Network Rail has unveiled new images of a £20m footbridge planned for East Croydon station which will increase capacity, make it easier for passengers to move around and eventually open up a new link between businesses and communities on the east and west of the railway.
Plans for the footbridge scheme have now been submitted to the London Borough of Croydon for planning approval. If approved, it would be one of the first phases of the East Croydon master plan to be delivered and a key stepping stone to providing a more efficient transport interchange and high quality public realm in the town.
The bridge would be located towards the London end of the platforms and would link through the Ruskin Square development to Lansdowne Road, providing an alternative entrance for those travelling to and from the heart of Croydon and allowing passengers to change platforms without having to use the busy ramps and concourse area. Lifts would be installed between the bridge and platforms so passengers with reduced mobility can navigate around the station without using the ramps.
Mark Ruddy, Network Rail’s route director for Sussex, said: “The proposed new bridge will radically change how passengers use the station, relieving congestion and making it much easier for them to make their journeys by train. The improved access and movement around the station will make a big difference for everyone, particularly as passenger numbers are expected to grow significantly in the coming years.
“Not only is this great news for passengers, it will be a boost for the community who will get a new direct link across the railway without having to go via George Street.”
Councillor Simon Hoar, Croydon council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development said: “I am delighted that the council is able to make a substantial financial contribution to the bridge and also that Stanhope recognises its value to its own development site alongside the station. The planning process will be undertaken independently, as is appropriate for schemes which the council is sponsoring. But I am confident that the bridge, and new station entrance, will be widely welcomed. The scheme sends a strong message that regeneration is continuing and investment confidence in Croydon is high.”
Southern’s service delivery director, James Burt added: “We welcome Network Rail’s plans for improvements at the station. East Croydon is our second busiest station outside of London and the installation of the bridge and new entrances will make it much easier for people to access the station. These additions will mean that the main concourse will not be quite so congested during the busiest periods, and there will be more facilities for our customers.”
The footbridge has been designed to complement the main station building and surrounding area. There will be customer information and retail facilities down the central spine of the bridge. In phase one of the works, the bridge will be open to ticket holders only. However in phase two, which is provided for in the wider master plan, the bridge will be altered to create two separate halves – one for ticket holders to get to the lifts and platforms, the other for members of the public to cross the railway thereby linking businesses and communities on the east and west.
Subject to planning approval being granted, it is hoped work can start in early 2012. Phase one should be complete by the end of 2013. Phase two will be completed to coincide with the other elements of the master plan.
Croydon council will be carrying out consultations on the planning application and notifying local residents and businesses so that they can comment on the detailed design. The application will be decided by the council’s strategic planning committee.
The plans will also be on show the Croydon Visitor Centre from 10 January 2011 to 16 January 2011. Between 3pm – 6.30pm on 13 January 2011, Network Rail managers will be available to discuss the proposed improvements.