For many years a new entrance to West Croydon station that was more convenient for the tram stop and bus station has been advocated. Although the start of construction had been announced the opening itself seems to have gone unremarked. The entrance is new but it is next to the original station building which, unusually, was built on the down side of the station.

The whitewashed wall is part of the original station building. Note that the ticket machine has not yet been installed so if you need a ticket you currently still have to use the old entrance. Also, unless remedial action will be taken, when the new ticket machine is installed it will partially hide the notice giving the times of train departures to specified stations.

The entrance is staffed by a single member of staff for the bulk of the day from Monday to Saturday and presumably that member of staff can also attend to platform duties if required.

It is not clear why it appears that you cannot simply touch-in on a Sunday.

Naturally TfL have been keen to publicise the new entrance locally but one could argue that they are slightly over-zealous. For a start the advantage of its use as an entrance is pretty minimal unless you are catching a train towards Sutton as the distance to walk to platforms 1 and 3 (for trains to London) is roughly the same as using the older entrance on London Road which is still open. Its real benefit is as an exit from the down platform (platform 4) which is served by both Southern Railway through trains and London Overground terminating trains. The tram stop is only yards away and the bus station is just across the road but unfortunately there is not yet a convenient pedestrian crossing at this point.

The Tramlink shelter leaves you in no doubt as to the direction of the station entrance.

Unfortunately on the other side of the road the sign makes it clear that the direction of the station entrance is in the opposite direction.

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There are 85 comments on this article
  1. David says:

    “The whitewashed wall is part of the original station building”
    That’s slightly misleading as the original station buildings were on the Up side. The old building adjacent to the new entrance dates from no earlier than the 1847 extension, the Croydon & Epsom Ry..
    Certainly it’s the oldest surviving railway building on the site.

  2. Andrew Bowden says:

    Is there any video link apparatus? My thinking is that there will be staff there during the given times so who can keep an eye on the gates (and platform) thus keep an eye for anyone doing anything dubious like adult going on a child ticket – but later on there will be no staff so they’ll watch it by video on demand.

    Some stations do this already – although I would have just shut the gate and locked up myself!

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s a pity the opening hours are so poor for this new entrance. I happened to take a late night Overground train to West Croydon towards the end of the Olympics. At Canada Water a gent in a wheelchair boarded the train with a friend. They travelled to West Croydon and had to get the boarding ramp deployed so he could alight. To be fair there was a member of staff on the platform. Several minutes later I saw the gentleman emerge from the London Road exit from the station. How he and his friend managed the stairs in the station I don’t know. The new entrance / exit was shuttered up with no obvious way to get it opened up. I assume it costs too much to provide the staff to keep it open for the full operating hours. Ironically LOROL seem to be able to afford new “2012” branded hi-vis for their station staff and also to deploy gangs of staff on platforms on the GOBLIN for some strange reason. Not sure if they are checking tickets or counting passengers or doing something else but there are loads of them around at the moment.

  4. Patrickov says:

    Just curious, is West Croydon now the only ELL station south of Surrey Quays to have an entrance sharing the style of stations in the north?

  5. Greg Tingey says:

    Looks as if Overgound is catching the LUL disease, spoiling the ship for a hap’oth o tar …..
    Given the proximity of the bus/tram station/stop, you’d think they’d want iftopen all the time!
    What’s the odds that they either…
    1] Don’t bother with a ticket machine – so they can keep the restricted hours.
    2] Put in the most inconvenient place possible?
    Excuse my cynicism

    This reminds me of the nice, shiny, convenient, new Turnmill St entrance to Farringdon – closed at weekends.

  6. Anonymous says:

    There also appears to have been an installation of a new entrance at Canning Town Station associated with the junction works under the flyover.

  7. David: I don’t doubt you are correct. Shows how much we learn from reading the comments.

    Andrew: I couldn’t see any video link which surprised me.

    Anonymous. The exit from platform 4 to the London Road entrance is by a long but not especially steep ramp. I cannot recall any steps but there may be some. Without doubt the new exit is an easier exit for those in a wheelchair but unless you are catching a tram the onward journey may not be easier. One hopes that they will eventually put in a disabled-friendly crossing to the bus station but presumably that is a matter for the Croydon Council not London Overground.

    Patrick: Sydenham has a separate exit on the up platform with a video link to the booking office on the down side if that is what you mean. It is sometimes manned but generally works well when left unmanned.

    Greg: The planned location for the ticket machine can be seen in the photo as the concrete base for it has already been built. I don’t see what a lack of a ticket machine has to do with restricted hours as I doubt that the member of staff assigned to platform 4 could issue a ticket.

    As to Turmill Street entrance closed at weekends, I suspect Farringdon is not very busy at weekends. Besides the station itself often seems to be closed at weekends. Excuse my cynicism.

    I am not sure all readers would be old enough to understand your hap’oth o tar comment. I don’t think it is the lack of money but lack of attention to detail that spoils things. Why tolerate signs pointing in two different directions ? Why not have “alternative entrance” in small letters below the main directions just to make clear that the other entrance may be more convenient ? Presumably the notice with train times has only been put up recently. Why put it up precisely where it is going to be obscured by the ticket machine ?

