This is the first in our Spotlight series, a new feature covering the innovations – in regeneration, ways of working and more – being undertaken by members of Future of London. This Spotlight is focused on Croydon Council’s development of a new footbridge at East Croydon Rail Station.
In its award-winning East Croydon masterplan, Croydon Council envisage making East Croydon Rail Station a transport hub and integrating it with surrounding mixed use development. Originally built in 1868 with a modern glass & steel station building replacing it in 1992, the station has grown to become one of the busiest in Britain outside of Central London, and a key part of the masterplan is the development of a new railway footbridge to reduce commuter congestion and increase access to transport.
The masterplan area is currently bisected by East Croydon mainline station and railway: to the immediate west of the railway is Stanhope Schroder’s permitted mixed-use Ruskin Square development, with Central Croydon beyond that; to the east is Menta’s mixed use Cherry Orchard Road development which includes a proposed 55-storey landmark tower (that also has had planning permission granted). To connect these two sides and ease commuter congestion at the existing southern concourse, Croydon Council and Network Rail are funding a new £20m station improvement project that includes a new footbridge that will act as a secondary concourse for East Croydon Station.
The 1,000 tonne, 105m long bridge is designed by architects Hawkins/Brown with engineers Mott MacDonald. It is constituted by a narrow (4m) wide Vierendeel span beam truss, housing retail and ticket barriers, with 6m wide walkways on either side. The southern walkway will be a publically accessible thoroughfare, though the northern walkway will be restricted to ticketholders. The bridge will link all platforms with step-free lift access compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act, and it also replaces the underground passages formerly used for transfer between platforms.
The new bridge stands in the place of a disused Post Office Conveyor Bridge which was removed in Christmas 2011. It was built next to East Croydon Rail Station and slid into place over 17 and 18 November 2012. The footbridge is currently providing stepped access between platforms whilst the lifts are being installed. The West side connection to Lansdowne Road will open in October 2013 with the eastern end scheduled to be opened in 2015.
The bridge, along with the Lansdowne Road improvements will make Central Croydon and the Whitgift Shopping Centre more easily accessed by East Croydon rail users. It will also reduce commuter congestion by decentralising transport access and encouraging the use of under-utilised bus and tram stops nearby.
The bridge represents a massive investment in East Croydon and ensures that it will remain an important gateway for London’s Third City.