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 The Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown Blog
Cllr  Simon  Hoar
Cllr  Helen  Redfern

Proposed changes to our local bus routes.
13/01/2019 14:33:00......Posted by Helen Redfern


TFL is proposing changes to 11 bus routes that currently travel through Croydon town centre. A number of these bus serve Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown so residents may wish to participate in the consultation survey which can be found here:  or emailing direct to: by midnight tonight, Sunday 13th January.

I have made a submission covering the concerns of many local residents, the text of which is below:

"I am very disappointed to see the proposed changes to the bus routes that run through or close to Purley Oaks and Riddlesdown Ward. The following bus routes are of particular interest to residents in the ward:


405: Travelling along Pampisford Road into Croydon town centre

403: Travelling through Sanderstead into Croydon town centre. This is the only bus through Sanderstead and is used by some Purley Oaks and Riddlesdown residents after dropping off their children at Atwood and Gresham Schools.

412: Travelling through Riddlesdown into Croydon town centre via Selsdon. The frequency of the bus route was recently reduced significantly on September 1st 2018 and the punctuality is so poor during the morning peak that the timetable seems irrelevant.


Many people travelling from the south into town are doing so in order to reach the centre of town e.g to shop in the Whitgift Centre, work on Wellesley Road/Ruskin Square and connect with services at East Croydon tram/bus/train. The new routes drop passengers further away from these locations whilst the proposed Fell Road detour will make it a longer journey with no additional benefit for the passenger. The result of this is that:

-          Those with mobility issues may find the extra walk just too far to travel and therefore they will be effectively excluded from using public transport. Not everyone with mobility issues has a blue badge or even a car.

-          Parents with young children in-tow may opt to not use the bus if they have to walk a long way to the bus stop, especially where busy roads need to be crossed, they may opt to use their car, having to pay high parking fees, choose to go to another shopping centre such as Bromley or shop online.

-          Those who have been shopping may find it too difficult or frankly too inconvenient to carry heavy loads back to further bus stop. Again, they may opt for the car parks or another shopping centre all together.

-          People who work in the centre of town will have further to walk (in addition to sitting on the bus for the longer Fell Road detour) and therefore may have to start their journey earlier to accommodate this.

-          People who travel into town to connect with West Croydon train station will have to walk almost 1 kilometre. This will add significant time to their journey.

-          The Riddlesdown/Purley Oaks area has always had poor connections to East Croydon Station and the proposed route changes have extended the walk required to connect to over 600 metres.

-          I believe that there will not be a bus route on the east side of Park Lane for Fairfield Halls patrons to be use to get home to Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown after a performance. Many will simply choose not to travel over to Katharine Street in the dark to catch a bus. With reduced parking options too, this may be damaging for Fairfield Halls which is due to open later this year.

I also note that the proposed stop to the east of Katharine Street is usually full of buses that are out of service. How will this be managed so that passengers do not have to sit on a queueing bus waiting to be let off due to there not being sufficient space?


It looks like TFL is aiming to reduce its costs and has lost sight of the reason that passengers are using the bus - i.e. to get to a specific location/interchange - which I would expect to be its primary purpose. Residents of Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown have few public transport options (and the 412 has had reduced frequency as of September 1st) and these are the only available bus routes, none of which will take them into town, and now further from railway stations. A more inconvenient bus service may cause a reduction in use that will then be used to justify cutting the service further.

I believe that these changes will do no favours to the prosperity of our shopping centre as the difficulties involved in getting to and from the centre will cause people to shop elsewhere. I also fear for the success of Fairfield Halls if getting back home will be so difficult.

I hope that TFL will be persuaded to, at least, maintain the current level service and if there are to be amendments that the frequency be increased rather than the routes cut."

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Purley Pool Update
05/08/2020 13:06:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern


Croydon Council was able to reopen its Leisure Centres and Pools from Saturday 25th July but due to its own financial mismanagement it was only able to open four of the Centres. Disappointingly, one of the two remaining closed was in Purley, the other was in Monks Hill in Selsdon.

I contacted Council Officers and the operator of the Leisure Centre for more information; the information I’ve received has been slow in coming and reveals no reopening date.

Better, the operator told me,

“We are currently working with Croydon Council on the finances for the Croydon Leisure Contract, to ensure that it remains sustainable. Once the first phase of re-opening the facilities is complete, the situation will be reviewed and the opening of additional facilities and activities will be explored, the first phase is currently due to run at the start of September. Hope this helps.”

Well it didn’t help much because it didn’t tell me when Purley Leisure Centre would open and why it was one of the two not reopening at this point. It doesn’t explain why there is sufficient funding for the Leisure Centres in Labour wards, but not in Conservative wards – yes, in case you hadn’t noticed, only Leisure Centres in Labour wards have reopened.

Today I finally had a response from a Council Officer – although not from the Executive Director to whom the question was asked. The response that I have received is,

“Leisure Centres in Croydon are reopening in phases. The phases are predicated on ensuring COVID Security, geographical spread, cost and the circulation spaces around entry and exit.