  8. Rogmi says:

    I agree that the ramp from platform 4 is steep, I’ve seen some people struggling to walk up there. There are steps down from the ramp to the bridge, then steps down from the bridge. I think there are 5-6 steps at each end.

    As the new exit has only recently opened, I tend to forget about that the occasional times that I change at West Croydon to get a tram. It would be a little quicker to use that exit if alighting from platforms 1 and 3, rather than going outside, but not much. It would certainly be an advantage in wet weather though 🙂

  9. Greg Tingey says:

    I agree – they have the money, but either they can’t be bothered, or they don’t care, or they have (worst of all) employed “management consultants”.
    Farringdon has ben closed a lot recently with eng-works, but it is steadily gettin busier at weekends, as the “non-City” activities in the surrounding streets increase – especially to the N in Clerkenwell ….
    Mind you, the worst I have ever seen, many years ago (& so bad I took a photo) was on the outskirts of BAsingstoke @ a roundabout.
    Two signs, both saying “Town centre” – pointing both ways, for the same post!

  10. Malc says:

    The far more interesting works at Vauxhall are almost complete too – can we have an article on those?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Purley, Coulsdon South and Merstham all have video links on the non main platform entrance. I use the video link at Purley on a daily basis as my Annual Season Ticket gave up it’s magnetism 6 months ago and experience says the replacements usually last a couple of days after the 15 minute wait! It works very well although the wait can be annoying if rushing and if anyone else gets to the gate before you it shuts in your face. Also they appear to have turned it up so the whole station can hear the person at the other end.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Rogmi: Have you ever worked out why the ramp from platform 4 keeps going as high as it does, only to immediately need some steps DOWN again, to cross the bridge over the tracks?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Currently, property giants Westfield and Hammerson are fighting over which will redevelop the Whitgift shopping centre.

    Both have mentioned better access to West Croydon station, and with their £1-billion investment, both might be prepared to spend money at the station (including a new bridge over the tracks?).

  14. Jim says:

    Anyone else remember the other exit from West Croydon at the top of the ramp from platform 4? It exited in what is now a shop unit two or three up from Maplins on the corner. Was closed sometime in the 60s to my recollection. Again, would have provided step free access.

  15. Alan Griffiths says:

    “New Entrance at West Croydon Station 19 August, 2012 by Pedantic of Purley”

    Bit far from Purley for a Pendant.

  16. Lemmo says:

    “Pendatic of Purley”… 🙂

    I’d love to be enthused by this, and no doubt a step in the right direction, but West Croydon is a dog’s breakfast of a station crying out for a visionary rebuild. A new station building should be created facing the bus/tram station, with access to all platforms, and the tatty access to the London Rd rebuilt.

    The South London RUS notes that the lack of terminating capacity in Croydon is a problem. West Croydon has only one terminating platform, but there used to be sidings on the NE side of the station, and this space could be used for more terminating platforms, e.g. for ELL trains. However, the West Croydon Masterplan identifies this as development land (see WC10, p85 in the Masterplan), so presumably Network Rail or TfL don’t see any strategic value in safeguarding this for growth in rail services, which I find inexplicable.

    West Croydon is well-located for Croydon shopping and interchange with the bus station and trams, and intensifying services here may help relieve pressures on East Croydon. Aside from the flat junction at Gloucester Road, the junction with the London Bridge line south of Norwood Jn is grade-separated, therefore it is operationally easier to mesh services. It should be much better used and, given the RUS, I’d like to know why this hasn’t been integrated into the Masterplan.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This is a national rail station – used by two private railway companies (LOROL and Southern) – so how come it does not display the national rail symbol on the sign outside?

  18. Greg Tingey says:

    &, of course, removing the Selhurst “emergency spur was such agood idea (not) …
    Agree about extra terminal platforms, but, of course, the “rail planners” still haven’t caught on to the idea that rail traffic is EXAPONDING – even though its’ been doing that for over a deacade, now …..
    Another lagacy of Marples, and his henchman, Beeching …..

  19. Matt says:

    @Anonymous 2100 hours 20/08

    Is there no National Rail logo anywhere at the entrance? I would be surprised if the signage didn’t quite-strictly follow the TfL London Overground signage standard since there would probably be a penalty for not doing so.

  20. Pedantic of Purley says:

    I am sorry Lemmo but on this occasion I cannot agree with you. The masterplan has vision for an area which most people must agree could be so much better. As regards transport in particular, it recognises the importance of the tram and in this respect it has plans to improve what is already there and emphasises the importance of safeguarding for future tram routes.

    Whereas I would be the first to jump in and support you for any safeguarding that has value one must be careful not to safeguard land just because we can. The railways are not the only aspect of life that enables London or Croydon to function and land near a station is some of the most valuable and sought after. It should only be denied to developers if a genuine potential future railway need has been identified. One can moan about the amount of railway land that has been lost over the years but this has provided much need housing and business opportunities that have also contributed to the success of London. Yes, of course, there are times when this went too far and there will be times when a valuable opportunity was not taken advantage of but to leave periphery railway land underutilised is, I would argue, a greater evil.

    If you can’t put the station nearer the shops then put the shops nearer the station.

