Residents living on quiet residential roads can apply for their street to temporarily close for an hour or two a day to create a safe space to exercise.

The initiative is part of a series of new temporary schemes introduced by Croydon Council which aim to reduce rat running in residential roads, improve road safety and better facilitate social distancing making it safer for those walking and cycling.

Notices have gone up on selected roads, warning motorists and residents of the temporary 21 day road closures.

Road markings will be used to create a turning circle at the bottom of affected roads, enabling access to be maintained for residents and for any essential journeys.

The first closures were introduced on Sunday (May3) in: Holmesdale Road at the junction with Park Road (stadium side); Dalmally Road at the junction with Blackhorse Lane; Elmers Road at the junction with Blackhorse Lane; Lancaster Road at the junction with Southern Avenue; and Woodvale Avenue at the junction with Avenue Road.

A second scheme to be trialled from Monday (May 4), will see residents nominate their road to be considered for the Exercise Street pilot. Email council’s highways team 

If approved, volunteer residents would become responsible for closing their section of road for a couple of hours a day to give neighbours a chance to exercise safely during lockdown.

To further aid social distancing during lockdown, parking is set to be suspended outside some shops with barriers installed to increase space for queuing shoppers and pedestrians.

The first barriers are being installed outside Tesco Express on Portland Road, South Norwood, and between numbers 61 and 87 and 243 and 257 on London Road. The final pilot initiative will see a 20mph speed limit introduced on London Road and a new temporary cycle lane to improve road safety and encourage essential journeys to be made by bicycle.

Cllr Stuart King, cabinet lead for environment and transport, said: “At this challenging time, residents must continue to follow social distancing guidelines and temporarily widening footpaths will make it easier for pedestrians and shoppers to safely share the space.”

Croydon Council is backing its creative community with a fund to help cultural organisations impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The £135,000 Cultural Relief Fund will provide emergency funding for closure threatened organisations and for creative activity during the crisis. The worst hit in Croydon are smaller charities or not-for-profit organisations, ineligible for large-scale Government support who deliver important outreach work.

The borough’s creative community has responded swiftly to the pandemic, providing a host of: free online activity from concerts to group dancing, choirs, colouring competitions and more.

Grants will be available to groups who are based or work in the borough, with most bids expected to be around £2-5,000. Email  to discuss their application.