A new footbridge at the West entrance of East Croydon station was officially opened last night.
The Mayor of Croydon Yvette Hopely cut the ceremonial ribbon of the new bridge, designed to ease overcrowding at East Croydon station.
Expected to cost Croydon £20m, the new bridge will also provide a pedestrian route between the station and Croydon’s Whitgift Centre.
Hopely said: “It’s key that we have sufficient infrastructure to support the developments in Croydon”
“My other-half is a commuter and uses East Croydon station, and if you have to be coming in through the main entrance when people are trying to exit there is constant pressure on the exit. So this is going to bring about a great improvement for those people who use the station as you can now actually exit from here [via the footbridge] into what is going to be the main entrance to the town centre.”
She added: “It’s not just a bridge, it’s an area that is going to support all the projects that are going forward [in Croydon].”
A spokesman for Southern, the train company that operates the station, said: “When I consider our network on Southern, there are few more important stations than East Croydon. When you consider the growth in passenger numbers that we have seen over the last few years, the thousands of passengers that use the station everyday and the forecast growth that we expect to see on the back of regeneration in this borough, this station actually is pretty small when you compare it to others. “
Emma Ceylan, from nearby Lansdowne Road said: “It will improve the area, not just for the people but for properties. Hopefully it will bring people into Croydon, jobs into Croydon. I don’t commute but it will make it easier to get into London”
However, some Croydon residents have expressed disappointment that the Council has allocated significant funding to build the new footbridge. Local website Inside Croydon calls the bridge one of the councils “more recent embarrassing fails, the £22m Bridge to Nowhere.”
Croydon Council announced a series of regeneration plans this year to redevelop and rebuild much of Croydon city centre.
Last week plans were approved to make central Croydon the home of London’s third Westfield shopping centre.