    In railway operational terms I would say that the terminating platform on the north-western side is all that you need. It is unlikely that one could increase the number of trains that serve West Croydon by that much given the constraints of Windmill Bridge and Gloucester Road junction. Far more useful than terminating platforms which lead to conflicting moments is the recently built siding just south west of the station which is used for terminating London Overground trains. This means that trains can terminate without any conflicting movements and I suspect a second siding could be built between the tracks without too much difficulty if necessary. I know that the train has to be checked at the platform for passengers left on board but this is quite easy on a four coach train with longtitudinal seating. Eight coach trains do not necessarily take twice as long but may require twice the number of platform staff if platform occupation time were critical. I would argue that West Croydon with its current layout could handle anything that the future could throw at it.

    Finally you argue very well for the the case against terminating trains at London termini and believe that whereever possible through routes across or under London should be maintained or created. It seems a bit perverse that when it comes to Croydon which, love it or hate it, is a major centre in its own right (and will be more so if the masterplan is implemented) you seem to want the opposite to happen and you want to terminate the trains there instead of maximising the through routes.

    Greg, this must have been the fifth time, if not more, that you have mentioned losing the emergency spur and decried its demise. Forgive me but given that I believe that no trains go from West Croydon to the fast lines to Victoria I am struggling to comprehend any conceivable scenario where this will be of the slightest use. All points and signals contribute to unreliablity. Their saving grace is that in normal use they generally serve a useful purpose. If they serve no useful purpose they should be removed. This is all before we consider how additional junctions constrain the location of track circuit blocks and the lack of track space for decent track circuit overlaps is a major constraint in the Croydon area.

  21. Greg Tingey says:

    Removing diversionary routes, even internal ones is always a mistake – contrast the crossover-numbers on parts of inner Southern with the ex-GE lines …..
    Yes, it was a potential conflicting move, but trains via that spur could get to the slow lines via another pair of x-overs at the NW end of Selhurst (I think)

    Reverting to the original subject – almost – second entrances.
    STILL NOTHING on Walthamstow Midland, and nothing on the GOBLIN web-site, either (their latest post is still 17 July) … are “They” hoping not to do anything, and hoping we won’t notice?

  22. Patrickov says:

    Re “Pedantic of Purley”:

    “Sydenham has a separate exit on the up platform with a video link to the booking office on the down side if that is what you mean. It is sometimes manned but generally works well when left unmanned.”

    Unfortunately, might be not the way I thought. A picture from Wiki suggests that it lacked the “necessary” lettering. (I am not a Londoner so not sure about that picture being update or not)

  23. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Presumably you mean this.

    That is how I remember it. I do not currently use it. I cannot recall any lettering telling you it is an entrance to the station. It is down a dead-end called road Peak Hill Gardens. Unlike West Croydon it is really intended for locals who know it is there so maybe there is not much point in publicising it.

  24. Rogmi says:

    I hadn’t given much thought to the layout of the bridge / steps until I went to post about it. I can only assume that this was due to their being an original exit in that area (mention has been made of where Maplins is) and street level at that point is higher than that of the current booking hall. Looking at Google Earth, the bridge is level with the café on Church St, which is the first single story building after the Maplin block (looking at it in an earlier year (historical imagery) gives a better quality view). It’possible that this was the exit – come up the ramp and turn left at the bridge.

    Looking at the excellent Alan Godfrey OS map reprints, they don’t show a bridge over the track. Unfortunately, the station is split on the map – most of the northern end is on the West Croydon map, while what is now the front of the station and London Road is shown on the Central Croydon map. It is not helped that the maps are different dates – West Croydon 1911 / 13, Central Croydon 1895!

    Looking at the 1911 map, the station is shown with what appears to be the main building covering what is now platform 1 and the tracks (with platforms?) to the left of it. This is set back fom London Road, with a circular “drop-off” approach accessed from London Road. I assume that this was the main station, platform 4 being accessed by the small station at the bottom of station road.

    Platform 4 is shown as starting opposite where the original canopy on platform 2 ends – about where the new LO exit is now. – and ending in approximately the same position as today. I assume that platform 2 was extended south at some point and the ramp (and bridge?) added then. Possibly when the current station entrance was opened in the 1930s. I also assume that the London Road and Station Road buildings were constructed at the same time (the maps show no buildings).

    The 1911 map shows the West Croydon signal box. If that is the same as the West Croydon B signalbox seen in photos, then its position would tie in with where the bridge is and it’s quite likely that access to this was from Station Road.

    I’m probably going through West Croydon today. If so, I’ll have a look around the steps area of the bridge for any evidence of a bricked-up exit.

  25. Geoff Smith says:

    Pedantic of Purley wrote “Far more useful than terminating platforms which lead to conflicting moments is the recently built siding just south west of the station which is used for terminating London Overground trains.”

    If any further capacity is needed, Wallington Middle siding could easily be reinstated.

  26. Geoff Smith says:

    It seems to me that the new entrance, even for those using the Up side, is far better than walking round to London Road. Much better to walk along a wide platform, under cover, than a narrow footpath in the rain or inhaling the foul exhaust of Diesel vehicles.

    The footbridge dates from the station reconstruction ca1928. Prior to that there was a subway; unfortunately re-instating it, with ramps, would not be cost-justified.

