A new 1000 tonne bridge which links all platforms at East Croydon station has been slid into position. The 100 metre-long, 14 metre-wide bridge was built next to East Croydon station over the last 12 months and was moved into place over the weekend (Saturday 17, Sunday 18 November).
Moving at a speed of around six metres an hour, the bridge was slid into place while trains continued to run underneath, meaning services were not disrupted for passengers.
Once opened, the new structure will provide step-free access to all six of the station’s platforms and provide an interchange between platforms and a new western entrance and exit to Dingwall Road.
Costing £20m, the bridge has been paid for by Network Rail and the London Borough of Croydon. It will be a catalyst for further improvements at the station and in the local area, in line with the wider East Croydon masterplan, which will include a new gateline on the station concourse, remodelling of the Dingwall Road roundabout and eventually the development of both the western and eastern sides of the station.
Mark Ruddy, Network Rail’s route managing director for Sussex, said: “East Croydon station is already one of the country’s busiest stations and is used by an ever-increasing number of passengers. By effectively putting the concourse area onto the bridge, this landmark improvement will ease congestion within the station and illustrates our commitment to providing better access and facilities.
“The bridge will link all platforms with step-free access and will be a catalyst for other improvements which will provide a better experience for passengers. It will also provide an entrance and exit to Dingwall Road and eventually to the other side of the station at Billinton Hill. It represents a big investment in the development of the station and will help ensure it remains an important gateway for the town.”
Councillor Jason Perry, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and transport at Croydon council, said: “It’s exciting to see the footbridge slot into place because it marks a milestone in the regeneration of Croydon town centre and provides an important east-west pedestrian link. The bridge is part of our overall plan for easy access between key points in the borough on foot.
“Seven million people a year will pass through this new west entrance of East Croydon station – about a third of its passengers - and from the summer they will be able to walk or cycle directly to and from the Whitgift shopping centre via Lansdowne Road and Wellesley Road.”
David Scorey, Southern Railway’s franchise improvement director, said: “It’s great that the bridge was put in place over the weekend as it marks the next significant step in developing East Croydon station – and it’s even better that it was done without disrupting train services. Although there’s a lot of work going on at Croydon, which does mean that some parts of the station don’t look their best at the moment, we think that passengers will really benefit from the new station entrances and the lifts that will be provided as part of this new bridge.”
The link to platforms and entry and exit to Dingwall Road will be completed in July 2013.