Residents across the south east are being reminded to have their say on plans for a major railway upgrade when a public consultation begins on November 5.
Network Rail is urging people to come and learn more about the plans to remove the Croydon bottleneck, which often delays up to 300,000 passengers who travel on the Brighton Main Line and its branch lines, at a series of public consultation events.
The Croydon area is the busiest and most congested part of Britain’s rail network, with 30 per cent more passengers and trains passing through it each day than London Euston and Kings Cross stations combined. This means train punctuality on the Brighton Main Line is the worst of any major route as the bottleneck magnifies the impact of even the most minor incident or delay.
Network Rail’s project manager, Kharon Williams, from Croydon, said: “We’d urge people to come along and make their voice heard when we launch a roadshow of consultation events.
“These proposals are a key part of our long-term strategy to ensure the railway continues to drive economic growth, by providing reliable, fast and frequent services for the growing numbers of people predicted to travel by train.”
VIDEO: A short animation explaining the Croydon bottleneck
VIDEO: Two hour aerial timelapse showing the congestion at the
Croydon bottleneck, known as the Selhurst triangle
If approved, the scheme would see a see extra tracks built in the Croydon area, more platforms at an expanded and modernised East Croydon station and a series of new railway flyovers to replace the current congested junction near the station, where lines from the south coast, Sussex and Surrey merge.
John Halsall, Network Rail’s route managing director for the South East, added: “Removing the Croydon bottleneck is the only practical way to provide the step-change in reliability and capacity that passengers and businesses in Sussex so desperately want to see.
“For too long, train performance on the Brighton Main Line has been below the level that commuters and other passengers expect and deserve. While a number of factors have contributed to these issues in recent years, the basic layout of our railway through the Croydon area and the bottleneck it creates means reliability won’t ever improve to acceptable levels without significant changes.
“We want as many people as possible to take part in this consultation, either online or at one of our events, so we can make sure our proposal delivers a genuine transformation in rail services for passengers, businesses and communities in one of the most economically important parts of the country.”
Angie Doll, Passenger Services Director for Southern and Gatwick Express, added: “Punctuality on Southern was, recently, the best it had been for five years and services on Thameslink are back on track too. However, a major investment of this scale is vital to improve services further for passengers and to future-proof this most-congested route.”
A six-week public consultation runs from 5 November to 17 December 2018 to give passengers, businesses and members of the public the opportunity to have their say.
They can also do so online at networkrail.co.uk/croydon or by completing a questionnaire which will be handed out at stations along the Brighton Main Line including Brighton, Gatwick Airport, East Croydon, London Bridge and London Victoria.
Network Rail will also be hosting a series of consultation events at locations across the Croydon area from 6-22 November to enable the local community to view the proposals and talk to the project team.
Date & time
East Croydon URC Church:
6 November 16:00 – 20:00
Croydon Neighbourhood Care Association:
7 November 12:00 – 16:00
The Woodside Academy:
8 November 17:00 – 21:00
St. Mary's Catholic High School:
15 November 17:00 – 21:00
19 November 13:30 – 17:30
Croydon & District Masonic Hall:
12 November 16:00 – 20:00
22 November 13:00 – 17:00