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17.10.18

Network Rail starts consultation to remove worst rail bottleneck in UK

Network Rail has announced a public consultation into proposals for a major rail upgrade to the ‘Croydon bottleneck’ on the Brighton Main Line, known as Britain’s worst railway bottle-neck.

The public has been invited to give their opinions on the bottle-neck which causes regular delays and disrupts up to 300,000 passengers who travel on the line each day.

Network Rail said that the Croydon area is “by far the busiest and most congested part of Britain’s rail network,” with 30% more passengers passing through daily than London Euston and King’s Cross combined.

Train punctuality on the Brighton Main Line is also the lowest of any major route “as the bottleneck magnifies the impact” of even minor incidents.

The proposals under scrutiny would see additional tracks added to the line, extra platforms, and modernisation of the East Croydon station.

A series of new railway flyovers would also replace the current “spaghetti junction” near the station, all aiming to speed up journey times and enable more trains to run on the line.

The Network Rail route managing director for the south east, John Halsall, said that train performance on the Brighton Main Line has been below the expected level for too long.

He said: “Removing the Croydon bottleneck is the only practical way to provide the step-change in reliability and capacity that passengers and businesses in Sussex so desperately want to see.

“We want as many people as possible to take part in this consultation, either online or at one of our events, so we can make sure our proposal delivers a genuine transformation in rail services for passengers, businesses and communities in one of the most economically important parts of the country.”

The consultation will be open from 5 November to 17 December.

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