Families plan to move from Bromley neighbourhood over 'dangerous' road and ULEZ
South London locals say the dangerous road and ULEZ expansion in their area have been a “nightmare” for businesses, with some families even planning to move out of the neighbourhood.
Biggin Hill in Bromley rests just north of the London border with Kent.
Locals have called the area lovely, quiet and an “affordable place to live”.
But business owners and locals have said the worn out roads in the area have had an effect on residents getting around.
Since August 2022, 45 reports of potholes or road surfaces being eroded have been made on FixMyStreet for Biggin Hill, with 12 being on Main Road, the major street running through the area.
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Robert Steel, 54 and Carol Alwen, 53, own the Occasions greeting card shop on Main Road in Biggin Hill.
The couple said the plan to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) this year has been a “nightmare” for them.
Carol said: “It’s a worry for the people round here, especially for the businesses. When you talk to people out in the street, the older generation can’t afford a new car, the young families can’t afford a new car. What do they do?”
Regarding the plans to expand ULEZ, Councillor Colin Smith, leader of Bromley Council, said in a statement: “The decision to blatantly ignore a significant majority opinion of Londoners who responded to TfL’s consultation exercise, based on the highly questionable, selective and incomplete findings of a research paper commissioned by TfL themselves, simply cannot be allowed to pass unchallenged.
“To that end Bromley Council, along with Bexley, Harrow and Hillingdon are currently examining the legal basis of the decision and have now formally served a Pre Action Protocol letter on the Mayor’s office and TfL seeking further information to demonstrate the lawfulness of the decision they have made.”
Lucinda Worden, 51, library manager at Biggin Hill Memorial Library, said the road running through Biggin Hill can also cause problems when works are being done in the area.
She said: “If this main road is out for whatever reason… you might have to take a detour.
“The lanes around the back [of the area] are quite tricky. I don’t like going there if this road is problematic, which it can often be with roadworks.”
Ms Worden, who lives in Beckenham but works in Biggin Hill, said she feels the area is “very out of town”.
Her coworker, who wished to remain anonymous, said people keep “ruining” their cars from the state of the roads in the area.
They said: “The council haven’t redone that road and there’s a lot of potholes. We have a lot of potholes at the moment.
"The roads are breaking up around here. It’s dangerous. It’s bad.”
Lynette Taylor, 62, has lived in Biggin Hill for 23 years. Originally from Dartford, the local said she has often thought about moving from the area, partially due to the difficulty getting around.
She said: “Where we live, we live on a really, really bumpy road. It’s got potholes and everything. The council doesn’t maintain it. It’s down to the people.
“So if we didn’t have a car, when we are getting older, I’m saying to my husband, ‘I don’t know whether I’ll be able to walk down that road.’ And if he can’t drive the car anymore, you couldn’t go down in a wheelchair or anything.”
Geoff Hobbs, TfL’s Director of Public Transport Planning, said: “TfL is committed to delivering vital public transport services in outer London, and we know how much Londoners rely on the bus network – this is why we keep our services under constant review and can make changes at relatively short notice if required.
“The Biggin Hill area is served by seven bus routes, which have been carefully planned to match the numbers of passengers we are seeing and expect to see in the area.
"These routes offer a link to a breadth of local destinations as well as serve each of Biggin Hill’s nearest rail and tram stations, for onward connections to destinations including central London.”
Councillor Melanie Stevens, leader of the Biggin Hill Independents party, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “The independent Ward Councillors declined to comment on unverified comments, from sources unknown and would reconsider any comment to be made once the full article has been made available to them.”
Bromley Council was approached for comment, but had not responded at the time of publication.