Sunday, November 25, 2007

Letter to the editor re Croydon 'then and now'

Image scanned from Your Croydon - November 2007


Dear Editor,

Page 15 of November’s issue of ‘Your Croydon’ has an interesting ‘then and now’ comparison photo feature. Twenty five years ago the local photographer Frazer Ashford was asked to provide photographic images for an official guide for Croydon. Mr Ashford has recently gone back to the same spot to recreate those images using the same lenses.
The article shows a comparison of the western end of the Croydon Flyover then, and as it looks today. After briefly looking at the pictures and reading the article, I found myself playing a ‘spot the difference’ puzzle with the two images. I am pleased to say that there are more trees in the 2007 picture - which is good! But what struck me was the number of cars in each image. The picture taken 25 years ago has only two cars and the picture taken this year has eleven cars. Even if you make allowances for the time of day and introduce an element of chance - that’s still quite a jump to roll back from.
Studies by The Department of Transport, which roughly correspond to the time period in the photographs, show that total road traffic increased by 82 per cent from 1980 to 2004. What is even more of a concern is the amount of road traffic that we can expect in the near future. Projections by the Department of Trade indicate that between 2000 and 2015 the level of road traffic is set to increase by 29 per cent, resulting in even more congestion, pollution and frustration for everyone.
I hope Mr Ashford keeps those lenses in good condition because I look forward to more image comparisons. However, in the future I expect we will be looking back at the image in the eighties with an element of disbelief rather than nostalgia.

Yours sincerely

Shasha Khan
Croydon Green Party

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