These pictures show the stretch of London Road to the north of the junction with Sumner Road and St James’ Road.
Along the east side of the road, many of the shops are empty – not just because of the riots, although that will certainly have been an important factor.
The junction and further down
The shops around the Sumner Road/St James’ Road junction are designated by Croydon Council as a “local centre”.
Yet even the new development there, called Gary Court (which was built on the site of the old cinema), has only one third occupancy – of the six units, four are still empty shells with slatted boards.
What is the answer when an area becomes as derelict as this? Cosmetic improvements to shutters and hoardings are certainly not enough and can indeed feel cynical and uncaring to those who live or work in the area.
So too do arbitrary limits which don’t take the whole area into account: such as the creation of free parking spaces in London Road south of the Sumner Road/St James’ Road junction, but not on the north stretch described above. Instead, this section has to put up with double yellow lines and cameras trained on anyone trying to park there, even to deliver to the shops.
London Road needs urgent life support now…