We are currently part way through the initial phase of opening, which will provide us with data to enable us to plan the reopening of further services. So at this stage I am unable to confirm a date for Purley”

There is nothing specific in this response about Purley, other than there is no reopening date. A concern that is being raised by many residents is that the Leisure Centre or its pool will never reopen.

Keeping fit, particularly keeping our BMI down, is one way to reduce the effect of COVID-19 should we be unfortunate enough to catch it – so it is especially disappointing that the Labour Council isn’t opening our closest leisure centre, or even letting us know when we might get the same level of service as those living in Labour wards.

Together with the continued closure of Purley and Sanderstead Libraries, residents of Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown are receiving a far lower level of service than those elsewhere. During the school holidays, when families should be able to enjoy a swim or choose a book at the library, it is disgraceful that the Labour Council has either forgotten that it needs to provide a service to our residents, or is no longer pretending that it sees the need to do so.



Purley Pool still closed
27/07/2020 11:52:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern


Public gyms and pools were able to open from Saturday 25th July so it is very disappointing that whilst most of the Croydon Council owned leisure centres have opened, Purley Leisure Centre has not re-opened. I can find no explanation on the Council website or on the operator’s website. There are no phone lines available and my online enquiry has gone unanswered.

Keeping fit, particularly keeping our BMI down, is one way to reduce the affect of COVID-19 should we be unfortunate enough to catch it – so it is especially disappointing that the Labour Council isn’t opening our closest leisure centre, or even letting us know when we might get the same level of service as those living in Labour wards – all of the reopened leisure centres are in Labour wards..  

I will continue to seek answers as to why our local leisure centre does not even have a reopening date.


29/07/20: I have contacted Council officers and Better, the leisure centre operator. As yet, I still await a response. I now await a reply from the Executive Director reponsible for this area.



New Defibrillator in Riddlesdown
15/06/2020 15:27:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern


It was great to spot the new defibrillator outside Riddlesdown Tennis Club last weekend which I was able to fund through my Community Ward Budget. The unit is attached to the external wall of the club house and is accessible and visible from the road. It is available for all to use so do make a note of where it is when you next pass. However, I’m hoping that this is one item funded by the Budget that never needs to be used. 



Flood alleviation in Lower Barn Road
13/06/2020 15:52:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern


Discussions regarding alleviating the regular flooding in Lower Barn Road are continuing. I am aware that long term residents recall flooding occurring by Riddlesdown Station for some years but there is a perception that it has got worse in recent years. Even this winter it seemed to occur every few weeks and I recall standing outside St Edmunds in February watching a river flow over the zebra crossing and down into Lower Barn Road where the drains could not cope with the volume of water and waders would have been required to walk under the railway bridge. 

It has taken a while but there now appears to be a plan to reduce the level of flooding which will be implemented this summer. The initial aim is to prevent water making its way down Lower Barn Road in the first place. This will involve installing geocellular crates under the green areas at the Lower Barn Road /Buttermere Gardens/Mitchley Avenue junction. These will not be visible, being underground, and will serve as storage tanks for the water, which will then drain out at a slower rate. There is also a proposal of a raised table across the zebra crossing which will slow the water down as it comes down from Sanderstead. 

I have asked Council Officers to consult with members of the Residents Association as they will have good local as well as technical knowledge. I am sure the plans will change to some extent over the next few months and the effects of the work will be reviewed with more action taken if required. On a practical level, I am concerned that work on this junction may clash with the re-opening of Riddlesdown Collegiate in September – a combination that may cause traffic mayhem. I have asked that this be considered when planning the timing of work. 



Mental Health First Aid Training
12/06/2020 17:50:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern

Croydon Council has been able to secure funding to offer free Mental Health First Aid training to 1000 Croydon residents and key workers. At the moment, the course will need to run as an online course over 4 sessions.

If this is something you might be interested in learning more about, please contact for an application form. Meanwhile, here is a little more detail below:


What is Mental Health First Aid?

MHFA is an internationally recognised programme which provides the skills, knowledge and understanding of first aid for mental health and how to effectively support those experiencing mental distress. Delegates learn to:

●            spot the early signs of a mental health problem

●            feel confident helping someone experiencing a problem

●            provide help on a first aid basis

●            help prevent someone from hurting themselves or others

●            help stop a mental illness from getting worse

●            help someone recover faster

●            guide someone towards the right support

●            reduce stigma and discrimination of mental health problems



Catching up with local Police
12/06/2020 11:35:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern

Our local Police team often plan events where they are available for a chat e.g. in cafés in Sanderstead and Purley. Unfortunately with social distancing, this is not possible at the moment.

Our local team have advised me that if you do see them when you are out and about conducting you daily exercise or essential shopping, feel free to come and speak to them.

They will be located at Riddlesdown Common car park from 0900 until 1000 on Tuesday 16th June if you happen to be in the area. Social distancing must be maintained at all times.



