Historic shopping street to be pedestrianised

Surrey Street Photo: Tom Middleton

Surrey Street, which has been a market of some kind for over 840 years, is to be turned into a pedestrianised zone under new plans by Croydon council.

If implemented, the new regulations will restrict any vehicle from using Surrey Street between 5am and 8pm every day. If drivers wish to gain access they must apply for permits from the council.

Courtney Moore, 39, a Caribbean food stall owner from Crystal Palace, said: “The council probably know what they are doing and hopefully it will increase business.  Anything that drives custom this way will always be appreciated.

“The more the market place is exclusively a market place, the more people will flock here, and the more the merrier I say.”

Chris Handley, an employee at Runathon on Surrey Street, said: “I think pedestrianisation is a good thing, it should encourage a lot more people to come down the street. We can’t ever get the delivery vans down here anyway so it won’t make any difference to us.”

The Council hopes the changes will improve access for shoppers and reduce the interference delivery vehicles have during market days.

Councillor Phil Thomas, cabinet member for the environment and highways, said: “These new regulations will make trading conditions easier, and a lot safer for the many people who enjoy shopping in our oldest market.

“I’ve seen instances of not only shoppers having to get out of the way, but of stallholders having to move their stalls when a delivery lorry has tried to make its way to one of the shops.”

Some Croydon locals were concerned the changes would ruin the unique atmosphere of Surrey Street. Nela Aggarwal, 29, said:  “it wouldn’t make it any better, it’s the character of the place we like, it’s so friendly.”

Paul Cooper, a 76-year-old shopper from Wallington, said: “I like it how it is now, don’t touch Surrey Street.”

The deadline to comment on the proposed changes is February 16: Parking.Design@croydon.gov.uk

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