Swift action was taken against rioters who looted Croydon during the summer of 2011 with many receiving long jail sentences.

But action to regenerate the town has been a lot less swift with people living in the London Road area feeling like they have been abandoned over the past three years.

Work is now set to start on a £3.2m project to improve London Road with works including tidying up shopfronts, widening footpaths, planting trees and putting in new seating and cycle parking.

Almost £600,000 of the budget will be spent helping 40 businesses to improve their shops and building frontages.

This will include cleaning and repainting, new shop fronts, signs, awnings and security shutters, and restoring historic features.

But Bushra Ahmed, who owned one of the buildings destroyed by fire, is questioning why this work was not done in the autumn of 2011.

She said: "The £3.2m was always promised as part of the Mayor of London’s money after the riots.

"We have been waiting for three years.

"Now Labour has come in and they were very supportive over the riots and now they say the area is a priority."

The West Croydon Voice founder said that increasing the police presence in the area is still a priority for her and is campaigning for a police station.

She said: "There needs to be a police presence in London Road.

"Hopefully there’s a chance that the council will work with the police to find a suitable building and work with them to open a station."

The London Road works are set to be completed by next summer.

The cabinet member for economic development Councillor Toni Letts said: "We're really seeing significant changes to the face of Croydon.

"Our high streets are hugely important to the prosperity of the borough and they say a huge amount about us.

"If we create inviting public spaces where people feel safe to shop and spend their leisure time we will change Croydon's image and bring in even more much-needed investment.

"It's our pledge to be ambitious for Croydon, and by driving forward this scheme we are showing we mean business."

Full details can be found at croydon.gov.uk/londonroad The project is part of the Connected Croydon programme which will see more than £50m spent on borough improvements.

It is managed by Croydon Council, with support from Transport for London and an £18m contribution from the Mayor of London.

There will be some disruption and occasional traffic controls in place while the work is taking place.