Many Croydon locals were shocked to find West Croydon bus station closed today. The closure is scheduled to last until until early 2016 as extensive redevelopment is undertaken at the terminal.
No buses will stop at the station for at least 15 months, but the estimated 8 million commuters that will be affected were only informed of the refurbishment at the beginning of the week.
Some residents have complained that the transport company and the council did not advertise the changes to their journey routes in advance.
Giulochan Shah, 29, an IT professional from Wellington said: “I found out that the bus station would be closing only a couple of days ago. I think more information should have been given about this disruption that will affect so many people. Some buses did display a message about the closure, but there was no information about alternative stops or anything.”
A banker from Norbury, aged 32, who gave the initials JK said: “I didn’t even know that the bus station would be out of action starting from today. I really think they should have tried to reach more people when they started giving out this information. I have a feeling only a small fraction of residents know about it.”
The works will affect at least 23 bus routes that are scheduled to call at the popular station, which sees an average of around 150 buses pass through every hour.
The renovation is a joint project between Transport for London (TfL) and Croydon council and aims at creating a more spacious station with improved lighting, disabled access, customer information and CCTV coverage and the introduction of a shop on site.
TfL said that the passengers are “very much at the heart of this redevelopment” and apologised for any inconvenience that it will cause.
Orlando Hyatt, 32, a builder from West Croydon said: “I always get the bus in the area but I had no idea. Maybe they should have put some posters out, or publicised the refurbishment in local TV news. Then probably a lot more people would have known about this.”
Some commuters took to Twitter to express their mixed feelings towards the redevelopment.
A user under the name of Nath said: “West Croydon bus station closed until 2016… Talk about polishing a turd”.
Stuart Collins, councillor for Broad Green, more positively said: “After years of talk things actually being built & created along London Rd/West Croydon. New bus station will be worth the wait & help grow”.
Passengers that used to board at West Croydon bus station have been advised to use the next bus stop, as there will be no alternative stop.
During the works, the nine bus routes that currently terminate at the bus station will have their final stop at St Michael’s Road.
TfL has warned commuters that Station Road, Poplar Walk and bus stops in London Road will be busier than normal and to allow extra journey time while the works are carried out.
The transport company has also warned commuters that London Road will close within a week or two until the 21 November, which will is likely to result in further changes to travel plans.