The South London Partnership (SLP), a collaboration of the five London boroughs of Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond and Sutton, is expressing its support of the improvements to the Brighton Main Line (BML). This is one of South London’s major infrastructure priorities that is vital to improving connectivity both on commuting lines and through links to the wider suburban rail network, which are critical in realising our economic and housing growth ambitions.

It is vital that the programme of BML improvements is taken forward as quickly as possible and that any improvements, when undertaken, not only support the essential commuter line but also the connections into the suburban services at East Croydon. It will be paramount to take full advantage of the totality of benefits that the improvements could offer, including grade separation on all routes, to minimise long term disruption to rail passengers.

Ensuring that the re-development of East Croydon station facilitates multi-modal interchange both now and in the future is also of significant strategic importance. This is particularly relevant for the tram, so that sufficient space is left to address any future bottlenecks on the tram lines at East Croydon station to increase tram capacity. However, there is also a link with increasing the ease of interchange with bus routes and cycling.

We welcome the collaborative approach taken by Network Rail, the Department for Transport and Croydon Council in leading this work to date. It will be key to continue this partnership to ensure that the wider benefits of the proposal are maximised and that full support is given to any local businesses and residents who are directly impacted by these works.

It will be essential for the upgrade of the BML to realise wider benefits that are critical to unlocking growth opportunities in South London, such as enabling a metro-type train service, improving accessibility (e.g. step-free access) at our stations and resolving infrastructure constraints in the Selhurst Triangle area. These will improve longer-term network capacity for services via West Croydon, Sutton and potentially even further into South London.