Passengers travelling on Brighton Main Line and the lines that feed into it are being asked to provide feedback on major proposals to unblock the railway bottleneck at Croydon and provide more reliable, more frequent and faster services.
The proposals include plans to build extra tracks in the Croydon area, more platforms at an expanded and modernised East Croydon station and a series of new railway flyovers and dive-unders to replace the current congested junctions where lines from the south coast, Sussex and Surrey meet those from London Victoria and London Bridge.
From 1 June, passengers will be able to view the proposals online and speak with the project team via an online chat facility at networkrail.co.uk/Croydon, and a dedicated consultation hotline. Feedback will be used to shape the final designs and construction programme.
The live chat facility will be available from Monday 1 June until Sunday 28 June at the following times:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday – 10:00 – 15:00
Wednesday – 16:00 – 20:00
The hotline is available from Monday 1 June until Friday 17 July at the following times:
Monday to Wednesday – 10:00 – 12:00 and 14:00 – 16:00
Thursday – 18:00 – 20:00
Saturday – 10:00 – 12:00
The railway in the Croydon area is the among the busiest, most congested and most complex anywhere in the country, with 30 per cent more trains and passengers travelling through it each day than King’s Cross and Euston stations combined. Despite the current reduction in passengers travelling, Network Rail believes the vast majority of the 300,000 passengers who travel on the line each day will return.
John Halsall, Network Rail managing director, southern region, said: “These are clearly challenging times for the country and the rail industry, but we know that a safe, reliable and punctual railway will remain absolutely vital to the region and the country’s economy.
“That is why we must continue to plan for the long term and progress proposals to unblock the Croydon bottleneck and remove the single greatest constraint on train punctuality and capacity on the Brighton Main Line.
“Please get involved in the consultation, view the proposals and don’t miss the opportunity to share your views.”
Councillor Tony Newman, leader, London Borough of Croydon said: “As a major transport hub and destination in the south east and as one of London’s growth boroughs, it is vital Croydon has the rail and transport infrastructure in place to support its evolution.
“These enhancements are desperately needed and will significantly improve travel for Croydon residents and those working in and visiting our town centre, so I am pleased this important scheme is progressing in spite of the current challenges.”
Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive at Coast to Capital, said: “Every train journey whether for business or pleasure in our region depends on enhancements along the Brighton Mainline which is fundamental to our economy. The Croydon Area Remodelling Scheme is a robust plan which has been recommended by Network Rail which we strongly support. I would urge you to view the proposals and respond to the consultation online.”
Chris Philp MP, Croydon South, said: “I welcome this next step in a crucial redevelopment of the Brighton Mainline. Not only is this project a huge boost for Croydon and it’s commuters but one that has the potential to effect the journeys of millions. I look forward to seeing the project move forward as quickly as possible”.
Steve White, Chief Operating Officer of Govia Thameslink Railway which operates Southern and Thameslink trains through the station, said: “This is one of the busiest stretches of railway in the country and a huge constraint on our service.
These improvements would make a massive difference to our passengers by reducing delays and boosting capacity and I urge people to take part in the consultation.”
Sarah Jones MP, Croydon Central, said: “East Croydon station is vital to so many of my constituents and I know that they will be happy to see these plans take shape – I certainly am. Investment in Croydon's rail infrastructure has been a long-time coming and the reduced travel times into London, extra platforms and additional lines that are proposed here would be a very welcome development.
“I'm glad that at this time of great uncertainty, we're able to look forward to Croydon's continued growth.”
What is Network Rail proposing?
- An expanded and enhanced East Croydon station
A rebuilt station with two additional platforms, a larger concourse with improved facilities for passengers and better connections with the town centre and other transport links, supporting the ongoing regeneration of Croydon.
- Selhurst triangle remodelling
Remodelling the complex railway junctions north of Croydon, building new viaducts, bridges and dive-unders to separate the tracks as they cross each other. This means trains will no longer have to wait at a red signal for others to pass.
- Lower Addiscombe road / Windmill Bridge reconstruction
The bridge over the railway would be rebuilt, with an increased span, to provide space for three additional tracks.
First public consultation 2018
Network Rail previously sought feedback on its proposals 2018, with more than 90 per cent of respondents indicating they were in favour of the scheme. Feedback collected as part of the first phase of public consultation has been considered and factored into current designs.
To deliver the proposals Network Rail would need to obtain powers to work outside the railway boundary through a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO). Network Rail is currently in the process of preparing an application for these powers, referred to as the East Croydon to Selhurst Junction Capacity Enhancement Scheme (‘the Scheme’).
The consultation with local communities and rail passengers is a key part of that process. Following the second public consultation, feedback will be reviewed and appropriate changes made to designs before submitting the TWAO application.