AN EAST-WEST "flyover" could be a solution to easing some of the congestion at Croydon's notorious Fiveways junction.
It is understood the idea will be one of the options being put forward after detailed negotiations on the future of the junction between Croydon Council and Transport for London (TfL).
It is expected to surface when TfL includes it as part of an overall public consultation exercise which is expected to start early this year.
The improvement project for Fiveways emerges from a commitment from the council and TfL to invest £45 million in improving the A23 corridor between Norbury and Coulsdon.
Of the total, £25 million is coming from TfL and £20 million from the council's capital budget.
Improvements, particularly to the Fiveways congestion hotspot, are considered to be essential to fit in with the Westfield/Hammerson £1 billion redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre.
The development will result in a influx of new shoppers and potentially add to existing traffic problems.
Details of any of the options for Fiveways are being kept under wraps until the start of the consultation but rumours that a flyover was a runner have begun to circulate in the borough.
Councillor Kathy Bee, the council's cabinet member for environment and transport, said this week elevating part of the road was being considered, although she stressed any project would not be of the height and scale of the existing Croydon Flyover leading to the town centre.
It appears possible that any elevated section could centre on easing traffic flows from Sutton on the A232, which at present has to perform a complicated right turn onto the A23 and then a left turn to get into central Croydon.
Easing the bottleneck at that junction would, hopefully, reduce north/south congestion.
Overall proposals are also likely to look at ways of making Fiveways more cycle and pedestrian-friendly.
Cllr Bee said arriving at the consultation point had been "a bit of a challenge."
She said TfL had decided to go out to consultation sooner rather than later, despite the fact many of the details have yet to be finalised.
Cllr Bee said: "We had the problem that if we consulted too early people would say there was not enough detail to comment properly but if we waited until all the details were in place we could have been accused of having already made up our minds."
Both TfL and the council, she said, believed the imminent consultation would at least give people the early chance to say whether any kind of flyover or elevated section of road would be acceptable in principle.
Cllr Bee said when coming to any decision about improving the flow of traffic on the A23, the question of whether congestion would be moved to another part of Croydon had to be considered.
She admitted: "It is very difficult to know how to get it right."