Commuters welcome plans to unblock railway ‘bottleneck’ at East Croydon station

Croydon bottleneck. Pic: Network Rail

Rail passengers travelling through East Croydon are hoping to see the back of infamous delays in and out of the busy station after Network Rail put forward plans for two more platforms.

Extra tracks are also planned in Selhurst with new flyovers and “dive unders” in a bid to ease the bottle-necking that often happens at East Croydon.

The recent proposals were met with overwhelming support from residents of South London, Sussex and passengers of the Brighton Main Line.

They form part of what Network Rail has dubbed their  Croydon Area Remodelling Scheme – CARS.

East Croydon station would be rebuilt with two additional platforms and a larger concourse with improved facilities for passengers if the proposals go ahead.

More than 90 per cent of respondents to Network Rail’s first consultation, which ran from 5 November to 17 December 2018, either agreed or strongly agreed with proposals to upgrade the railway through East Croydon. Only two per cent of respondents opposed the scheme, while seven per cent were undecided.

The most frequently raised concerns were the potential impact of construction work on train services, the highway network and the local area.

Public information sessions will be held from June 17 this summer to clarify all the details of CARS.

Councillor Stuart King, cabinet lead for environment and transport at Croydon Council, told EastLondonLines: “It is very important to us to see what our passengers think about the service and the ways in which we can improve. The removal of the Croydon bottleneck is a positive start in progressing the Brighton Main Line.”

“Improving the rail network through Croydon is key to helping the borough achieve its full potential over the coming years.”

John Halsall, Managing Director for Network Rail South East, said: “Regular travellers on the Brighton Main Line are all too aware how busy and congested this section of railway is. So, while we are extremely pleased with the overwhelmingly positive response to our proposals, I’m not surprised that people are eager for us get on with it and improve train performance to a level people expect and deserve.

“I’d like to thank people for taking the time to respond to our consultation. The feedback we received from local people, businesses, passengers and the rail industry is important to us and is already helping to shape our designs.

“We will work with stakeholders to develop our designs over the months ahead, while also continuing to seek much needed investment.”

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