Nearly 10 years on, Bridge To Nowhere close to completing

One of the longest-running developments in the town centre is a step closer to completion, and East Croydon Station’s notorious Bridge To Nowhere a little closer to finally linking through to Addiscombe.

Cork-popping topping-out: Sherwan Chowdhury opens the champagne at Crescent Gardens last week

The topping-out ceremony was held last week at Crescent Gardens, the latest phase of Menta’s series of residential tower blocks along Cherry Orchard Road.

Attended by Sherwan Chowdhury, the Mayor of cash-strapped Croydon, along with representatives of Latimer Homes, Menta and Sir Robert McAlpine, the ceremony – all hard hats and champagne corks – marked construction having reached the highest point of the eight-storey building.

The nearby pedestrian bridge, built by Network Rail, Transport for London and Croydon Council at a cost of £22million, was supposed to provide additional access to East Croydon Station from Dingwall Road to the western side and Cherry Orchard Road when it was completed in 2013. But Menta, the developers who own the land on the eastern side of the tracks, opted not to allow public access while they and their builders worked on their various schemes.

Now that Crescent Gardens is nearing completion, the developers are talking up their new flats’ easy connectivity with the station and the town centre, provided by the erstwhile emasculated bridge.

Part of the £350million Morello “vibrant new urban quarter” project, Crescent Gardens will provide 118 shared ownership and “affordable” rented apartments developed through Latimer, part of Clarion Housing Group. The scheme is due for completion in 2023.

Menta’s first phase of the track-side development included 300 homes; Crescent Gardens and the rest of the second phase also includes 338 further residential apartments, 20,000 sqft of commercial space, a landscaped public square and what the developers describe as “station infrastructure”, meaning access to the bridge that has been left hanging, literally, for almost 10 years.

“The multi-million-pound upgrade of East Croydon Station… means this is a location where connectivity is second to none,” according to Craig Marks, Menta’s chief exec. Or, at least, it will be once his company allows the bridge’s connectivity to get connected…

The sales spiel for the new flats is familiar: “Crescent Gardens is located just a few minutes’ walk from East Croydon Station and connects with the Morello development via a new station entrance. As one of South London’s major rail hubs, the station forms a vital gateway to the capital so residents of Crescent Gardens can reach Clapham Junction in nine minutes and London Victoria in just 15 minutes.”

Or put more succinctly: move to Croydon, it’s easy to get away from.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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6 Responses to Nearly 10 years on, Bridge To Nowhere close to completing

  1. Dave West says:

    Has anyone checked that it will be open to non-residents?

  2. derekthrower says:

    Whatever happened to Menta and it mental 54 Storey Tower that was supposed to be in that location? The scaled back ambitions don’t apply just to the developers, but with the levelling down practiced by the Johnson Regime it has also led to the abandonment of the upgrade and expansion of the local rail network. What is going to be the carrot to move to Croydon now or to get away from it?

  3. Ron West says:

    I was always annoyed that the steps up to the bridge were only pointing to the northern end of the platforms instead of down to the middle of the platforms as well. Anyone wanting to change platform from the middle of the train has to run a whole extra 100m north and 100m south again, maybe with luggage in one of the narrow widths around the north-facing stairs, near the tracks, out in the open and possibly slippery outside weather.

    • It has been widely accepted that the design of the bridge in many respects is worse than poor: consider it being open to the elements, with icy rain on the stairs making them very slippery, and, as you observe, access to them effectively facing the “wrong” way.

    • Gio says:

      Generally speaking the middle of the train is always the busiest as people do not walk down the platform, especially from Gatwick they stay at the bottom of the escalators,
      This encourages people to walk down and use the whole length of the train as in this case at east Croydon you can sit wait her closer to the front or back depending which area you are traveling from and still be near an exit.

      So it means it’s easier to leave/enter the station.

  4. cronxcliff says:

    Had to campaign to Southern Fail to extend it’s opening times on the Dingwall Road entrance/exit. After lockdown measures were relaxed they decided to pull the shutters down at 10pm. Can’t be a staffing issue surely, their central termini ticket barriers in London are left open all night. Eventually they agreed to a midnight closure.

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