    “West Croydon signal box” on the 1911 map was West Croydon South (1875, later ‘B’, closed 1981). The 1894 OS map shows a shallow embankment behind it to Station Road, and I am confident that the box was never accessible from the road.

    The Station Road entrance I recall (possibly incorrectly) as having a Passimeter office, rather unusual on the Southern, apart from the Wimbledon & Sutton.

  27. Lemmo says:

    Thanks Pedantic, and I reckon there’s plenty here for an in-depth article on the Croydon masterplans and resolving capacity constraints in Croydon.

    I’m certainly not into safeguarding for its own sake. In this case I’m just following the lead of the 2008 South London RUS, which stated “the flat junctions and limited capacity for terminating services in the Croydon area” as a key localised constraint which restricts the overall capacity of the wider network” (3.15.10, p54). The RUS notes that there is “potentially a requirement for further enhanced turnback facilities in the Croydon area” (9.9.4, p110).

    West Croydon currently has space for this, but under the West Croydon Masterplan this will be lost. So either the RUS is wrong or someone isn’t checking that the strategy is getting through to the boroughs.

    The route from West Croydon passes through the flat junction at Gloucester Rd Jn and then is grade-separated through to Norwood Jn where effectively it adopts the Slow lines. This route could potentially become much more intensive, I don’t understand how this is dependent on Windmill Bridge Jn.

    At the southern end of West Croydon station the overbridge used to cross three tracks and a platform, as shown HERE. It would be possible to rebuild the station with central terminating island platforms which would avoid crossing movements, extend the platforms to the north and provide a new Up platform on the north side. The bridge could take three possibly four tracks through to the reversing siding beyond, and the four-track alignment here means that two reversing sidings could be provided.

    I think the Masterplan is a big step forward, except for WC10, the development on the railway lands. This component doesn’t fit with the RUS and seems bizarre given the potential the route offers and the need to rebuild capacity across the network.

    Yes indeed you could extend services through, and I was about to suggest Wallington until Geoff Smith beat me to it! But I was responding to a need for southern terminating point for new London metro services such as into Blackfriars, or potential cross-London services.

    @ Rogmi, there is a pic of the ‘A’ box in its elevated position at the north end HERE. The left hand line beneath the gantry is the headshunt for the old carriage sidings.

  28. Pedantic of Purley says:


    I suppose some of it comes down to interpretation of words. I have to admit I tend to lump Gloucester Road Jn and Windmill Bridge Junction together as I can never get my head around the complexity in that area despite having travelled through it innumerable times.

    It also depends on what you mean by “in the Croydon area”. I always took that to mean a wider interpretation to include stations within two or three miles or so of Croydon. The fact is that there are currently loads of places where you can terminate trains but none of them are ideal. Even the terminating platform at West Croydon is not ideal but it the most convenient platform that there is from that perspective.

    I see both East and West Croydon as stations that have a large number of people arriving as well as departing in the morning and vice versa in the evening. In general it doesn’t make much sense to terminate trains there unless you have a lot of available platforms in all directions (like Reading).

    I know I am thoroughly biased here but again I cannot see what point there is in terminating local services at Croydon (East or West) when there is a surprising demand for services to the south of East Croydon as well as a desire for services to Caterham that do not stop at South Croydon or Purley Oaks. It may be of interest to note that a posting on District Dave on a totally different subject revealed that from next December Sanderstead is to once again becomes the originating point for a train service. See here. It is only one train and it is before the morning peak period builds up but it is a start and if suitable facilities were built Sanderstead could be an ideal place to terminate some trains and provide a 4 tph service (currently 2 tph) which seems to be the current aspiration throughout London.

    I think what we are all agreed on is that there really is no significant extra capacity available around Croydon though there may be a certain amount of tweaking that can be done. I think the L&SE acknowledged this and more or less accepted defeat and which is why it started talking about a main line tunnel all the way from south of Purley up to central London- and no doubt beyond. Obviously we are talking very long timescales here but if some of the longer distance paths could be freed up then many more opportunities for local services would be possible.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Matt – Thanks for the PDF link.

    it would appear the signs are wrong at West Croydon – since two National Rail services operate there (LOROL and Southern), the National Rail symbol should be displayed, along with the London Overground symbol (like, for example, at New Cross Gate).

  30. Whiff says:

    @ Pedantic and Lemmo,

    I take the point that through services should be provided if at all possible but the line between West Croydon and Sutton already has 6 services an hour. Does it really need any more? If not, then it does become sensible to think about terminating trains at West Croydon and make the services from the London direction more intensive, with all the potential knock-on benefits for the rest of the Croydon area.

  31. Greg Tingey says:

    Let’s see if this works.
    There’s an excellent publication: “Croydon’s Transport” which includes a very interesting map of the area …

    You can see it here

    This map also shows that there was a third running track extending W of the station – this could certainly be re-laid, fora a shortish distance ( a 12-car tain-length?) to facilitate more through running?

    IF you are going to run more tains through W. Croydon, then you must surely run them at least as far as Epsom or Letherhead? (Or Epsom Downs, though that was wrecked back in the 70/80’s, wasn’t it, with a miserable single platform…..

