Calls for upgrades to Croydon’s rail services to London and the south coast have been endorsed by a government-commissioned study.
The Department for Transport has published the South Coast Rail Corridor Study which highlights the need to secure land to increase the number of trains, reduce overcrowding and address the bottleneck at East Croydon station.
Croydon Council leader Tony Newman had lobbied for the borough’s rail links, and the Brighton Mainline in particular to be a priority for the government’s emergency £300million railway fund because of its significance as an economic centre.
In response, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the government “understands and supports” Croydon’s growth ambitions and agreed that it must be served by rail links that provide “sufficient capacity and reliability”.
Councillor Newman gave a cautious welcome to and said the improvements were essential to Croydon’s growth ambitions.
“We are pleased that the Government is listening to Croydon on this issue and that the Minister supports our ambitions for Croydon’s growth,” he said.
“We welcome this as far as it goes, but Government needs to commit to fund this in full as soon as possible and Croydon will continue to work with partners to realise this.
“ Croydon is hugely significant both as a major transport hub connecting London with the South Coast and as a centre for economic growth, and the rail network, specifically the Brighton Mainline, is core to the prosperity of not only our town but the region.
“We are committed and on track to delivering our ambitious plans for Croydon under a Government-funded agreement to be a growth zone – 10,000 new homes, 23,500 new jobs, plus 5,300 new construction jobs – but we must have the rail infrastructure to support them.”