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European cafe culture bid for South Croydon

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EUROPEAN cafe culture could be on the menu in Croydon under plans to pedestrianise the Restaurant Quarter.

A grant of £2.8 million is being given to the South End High Street Improvements Project by the London mayor's office, and ideas to make the area more attractive to have been put forward by the community.

One suggestion is to pedestrianise Selsdon Road, so that people can sit outside without having to worry about passing traffic.

Anthony Waldbaum is on the South Croydon Community Association team, which will help advise where the money is spent.

He told the Advertiser: "Pedestrianising the area, or rather, narrowing the roads has been suggested.

"We have done a walkabout the area with planners and designers and I am not yet sure if it would even be possible, but it would be a good way to improve the area and slow down traffic, which right now is a problem.

"It would give the area a village feel, and make it very European.

"It is a possibility but we will have to see what the design team can do."

Mr Waldbaum added the association were "frustrated" that there will not be enough money left over to improve the "tatty" area around and entrance to South Croydon Station.

John Clingan, who is chairing the team, said: "Anything that calms the traffic around here will have a fantastic effect on the area. "We had meetings with the planners in January but since then we have come together on our own and brainstormed. Obviously, it is up to what the other stakeholders in the area want to do as well.

"We hope this money will greatly improve South Croydon and attract even more people to the area and to using our brilliant businesses."

However, one business owner is unsure about the pedestrianisation plan.

Giorgio Raffaelli, owner of the La Spezia, in Selsdon Road, told the Advertiser he wants to make sure the project does not become all about helping the restaurants.

He said: "I'm not sure if it would work because of the traffic, where would it go? We don't want to push it elsewhere to annoy someone else.

"Everyone seems to be concentrating on the restaurants.

"Of course I'd love to have some tables outside my cafe as they do at home but I don't want the other businesses to feel cut off or left out.

"There are other businesses to think about. It could be a nice idea, but it has to be unanimous decision by everyone here.

"We have to consider other people and whether this is going to create chaos."

The South End area was rebranded the Restaurant Quarter last year, as part of efforts to promote Croydon's strengths in the aftermath of the riots.

European cafe culture bid for South Croydon


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