Before Christmas I launched a campaign to persuade the Labour administration at Croydon Council to open a link from Cherry Orchard Road to the new northern entrance to East Croydon station.
In December 2013, Network Rail opened a new northern entrance to East Croydon station from Dingwall Road, together with a bridge over the railway. The idea was that property developer Menta would build a link from Cherry Orchard Road to the bridge.
Nearly one year later, nothing has happened. Addiscombe residents are still having to walk all the way up Cherry Orchard Road and Billinton Hill, into the ticket hall then back down the ramps to the platforms.
The new Labour administration told me that they can’t afford to do this and residents will have to wait until “circa 2019/20” - and even this is dependent on Menta building their 53-storey tower, which many local people don’t want them to do.
I believe it’s unreasonable to expect residents to wait five more years to get access to the bridge from Cherry Orchard Road. That’s why I collected a petition calling on the Council to open a temporary link as soon as possible. Nearly 900 other frustrated local people signed my petition, a sign of the huge strength of feeling on this issue.
I recently met up with Network Rail to see if they could help to fund a solution. They were very keen to do so as giving people from Addiscombe access to the new Northern entrance to the platforms would reduce overcrowding in the ticket hall and at the Southern end of the platforms.
We discussed two options. One is a temporary structure that would cost £2-3 million. Network Rail would facilitate this but Croydon Council would have to pay for it. The second is a permanent structure, which would cost around £8-9 million. Crucially Network Rail said that they would be willing to put up the cash to build this if the Council undertook to repay them once the Menta scheme was underway and they had received payment from them.
I am flabbergasted that the Council hasn’t taken them up on this offer. They keep telling me, despite my doubts, that Menta is going ahead so what’s the problem?
I will continue to vigorously pursue the Council on this and keep this site updated.