  32. Greg Tingey says:

    YOU try to get to Wallington / Carshalton from N.E London, then?
    Because there may be 6tph along the W Croydon – Sutton section, but they start from different places.
    Needs CAREFUL planning, that does, if I want to get to the”Hope” or Wallington Beer festival – and home again!
    Almost as bad as trying to get to Dulwich Picture Gallery.

  33. Alan Griffiths says:

    Pedantic of Purley 02:45AM, 21st August 2012

    “If you can’t put the station nearer the shops then put the shops nearer the station.”

    Absolutley. If you happen to be in Doncaster, see how they used the construction of the Frenchgate shopping centre to do just that, in a town that used to have two bus stations, both an awful long way from the trains. Now, its nearly as convenient as Barnsley.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Greg Tingey: “Because there may be 6tph along the W Croydon – Sutton section, but they start from different places.”

    They all start from Victoria. I must be missing something as getting to Wallington from north east London is rather straightforward, you either use the Victoria line to Victoria for a direct service, or take the Overground to West Croydon and change there.

  35. Greg Tingey says:

    NO London Bridge originators?

  36. Anonymous says:

    Greg Tingey: “NO London Bridge originators?”

    Not outside the peaks. West Croydon only has a 2tph terminating service from London Bridge.

  37. Lemmo says:

    @ Greg, thanks for the PDF map, very interesting, we’ll use it when we write our more detailed follow-up.

  38. Whiff says:

    @ Alan Griffiths – thanks for the info on Doncaster; shows what can be achieved with a little planning. On one of the threads about, I think, Farringdon there was a discussion of whether it is possible to build new buildings that have safeguarding for future transport projects underneath. If that could be achieved in Croydon then Pedantic could have his new shops closer to the station while Lemmo could still have his expanded West Croydon station.

    And @Lemmo – I’m looking forward to more articles on Croydon. Having grown-up nearby, I am one of the few people who has a soft spot for the area

  39. Anonymous says:

    @ greg – Walthamstow to Dulwich Picture Gallery is not that hard. Victoria line to Brixton, P4 bus from outside takes you direct to the Picture Gallery. You do over-egg some of your “moans” at times 😉

  40. Greg Tingey says:

    Hadn’t though of that (I haven’t been to Brixton Vic-line since opening day …..)
    My usual route is Livp St – London Bridge – the gloriously-misname “North” Dulwich & walk ….

    Incidentally, cannot something be done about renaming hoplessly-wrongly labelled stations properly?
    Dulwich, Canterbury & Maidstone are particularly bad.

  41. peezedtee says:

    No need even to use a bus. Victoria line to Victoria, then direct train to West Dulwich, which runs every 15 minutes. West Dulwich is a shorter walk to the gallery than going to North Dulwich.

  42. Greg Tingey says:

    Yes – but ..
    My route means surface all the way.
    And NO LUL lying, bullying announcements, nor sweating your back off in the deep levels.
    Remember, this will almost certainly be a weekend journey, & I won’t be travelling alone in this case.

  43. peezedtee says:

    You said “Almost as bad as trying to get to Dulwich Picture Gallery”. You didn’t say “Almost as bad as trying to get to Dulwich Picture Gallery without using the Tube”.

  44. Anonymous says:

    It is still easy, if slower, to get from north London to West Dulwich avoiding the tube: Overground to West Hampstead, Thameslink to Herne Hill, SE Trains to West Dulwich.

    Herne Hill is probably one of the few NR examples of an interchange that works properly. Two different 4tph services that for each direction are evenly spaced between each other and are a cross platform change.

  45. Anonymous says:

    There is a fascinating 1933 photo of the “old” Station Rd entrance in a book about old Croydon tramways (sorry, can’t remember its name). There was a small canopy with wording “Southern Electric To London in 17 minutes Cheap Tickets”. Maybe it’s still there under what is there now! On the internal footbridge I don’t think there’s any trace remaining of that way into the station but of course there might be some evidence at the back of the cafe or takeaway or whatever it is in that unit now.

  46. Incidentally, cannot something be done about renaming hoplessly-wrongly labelled stations properly?
    Dulwich, Canterbury & Maidstone are particularly bad.

    A subject which fascinates me and I might one day do a whole article on the problem of inappropriate names for stations and maybe even bus stops.

    I have little doubt that if you lived in Canterbury or Maidstone you would not even understand that there is a problem. The station called “West” is on the west side of the river that divides the town. Basically in that sense east is east and west is west. OK the stations may even be geographically north and south of each other but that is probably not how locals think. Dulwich is a bit of a mess I have to concede but it does roughly represent the accepted usage names of areas. What would be better ?

  47. JamesBass says:

    East Dulwich was, and to some extent still is, a distinct and separate village from Dulwich. North Dulwich station is on the northern edge of the area known as Dulwich and simlarly, West Dulwich is at the western edge of Dulwich. East Dulwich is at the northern edge of East Dulwich. Hence the stations aren’t as illogically named as they appear at first glance.

  48. Malcolm says:

    Canterbury West station is near the West Gate. Canterbury East station is not. Simple?

  49. Greg Tingey says:

    Then there is the one I unaccountably missed … Acton (!)

