Whimsy appears to be taking over at East Croydon Station. It already has its Bridge to Nowhere, a £22 million edifice which, almost four years after “completion”, remains unfinished with no access on the Addiscombe side of the station.
Now, bemused and harassed commuters have noticed that the station appears to be trying to rival Hollywood movie director Stanley Kubrick with its own version of the mysterious monolith that appeared in 2001 – A Space Odyssey.
Never mind the concerns of regular rail travellers who want some accurate and timely information about the latest delays or cancellations to their wretched Southern Rail “services”. Don’t worry about providing passengers with seating to while away the lost hours they are forced to spend on the platforms. What the station operators have come up with on Platforms 5 and 6 this week is what appears to be a matt black piece of modern art…
As one care-worn train-user who contacted Inside Croydon said, “I have commuted from East Croydon for more than 20 years and followed the many changes to the station with interest. When I was walking down the ramp to Platforms 5 and 6 recently I was startled to see that a tall black monolith had appeared overnight.
“It looks like a tombstone. Or something from 2001 – A Space Odyssey. If I remember this correctly there used to be seats in this very space. I had assumed that the reason they had been removed was to facilitate the flow of passengers in this busy part of the station.
“The mysterious black item is labelled JCDecaux. It would appear to be some electronic advertising display.
“The thing is, this object is very much in the way. It blocks the view of this part of the platform and impedes the movement of passengers.
“Did we really lose those rather useful seats just to make way for an advertising panel?”
Our correspondent makes a valid point. What’s more, there have been works on the platforms at East Croydon going on for seemingly years, to modernise and streamline the station. Those works, which have costs hundreds of thousands of pounds, appear to be coming to an end. Yet only now have the new seats been ripped out to be replaced by this homage to Kubrick.
As our correspondent concludes: “I am all in favour of raising revenues for the railways by using suitable sections of stations for advertising, but surely this is very bad practice in terms of ergonomics and health and safety?”
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