Funding gives green light for major rail redevelopment through central Croydon

Croydon is set to benefit from an expanded station, extra tracks and flyover junctions after the government committed funding to the Brighton main line upgrade project.

Network Rail has today announced the funding boost for the Brighton main line upgrade programme which should mean major improvements in punctuality between London, Gatwick Airport and the Sussex coast for passengers with the potential for more frequent services in the longer term.

Known as the Croydon Area Remodelling Scheme, it would see construction of a series of new grade-separated junctions north of East Croydon station to remove the ‘Croydon bottleneck’ where several routes to and from central London converge. 

These new junctions are like motorway flyovers and will replace the existing flat junctions, where trains have to wait at red signals to allow others to pass in front, causing congestion and delays to 300,000 passengers travelling between the south coast and the capital each day.

As part of the plans, East Croydon station would also be expanded and revamped with the number of platforms increasing from six to eight. Travellers would also benefit from new concourse areas with better access to the platforms and surrounding areas.

John Halsall, Network Rail’s South East route managing director, said: “Redeveloping the railway through Croydon is the only practical way to further improve the reliability of services on the Brighton Main Line and transform journeys between London, Gatwick Airport and the south coast. The Croydon bottleneck is now the single biggest cause of congestion and delays to passengers on this vital rail artery and means that the railway is now effectively full at the busiest times of day. That’s not surprising when you consider that 50% more passengers pass through East Croydon each day than on the busiest parts of the East Coast or West Coast main lines.

Funding from the Department for Transport means Network Rail can now:

  • Work up detailed designs for the track and station work in the Croydon area;
  • Produce an outline business case so informed decisions can be made about funding the scheme to delivery in future; and
  • Carry out a full public consultation so that the local community, travelling public and anyone directly affected by the work can have their say on the designs.

Today’s announcement marks another significant investment in improving the Brighton Main Line, following the announcement in 2017 of a £300m government-funded programme to boost the resilience and reliability of infrastructure on key routes in the south east.

Commenting on the funding boost, Tony Newman, leader of Croydon Council, said: “As one of London’s growth boroughs and a major transport hub in the south east, I am delighted funding has been allocated to progress this important scheme to the next stage. These enhancements are desperately needed and, if approved, will significantly improve travel for Croydon residents whilst attracting more people and businesses into our town centre.”

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