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South Circular Road ‘to be re-routed through car park’ in bid to transform Catford town centre

The South Circular Road could be re-routed through a car park in a bid to reduce the number of vehicles driving through Catford town centre.

Transport for London on Monday launched a consultation, running until June 5, on plans for a radical redesign of the A205 Catford Road just before it joins the town centre gyratory.

The proposed changes would re-route about 100m of the South Circular through Canadian Avenue car park – which would be removed – immediately south of Laurence House, the council building.

The “hostile” one-way gyratory around Plassy island – which includes McDonald’s and Lidl – would be converted to two-way roads.

This would mean that vehicles using the South Circular would drive onto – or from – Plassy Road, via a new junction across Bromley Road, rather than passing the Broadway theatre.

Traffic would continue to flow north-south - in both directions - on Bromley Road, which is part of the A21.

TfL wants to start work in Spring 2025. The project would take about two years to complete. The cost of the changes was not immediately made public.

The speed limit on the new section of the South Circular would be reduced to 20mph, as would Bromley Road.

As part of the consultation, TfL will install “chat bots” on street furniture or local landmarks – meaning residents will be able to “chat to the Catford cat” to learn more about the proposals.

The area is notorious for pollution and TfL wants to improve safety and encourage more people to walk and cycle.

TfL’s aim is to convert Catford from being “heavily transport dominated” into a “green town centre”.

A Tfl consultation document states: “The high volume of traffic on the South Circular, combined with its variable widths, make it an intimidating road to cross and creates significant levels of severance.

“In addition, unlike other parts of the South Circular, traffic noise is not mitigated by planting, wider pavement widths, or level changes.”

TfL says it may build a new two-way cycle lane on the new part of the South Circular. New cycle lanes would also be built on Rushey Green, and three new pedestrian crossings close to Catford Bridge station.

The changes would enable Lewisham council to build a new public space in Catford town centre, according to TfL.

The removal of the gyratory system would result in widespread changes to bus routes and the relocation of bus stops.

Some trees in Catford Road would have to be chopped down. But new trees would be planted in the town centre.

Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said: “This transformative scheme will make it easier and safer for Londoners to walk, cycle and use public transport in Catford town centre.”

Helen Cansick, TfL’s head of healthy streets investment, said: "People’s feedback will be vital to ensuring the changes work for everyone. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Lewisham council on developing this exciting scheme."

Louise Krupski, Lewisham cabinet member for environment, said: “These proposals will have a transformative impact on Catford and make it much easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport.

“The rerouting of the South Circular will help create a largely car-free town centre and is a vital part of the council’s ambition to make Catford the greenest town centre in London, as well as supporting our wider vision for regeneration in Catford.”

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