcome Will to Croydon, to show him the huge improvements we have already delivered to make it easier to travel around the town centre on foot, such as the pedestrian link through Ruskin Square joining East Croydon with the shops, and those we are delivering now, such as the crossing at Wellesley Road. But most importantly it was good to talk to him about the future.
“With the Government’s support for our ambitions as a growth zone, Croydon’s £5.25bn regeneration will bring £350m investment, 23,500 new jobs and 8,000 new homes to our town, so it’s crucial that we think about how people travel around, not only now, but as Croydon continues to grow and change. As a council we’re investing to ensure we have the right infrastructure to support healthier, greener means of travel, like walking and cycling, for many years to come. We want Croydon to rival the most cycle-friendly cities in Europe and it’s great to have Will and the Mayor’s support as we plan to make Croydon a great place for green travel.”
Councillor Stuart King, cabinet member for transport and environment
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has appointed Mr Norman to help deliver his pledge to get more Londoners active by making cycling and walking safer and easier in the capital. As part of the capital’s biggest focus on walking and cycling, he will work closely with the Mayor, Deputy Mayor for Transport, and TfL to make healthy, active, non-polluting travel easier in London.
This will include pushing forward with the Mayor’s Healthy Streets programme to create a safer, more pleasant London for cyclists and pedestrians, and investing a record budget of £770m on infrastructure and initiatives to promote cycling until 2021/2022.
Notes to Editors
Croydon’s growth zone, which is set to deliver a £5.25bn regeneration programme creating thousands of new jobs and homes for local people, was last year handed a government boost. As part of a devolution deal, central government is to grant Croydon the power to retain 50% of new town-centre business rates, and has awarded £7m to help underpin the delivery of a five-year infrastructure programme vital to support the anticipated growth in the borough.
The £350m programme, being delivered by the council and its GLA partner the Mayor of London, is made up of 39 key projects, including transport, schools and community infrastructure, regeneration and public realm improvements, and support for small businesses.
The projects are critical in supporting the delivery of the borough’s £5.25bn regeneration programme that will offer huge economic benefits to residents and businesses, including the creation of 23,500 new jobs and 8,000 homes.