More than 500 people have signed a petition calling for a reversal of temporary changes made to traffic management between Shortlands and Beckenham, within a day of the scheme launching.

The temporary scheme was introduced on Wednesday (November 18) by Bromley Council as part of an initiative to reduce the amount of motorised traffic in the area and to promote cycling and walking as a viable travel option amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But the changes were met with a polarised response from residents, with hundreds venting fury at the council after traffic backed up along Albemarle Road throughout much of Wednesday, while cycle groups and others welcomed the changes as creating a safer space for other road users.

The scheme sees a one-way system for cars established on Albemarle Road, meaning that you can only travel along it from Shortlands towards Beckenham - while a contraflow has been set up to allow cyclists to safely travel in both directions.

Other changes include the rail bridge on Westgate Road being trialled as one-directional, while cars are restricted to one-directional travel from The Avenue towards Albemarle Road going southbound.

In a statement from Bromley Council on the day the changes were implemented, the scheme was described as being "effectively experimental" and it was highlighted that it would take days or weeks for traffic patterns to settle down as motorists get used to the changes.

But many residents were not satisfied with the council's actions, saying that residents' warnings about the impact on the local traffic network had already come to pass.

The frequency of traffic light changes at Beckenham Junction was highlighted - with some complaining that only around two cars could turn right from Albemarle Road on each cycle.

Others also suggested that air quality would be worse because of the queueing traffic.

A petition launched on the same day of the changes read: "Albemarle road in Beckenham being made one way will affect residents as the majority of homes are flats and a huge inconvenience affecting many.

"It will cause even more congestion on adjoining roads. There is no proof that making it one way will benefit anyone. The project is currently temporary let’s make sure it does NOT become permanent."

After a request for comment from News Shopper, Bromley Council underlined that the changes were temporary and that officers will be visiting to monitor traffic in the Albemarle Road area and making necessary adjustments to, for example, traffic light timings at Beckenham Junction, or even making changes to aspects such as the one-way flow of traffic over the Westgate Road bridge.

The changes come as the Government continues to encourage local authorities to implement traffic management schemes amid a drop in the availability of public transport during the Covid-19 pandemic - aiming to give people who had previously taken public transport regularly other viable transport options.

Bromley secured funding for the £56,000 scheme before it was implemented.

Councillor William Huntington-Thresher, Executive Councillor for Environment and Community Services said: “We wrote to residents in advance of the scheme and received the range of responses from support to opposition, with some residents offering additional comments. As a result of the consultation comments, an amendment to the scheme has been included.

"I would like to assure residents who have concerns about this temporary scheme that we will be visiting the area to observe first hand and that all feedback will continue to be read, considered and as we have already demonstrated, appropriate action will be taken.

"I would, however, ask residents to allow time for drivers to adapt to the new layout so that the implications of the scheme can be properly assessed.”

Additional information about the scheme can be found here, while the petition opposing the changes can be found here.