The Brighton Mainline Alliance has welcomed the announcement that government funding has been confirmed for Network Rail to start the design stage of the Croydon Area Remodelling Scheme.
This project is central to the Brighton Mainline upgrade programme which will deliver major improvements in punctuality between London, Gatwick Airport and the Sussex coast and allow more trains to run across the network.
The scheme will transform railway performance and includes plans for extra tracks and flyover junctions to remove the ‘Croydon bottleneck’ where several routes to and from central London converge. Major improvements at East Croydon station would also be delivered including two additional platforms and new concourse areas with better access to platforms and the surrounding areas.
Led by Coast to Capital, the Brighton Mainline Alliance is a group of businesses and organisations calling for significant long-term rail investment. The Alliance is strongly supportive of this scheme which will enhance punctuality, capacity, connectivity and resilience which is vital for businesses and fundamental for the region’s links to London and international connectivity.
Jonathan Sharrock, Coast to Capital Chief Executive, said:
“Our region’s economy desperately needs better, more reliable rail links to London. This scheme will allow more trains to run into London from Gatwick Airport and Brighton and across the rest of the South Coast. Our Brighton Mainline Alliance strongly supports this scheme and the next step is for Government to agree the detailed design of the project and commit to funding.”
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.
“The funding committed by the Department for Transport means we can now draw up detailed designs for the work at East Croydon station and the surrounding railway and get valuable input from the local community to inform our final proposals.”