    Both Pedantic & J Bass …
    You both seem to be forgetting (which suprises me wrt Pedantic) that these stations used to belong to different companies.
    LBSCR vs LCDR in Dulwich; SER vs LCDR in both Canterbury & Maidstone; & as for Acton … well: GWR, N&SWJnR, M-DR, M-DR/N&SWJnR(Jt), &, of course, the johnny-come-lately of the CLR extension as pursued by the LPTB. ( Don’t think I’ve missed any! )
    Why it hasn’t been sorted since, especially by the Southern, beats me.

    Reminds me of Lady Bracknell in “the Importance of being Ernest” … “The SIDE is irrelevant!” – referring, of course, to that when the play was written; to get from one side of Victoria to the other, one had to go out the front of the building ….

  50. JamesBass says:

    The history of different ownership is very apparent in Dulwich and East Dulwich with the legacy of service patterns and the lack of an interchange between the two principal lines running through the area. I’m sure there are reasons, (not least amongst them short-term penny pinching and lack of long-term vision,) which mean that the these two lines and many others in South London and beyond have not been provided with decent interchange provision.

    I’m in danger of going off topic into the perennial topic of service patterns on inner suburban NR lines in South London, but it would be great if there could be a long-term plan to improve interchange and frequency. Obvious first stages would be with extra platforms at places like Brockley, where one line passes over the platforms of another with no interchange.

  51. Greg, there are times that you shock me with your ignorance.

    The SIDE is irrelevant ? The line is immaterial!

    NO! You seem to be forgetting that these stations used to belong to different companies (which surprises me wrt you). The significant fact is that each company would have had a separate left luggage office.

    Of course the whole point was Jack was desperate to impress Lady Bracknell to whom social status was everything. Having been forced to admit that he was found in a handbag at Victoria station he tries to limit the damage by pointing out that the left luggage office in question served the “Brighton” line which would be more associated with middle class affluence and status than the “Chatham” side of the station which would serve areas that would be considered less prestigious.

    The second part of the joke is not revealed until much later when Miss Prism admits to leaving the baby in her charge many years ago in a left luggage office and exactly which left luggage office she left it at is absolutely crucial.

    Back to the original point. The line is immaterial. The problem is that once a station acquires a name that it gets known by it is difficult to change it without causing confusion.

  52. Malcolm says:

    “.. difficult to change it without causing confusion”

    Dunno about that. LT (or whatever it was called at the time) managed it just fine with CharingCross / Embankment / Strand / TrafalgarSquare.

  53. Greg Tingey says:

    The play (without going & looking it up) states “side” – I think.

  54. Whiff says:

    @ Malcolm – and I, for one, would like to see the Bakerloo station changed back to Trafalgar Square. I think Pedantic has opened up a big can of worms here and the trend for misleading station names continues with even quite recent stations; I’ve never understood why the Underground station attached to Waterloo East was not simply called Waterloo East.

    And for the original off-topic; how about Overground to Honor Oak Park and P4 bus from there as a way to get from North-East London to the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

  55. Greg Tingey says:

    Whiff – which is how I will do it next time …
    The ELL-reopened line hadn’t happened the last time we went.

  56. Howard Thomas says:

    Whiff is right. As a stranger, I have just looked up the area with GE and one might as well call London Bridge ‘Southwark’ as it is at least adjacent to the Cathedral.

  57. timbeau says:

    The exchange is definitely
    “….. the Brighton Line”
    “The line is immaterial”

    More misleading station names – when I used to work at an office with an address in Holborn (the street) we had many annoyed visitors who, ignoring our advioce, had trekked all the way down from Holborn station – passing Chancery Lane station on the way. Why can’t Holborn station be called Kingsway?

    Likewise Tottenham Court Road is one of three stations on that thoroughfare, and is an awfully long way from places at its top end, for which Goodge Street or Warren Street are closer.

    American tourists often ask for “Edgware” when they mean “Edgware Road” – a matter of ten miles, and several fare zones, away .

  58. ChrisMitch says:

    If I remember correctly, the platform roundels at Holborn actually say Holborn (Kingsway).
    Most of the station names were chosen to be short. This is much better than having long descriptive names including all adjacent geographical features.
    In London, an area comes to be known by its closest station (eg Clapham Junction, which is actually in southern Battersea). This may be frustrating for geographical purists, but that’s tough on them – it is a natural evolution of the city.

  59. timbeau says:

    Kingsway would have been a more appropriate name for that station.

    Many interchange stations have this problem – they were named by the first railway to get there, after the street that is crossed by that railway. When an intersecting railway, following that street, arrives, the name becomes ambiguous. So “Holborn” was an appropriate name for the GNPBR station, but not when the Central Line arrived. Conversely, TCR was appropriatye for the CLR station, but the adjacent CCEHR station was originally called Oxford Street – the CCEHR’s Tottenham Court Road station was the next one north, nearer the halfway point of that street.

    The only station that ever had “High Holborn” in its name was Farringdon – between 1922 and 1936.

  60. timbeau says:

    Another example – both the CCEHR and GNPBR had stations called “Strand”, where those lines crossed that thoroughfare. The two stations were nearly a mile apart.

    There are three District Line stations on Cannon Street – andof the three, the one named after the Lord Mayor’s residence is the furthest from it!