Catalytic Converter Theft - Prevention Advice
12/06/2020 11:32:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern

There has been a spike in instances of Catalytic Converters being stolen in the Borough, including in our ward. There were six such thefts between 4 and 11 June, mostly in broad daylight in Sanderstead Road, Riddlesdown Road, Riddlesdown Avenue, Lower Barn Road and Brancaster Lane. The local Police team have forwarded to me some prevention advice which I share here: 

The precious metal in catalytic converters has led to an increase in their theft.
•       To protect your converter from theft, ask your vehicle dealership if they can give you any advice on locks or guards that are approved by the vehicle manufacturer.

•       Alternatively, try to make sure your vehicle is parked in a garage overnight, or if you have a commercial vehicle park it in a secure compound. If this isn’t possible, park in an area that is well-lit and overlooked and try to park so that the convertor can’t be easily reached by potential thieves. Vehicles that sit high above the road are particularly vulnerable.

•       You should also register your converter and mark it with a forensic marker, which will make it harder for thieves to dispose of. Visit: for more details.

If you spot a vehicle being jacked up at the side of the road in suspicious circumstances please call 999 and make us aware. We need your help to catch these offenders.



Water Works on A22.
04/05/2020 13:27:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern

I have been advied of a project due to start on 18th May as part of SES Waters resilience plan set by OFWAT. The works will link a pipe already in the Tesco car park to an existing pipe at the Dale Road junction (junction between Warren Road / Downs Court Road junction and Foxley Hill Road, northern junction).  These pipes will then allow Kenley and Woodmansterne water works to serve one and other if either were to suffer a break down, particularly Kenley with the threat of the Bourne. 
Unfortunately the works will require a road closure of the A22 in both directions for 6-8 weeks from the Warren Road / Downs Court Road junction to outside the old My Old China site / Tesco entrance. 

The finer details, e.g. how traffic will be managed, have yet to arrive but I will share this once received.

UPDATE: The communication of this road closure was so poorly conducted that it was decided that the work, and road closure, would not take place until 2021.




Brick by Brick - Montpelier Road site
17/04/2020 14:56:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern


I have received a number of complaints about activity on the Brick by Brick site on Montpelier Road. Construction work is permitted but the usual health and safety standards are expected to be kept to, in addition to maintaining a minimum distance of 2 metres between members of staff.

Local residents have advised me that recent activity on site has included: 
•    working outside of permitted hours
•    the absence of a banksman (the person who supervises the movements of vehicles and heavy machinery in and out of the site)
•    gas cylinders being stored in an unsafe manner
•    workmen not maintaining a 2 metre distance from each other.

I very briefly visited the site today, whilst on another essential journey, and was able to observe what appeared to be the unsafe storage of gas cylinders (I’m not a construction site expert) and the workmen working in very close proximity to each other.

This afternoon I have highlighted these points to Colm Lacey, CEO of Brick by Brick, and asked that he confirm today what he will do to enforce safe working practices on the site. I am have also asked that the contractor shows a little more respect to the neighbours and keeps the road outside of the site clean. 



Seven days a week support for those suffering domestic abuse
17/04/2020 14:37:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern

Croydon’s FJC is now open every day to help domestic abuse victims during lockdown.

The service has extended its weekday opening hours and is now operating as a seven-day service to ensure those who are living at home with abusers have a safe space to go if they need advice and support.

The centre is now open weekdays from 9am - 5pm and weekends from 10am - 4pm, so those needing help can drop in and make appointments at the centre or by telephone. Professionals, for example the police or healthcare workers, can also now refer people seven days a week.

The FJC team is there to listen and provide a safety plan to ensure people are able to leave their homes if they are at risk and the revised opening hours and week-long availability of the service will continue until lockdown is lifted.

The FJC doesn’t share its address publicly to help protect those using its service. If you need help, support or advice please call 020 8688 0100. Further information is available at

Those needing support outside of the new opening hours can call the free 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Hotline on 0808 2000 247. In an emergency, call the police on 999.



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 Older Blog Posts
Small Business Grants Fund
Station Ticket Office Closures
Police Update
Parking Restrictions
COVID-19 Ward Update
Support for Domestic Abuse victims
Recycling, Waste Collections and Flytipping
Riddlesdown Common Car Park Closed
Helping our vulnerable neighbours during Coronavirus
St Edmunds Celebration Service
New Riddlesdown Collegiate Entrance Criteria
School Street Proposal - Montpelier Road/Christ Church School
Smart Water Event
Police Advice: Courier Fraud
Croydon BME Forum Wellness Centre
New Defibrillator in Riddlesdown
Police Ward Panel
Mitchley Avenue Roadworks
Holocaust Memorial Day
Riddlesdown Crime Figures
Sanderstead Road Re-opened
Womens Aid Funding
Riddlesdown Collegiate Admissions Criteria Consultation
Croydon Local Plan Review - and it's lack of infrastructure
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
Croydon's Green Fund
412 Timetable Changes
Changes to 412 bus route
Montpelier Road/Kingsdown Avenue Meeting Cancelled
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