News

Unblocking the Croydon bottleneck – Consultation feedback

east-croydon-station

Network Rail have published responses to the consultation. We reproduce below their comments.

Thank you to all those who took part in our consultation to help shape our proposals for Croydon and the Brighton Main Line.

 

Our proposals to untangle the railway bottleneck in Croydon have received a positive response from passengers and the community following public consultation. Despite the pandemic, from 1 June to 20 September we ran an extensive public consultation, where we engaged with statutory and public consultees on our plans.

To recreate the experience of regular face-to-face public consultation events, live chat facilities and a consultation hotline replaced regular engagement events, which had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. The consultation period was also extended to 16 weeks from the usual 6 week period to allow consultees and members of the public ample opportunity to help shape the proposals.

Of the 1,428 responses submitted, 90% were in favour of the overall proposals to unblock the bottleneck and provide faster, more reliable and more frequent services on the Brighton Main Line and the lines that feed into it. Favourability toward the individual elements of the scheme was also very positive.

  • 86% were in favour of plans to expand East Croydon station from six to eight platforms, build a bigger concourse, improve passenger facilities and interchange with buses, tram and taxis.
  • 85% were in favour of proposal to build three new tracks between East Croydon station and the Selhurst triangle, and grade separate the existing flat junctions by building new flyovers and dive-unders.
  • 78% were supportive of plans to rebuild Lower Addiscombe Road/Windmill Bridge to make space for the additional tracks, which was a really positive response considering the level of disruption this aspect of the proposals would cause.

A summary of the consultation feedback is available on the Network Rail website here.

 

The London Borough of Croydon promoted the consultation in their residents’ newsletters, mail shots and social media channels. They also worked with us to identify and engage hard to reach residents. Councillor Muhammad Ali, Croydon Council’s cabinet member for sustainable Croydon, said “Strong and reliable public transport links into and out of our borough play a key role in Croydon’s economy, so this rail upgrade promises to make a real difference to our town centre and our many residents, workers and visitors who use East Croydon station each day.”

Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive at Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership who recently outlined the upgrade as critical to delivering regional plans to build back smarter, stronger and greener said “I’m delighted to see that that there is strong public support for the Croydon bottleneck proposals. It will enable more frequent and reliable services between our economic centres and into London and align demand and capacity in the regional rail network. This will unlock opportunities for development and growth way beyond the railway itself and outside the boundaries of our region.”

Statutory stakeholders
Our engagement with the local authority, government agencies, utility providers, emergency services and the rail industry is ongoing. During the consultation, we received 42 responses from statutory stakeholders and we continue to take a collaborative approach to planning, where possible.

Residents and businesses
We will continue to engage with all landowners and businesses that would be impacted by the scheme and will continue to do this throughout the TWAO period. We strongly encourage anyone affected by the proposals to get in touch with us.

Funding
Our proposals are unfunded for delivery, as are other elements of our Brighton Main Line strategy. While we develop our plans, we will continue to build the case for investment in this scheme and this vital growth corridor. Our business case will take into consideration any projected changes to passenger numbers in the short, medium and long-term.

Next Steps
To deliver our proposals we need to obtain powers to work outside the railway boundary through a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO). We are in the process of preparing an application for these powers.

Network Rail will use the feedback received from the public consultation to shape the final designs which will be shared ahead of the application.
We’ll keep you updated as our work progresses, and although the official consultation period has ended, we continue to engage with our stakeholders so please do not hesitate to get in touch should you have any questions or comments. More information can be found on the Unblocking the Croydon bottleneck project webpage.