    The great upheaval caused by Crossrail, and especially the new entrance some distance away from the eponymous thoroughfare, seems an ideal opportunity to rename TCR with something more logical, and easier to squeeze on the tube map – e.g St Giles, Centre Point or Soho Square.

    As for Holborn – why not just rename it it High Holborn, or (better) Kingsway.

    The modern entrance of Chancery Lane is some distance from the street from which it takes its name – hence “Grays Inn” added to some of its signs – although the original lift shafts were much closer. Maybe “Grays Inn” or “Old Holborn” would be better appropriate.

  61. Anonymous says:

    The vast majority of people know where the stations actually are, so I don’t think it’s worth the cost (new signs, maps, publicity materials, costs for local businesses who name tube stations in their publicity/websites, etc.) And who would the change benefit? A few tourists certainly, otherwise mainly geographical pedants. I agree that many of the names make no sense if one were starting from scratch, but on balance I think the status quo is better than the cost, confusion and upheaval of changing.

  62. Fandroid says:

    To overcome this naming problem in central London (Warren Street used to be Euston Road, Euston Square used to be Gower Street) perhaps road intersections should start getting names of their own eg Centrepoint Place (Tottenham Court Road), Kingsway Plaza (Holborn), Fitzroy Intersection (Warren Street). The latter station faces onto a massive open space which unfortunately is just about all taken up with roads. What a dramatic new square for London that could be!

  63. peezedtee says:

    I am ancient enough that I still think of it as Holborn Kingsway station. People used to call it that, and I am pretty sure it was thus marked on the Tube map. It was only when younger people started laughing at me for calling it that that I realised the name had been shortened.

  64. Littlejohn says:

    @peezedtee 08:41PM, 28th August 2012.

    I have been looking at ‘The Spread of London’s Underground’ (Capital Transport, ISBN 1-85414-277-1). Holborn was renamed Holborn (Kingsway) on 22 May 1933 and was presumably so named on Tube maps issued after that date. This was on the Piccadilly and from 25 September 1933 on the Central when the new platforms opened with the closure of British Museum the day before. Unfortunately a date for the reversion to just Holborn isn’t given. Diagrams showing changes are published in the book in 10-year blocks and the ‘(Kingsway)’ is dropped from the diagram for 1 January 1960 – 31 December 1970, so it could be anytime in those 10 years.

    Can anyone be more precise?

  65. Littlejohn says:

    Sorry – typo. It should read 1 January 1961 – 31 December 1970

  66. Littlejohn says:

    @peezedtee 08:13PM, 29th August 2012

    Looking at the links, it seems that brackets were used for Kingsway in the 1936, 1939 and 1940 maps (not in1933 but this map is dated January), after which they disappeared. This is different to what the Capital book says but of course that isn’t definitive. A slightly different picture emerges from Mr Beck’s Underground Map (Ken Garland, Capital Transport). This shows ‘(Kingsway)’ on a quod royal poster dated 20.3.33 – a good 2 months earlier than previously suggested. A quod royal poster of 1940 (actual date illegible) is illustrated showing Kingsway without the brackets. It is not unknown for different sizes of poster/ pocket diagram to bear different detail but there seems to be no definitive date for when the brackets were removed, or why.

  67. Anonymous says:

    The earlier Station Rd entrance (at no. 7, I think) is shown in photo 28 in Gent & Meredith’s Croydon’s Tramways book in the Middleton Press Tramways Classics series, taken in 1933 when new. The structure and canopy look as if they’ve survived the transition to the Sandwich Express shop shown in Google Streetview pretty well.

  68. Stephen Furley says:

    I was at West Croydon on Saturday, standing on platform 3 waiting for an Overground train, and looking across the tracks to platform 4. A couple of metres North of the recently installed ticket gates there’s the top of a brick arch under the platform, just showing above the ballast. Could this be part of the pre-1928 subway which somebody mentioned? If so, it’s a pity that there’s not room to re-instate it.

  69. Theban says:

    Still no pedestrian crossing between, on one side, the “new” station entrance and tram stop, and on the other side, the bus station.

  70. Graham Feakins says:

    Stephen Furley’s comment is confirmed by Kake’s recent comment with link to a photo on the Southern Brambles thread:

  71. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Theban – the bus station at West Croydon is going to close shortly for rebuilding so don’t expect any changes until the new station is complete and the streetscape is updated.

  72. Kake says:

    To add further to Graham’s reply to Stephen’s question, the subway is also shown in that position on the 1896 Town Plans, which can be viewed online at (there are also physical copies in the Research Room at Croydon Central Library and perhaps — though I haven’t checked — at the British Library).

  73. Graham Pearson says:

    This is an easy way to walk from the bus and tram stop to the platform at West Croydon. In the days I lived in Carshalton the nearest railway stations to me were Hackbridge or Croydon.

  74. RayL says:

    @ WW 15th August 2214 22.49
    The bus station at West Croydon has just reopened. Only managed a quick look when passing on tram and bus yesterday, but there seem to be no LED displays that show when buses will arrive. For a brand new bus station servicing many routes that seems a shocking omission.

    The design has canopies but no real weather protection. However, there is a generous amount of seating.

