Croydon residents, workers and businesses will be disconnected by road, tram and train over Easter, as they face a third successive Bank Holiday weekend of transport disruption, delays and inconvenience.
Engineering works will see the main railway line into Victoria closed and the town centre’s tram loop also out of operation, while main roads will also be subject to closures.
There will, of course, be trains running into London Bridge, but we all know how well Thameslink services have been running of late…
Network Rail will be renewing a junction at Battersea Park over the Easter weekend, March 25 to 28, meaning that trains will terminate at Clapham Junction. A rail replacement bus service will operate.
Our local council’s witless press office failed to realise the irony when it issued its announcement about the closure of Tramlink in central Croydon being as a result of the “Connected Croydon programme of works may affect some of the transport hubs in and around Croydon” for a whole week over Easter.
The DisConnected Croydon works will also see Church Street and parts of London Road closed to traffic.
The announcement states: “London Trams will be carrying out essential track renewal works, from Friday March 25 to Saturday April 2. There will be no tram service along the entire Croydon town centre tram loop during the Easter period.
“Trams from Beckenham Junction, Elmers End and New Addington will terminate at East Croydon.
“Trams from Wimbledon will terminate at Reeves Corner.
“There will be a walking route between East Croydon and Reeves Corner.” Thanks for that, guys.
“Line 4 will not run,” so tough if you want to get to Elmers End. “Please note that on Thursday March 24, the last tram service from Elmers End will be leaving at approximately 8pm. Valid tram tickets will be accepted on buses.
“London Trams apologise for the inconvenience this will cause. Please allow an extra 15 minutes for your journey.” At least, we would suggest.
For full details visit www.tfl.gov.uk/easter
The council explains that the tram closures are caused by its “Disconnected Croydon” project, which has seen many millions of pounds spent on laying new paving stones, narrowing roads and eliminating cycle lanes, and a rolling programme of thousands of trip hazards around the borough. The brainchild of the previous Tory administration, Disconnected Croydon has been carried through with gusto by Labour since they took charge of the Town Hall.
This Tramlink closures, the council press officers state, are to allow work intended to “transform the Wellesley Road into a much improved [sic] urban space”.
The first week’s disruption is just the start. “Ongoing works will continue through 2016.”
On Church Street, there will also be a stretch of around 150 yards of track replacement, “Church Street will be closed to all traffic during this period.”
And meanwhile, West Croydon bus station has yet to be finished.
“We have been working closely with Transport for London (TfL) to develop their plans for the redevelopment of West Croydon bus station. Works are scheduled to finish Summer 2016 and the bus station is closed to the public until then.”
And there’s more: “London Road will be closed southbound for Connected Croydon improvement works.”
Because the Disconnected Croydon programme has so far provided such immense benefits that all such disruption is really appreciated by the borough’s businesses and residents and is all so worthwhile…
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