Katherine Kerswell was named the interim chief executive of Croydon last week following the sudden departure of Jo Negrini in August.
And while the new CEO will have her hands full grappling with the financial turmoil the authority currently faces, her first day in the role will also see a renewed plea from residents fed-up with low traffic measures implemented at Crystal Palace on the border between Croydon and Bromley.
“We know that today marks your first day in charge as CEO for Croydon. We know you have a lot of big jobs ahead,” the emailed message, put together by four residents behind four local petitions calling for the low traffic network measures to be dumped, said.
“We also know however that you have no existing ties with Croydon Council and so we welcome the opportunity for a fresh pair of eyes to assess an urgent problem.
“As such we are calling for you to launch an immediate review of the recent road closures which are causing enormous distress to a huge majority of residents and businesses throughout Croydon – and into Bromley.”
Attached to the messages are links to the four petitions railing against the road-blocking barriers in the area, with more than 3,500 unique signatures collected in total.
Anger from residents on the Bromley side of the border remains high after Croydon Council installed road-blocking barriers on three of its streets, part of a £250m London-wide push to cut down on vehicle use and encourage walking and cycling.
However, residents and shop owners say the measures have pushed traffic onto roads and neighbourhoods throughout the borough of Bromley.
It came as Wandsworth Council confirmed on Friday it would suspend its Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) trials following a high level review.
An initial review of the trials, which included road-blocking barriers like at Crystal Palace, identified concerns with emergency access and traffic flows.
Last week Bromley Council leader Colin Smith called on transport secretary Grant Shapps to step in personally and resolve the issue.
It came as Croydon’s cabinet member for environment, transport and regeneration, Stuart King last week appeared to rule out completely scrapping the scheme.
“We have asked Bromley council to work with us on amendments and improvements to our LTN scheme, for the benefit of residents in both areas,” he said.
“We remain keen to work with Bromley to see if amendments and mitigations can be introduced by either authority to deliver benefits to the widest number of residents locally, regardless of which borough they live.
“Working with the support and engagement of Bromley council widens our collective ability to improve the situation.”