    Buses that serve Croydon have had their internal passenger information displays augmented with a statement that the new bus station is open.

  75. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Ray L – thanks. Yes I know the bus station has reopened. It was a couple of weeks later than initially suggested but at least it’s done now. I’ve seen some photos. I’m not really convinced about the design in terms of adequate weather protection but TfL is extremely reluctant to build enclosed bus stations these days or to provide full weather protection. I’ve no idea why this is.

    It is standard TfL practice *not* to install Countdown displays at stops in bus stations. Some have a vertical display unit with a VDU screen – usually near the entrances where passengers will typically enter. We have two at Walthamstow Bus Stn and there is one at Vauxhall. I think someone has said on another forum that WC has one of these units.

    I’m not much of a fan of these displays as they often don’t display all routes or all departures and are prone to inaccuracy (as is Countdown itself) with buses terminating / standing or where controllers instruct drivers to run oos to regain their timetable. That’s based on trying to use the Walthamstow signs. As I say that’s a system issue and there’s no easy answer to fixing it within the current system design. I don’t believe TfL will ever install any extra Countdown displays – they have refused to do so for years. They may move existing signs between stops or reinstall ones removed during works but they won’t install extra signs at stops. There have been endless Mayor’s Questions on this and the answer has been “no”. Third parties can pay for a VDU to be installed and linked up to the relevant data for places like hospitals, colleges, libraries etc. I think the assumption by TfL is that everyone will use their own phone to access the data at their own cost. No need for any righteous indignation from anyone on this point – it’s just how things are for a wide range of TfL data. I don’t really like it but I can’t see any change given the budgetary pressures TfL face.

  76. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Sadly, I fear that they plan not to make unpaid waiting areas too comfortable in order not to attract the wrong type. Unfortunate but I can’t really see a better solution. The real issue with the former bus station (in my opinion) was not really that it was unsuitable for bus travellers but that it attracted “others” who potentially made the experience of catching a bus there less than pleasant.

  77. Southern Heights (Light Railway) says:

    @PoP: That was my initial idea as well…. It’s a shame that people in a this day and age would need to use a bus station as accommodation and that this therefore needs to be redesigned to make this unattractive…

    However I do think it’s a shame that TfL don’t put countdown screens at bus stations, When I arrive at my home station in the evening, I have a choice: a 12 minute walk or 5 minute bus ride, unless I see a bus at the ready, I will choose to walk…. But 30 seconds after I’ve passed the bus station, one could fire up it’s engine and head off, there’s no way for me to tell quickly. And fiddling around with the phone whilst walking and dealing with queues and barrier is not really an option…

  78. Jim Adlam says:

    I used to be a big fan of accessing live bus departures from the TfL website on my phone. Having a certain page bookmarked, anywhere in London, one just typed in the five-digit code shown on the stop flag, and the countdown information would appear instantly.
    However, in recent months, the live bus departures side of the website has been completely changed and is much harder and slower to use, in my opinion. Instead of the five-digit code, I have to type in the stop name and search for it (except the database doesn’t seem to recognise some names, such as that of my local stop), or I can search by route number if I’m waiting for just one route, but the new site seems to have a compatibility problem with my phone and pressing the links sometimes refuses to work, or the page jumps just as I’m pressing it, so that I select the wrong stop, or the wrong direction. It used to be so easy!

  79. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Southern Heights,

    Not just as accommodation but the environment was slightly threatening as what was going on inside was not always visible from the outside and if a situation started developing that you were not comfortable with then your escape options were limited.

    Also, Croydon police will tell you that Croydon is a favourite for gangs as it is so easily accessible to get in and get out again. So, if coming by bus, an obvious place to hang around to wait for your mates was the bus station.

    As always the perceived threat and fear of crime was probably not borne out in the crime statistics but it must have put people off from waiting for a bus there.

  80. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ PoP – you are probably correct and, of course, TfL runs 24 hour services at all (?) of its main bus stns so the buildings can’t be closed off. Many cities and towns now have fairly plush bus stns but the lack of evening and night bus services means they can be locked up and not become overnight shelters for the homeless. Putting the question of social policy to one side it does seem unfortunate that bus passengers have to tolerate the cold, howling gales and rain, snow and ice as a consequence. It’s not exactly attractive and a fair number of routes in Croydon are not that frequent in the early mornings or evenings so people may have longish waits.

  81. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Jim Adlam,

    I am a great fan of bus departures on mobile phone. The procedure is: locate phone on person, switch on, wait, swipe to try and get it to respond, find app, tap option, try to tap in the name of my stop, remember I should have selected the “nearby” option, try that…

    During this period the bus almost invariably arrives and I have been occupied rather than having to wait in frustration for the bus.

  82. timbeau says:

    And of course Countdown never runs out of battery or credit, or gets left at home.

  83. Alexandra says:

    What time does this entrance close, please? I keep missing buses because it’s close in the evening or because I don’t know what time it is open until. Don’t want to go all the way there and see it closed.

  84. TJ says:

    Another reason for the design of the Bus station can be seen if you arrive around 2.45pm onwards on a school day… different groups of school children, groups of young people in black coats with faces obscured, heavy police presence etc.

    I suspect the crime statistics are helped by the lack of arrests… and if the crime is not reported…

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