The Department for Transport has agreed to a major increase in funding for East Croydon station and the Brighton Mainline following campaigning from Chris Philp, Conservative MP for Croydon South), Gavin Barwell (former MP for Croydon Central) and Croydon's Conservative councillors.
The extra funding will be used to end the “Croydon Bottleneck”, which is a major source of delays for the line’s 300,000 passengers. Improvements include an additional two platforms at East Croydon, from six to eight, and improved junctions to prevent congestion building up as a result of red signals.
Network Rail will now begin work on detailed planning for its proposals before presenting them for consultation.
The announcement of extra funding comes after successful Croydon Conservative campaigns for a further £300 million for points, signals and track improvements for the Brighton Mainline.
Chris Philp MP said: “Following the campaign for an extra £300 million from the Government, I have been talking with Ministers in order to ensure even further funding for expansion – which will put a stop to the bottleneck effect at East Croydon.
“Any form of delay currently creates a back log of traffic from trains, as they are forced to wait at red signals. This knock-on effect is one of the reasons why service has been so bad for so long. With the addition of the new platforms and the improvements to junctions on the line, there will be far fewer delays.
“East Croydon station is a bottleneck on the whole Brighton Mainline, as is the Windmill Junction near Selhurst. This is because trains from across the south of England all have to filter through East Croydon and the junction. Widening East Croydon station from 6 to 8 platforms and grade separating the Windmill Junction will substantially increase capacity and reduce delays. This is a vital piece of work.
“Southern still has its problems and service remains below where it should be, but this increase in funding from the Government is an important step for a long-term solution.”
Cllr Vidhi Mohan, Conservative Spokesman for Transport and Environment said: “We are delighted to learn that the Government and Network Rail have agreed to fund the detailed design, outline business case and public consultation work for the expansion of East Croydon Station as well as capacity enhancement works required to remove the network bottlenecks just north of the station.
“When complete the scheme will bring much-needed, vastly improved and enhanced rail services to passengers in Croydon. This funding has been largely down to the intense lobbying of Government by Chris Philp, Conservative MP for Croydon South, and Gavin Barwell, when he was Conservative MP for Croydon Central, and we thank them for their effort.”