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How 'new'are these transport interchanges?

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One aspect of East Croydon station that was missed by your reviewer's report (AJ 29.4.01), is the difficulty in accessing the buses from the station now the tramlines have been introduced.

Obviously, the 'success' of Croydon's trams has been reliant on the fact that Croydon has some of the widest roads in any city centre, but while it is a pleasant ride, the trams quickly come into conflict with pedestrians as the streets narrow.

Not only is the 'new interchange' (a euphemistic term) built on crumbling Victorian substructure, but the trams which parade up and down run on previously derelict railway lines. London's Docklands Light Railway was hailed as a modern infrastructure project in the same way - but was just a brightly painted refurbishment of old tracks and stations.

Perhaps as an ironic commentary on the situation, the new trams in Croydon have all been numbered, the sequence starting with the number of the last tram decommissioned in April 1951. Hardly transport for the new millennium.

Dick Monroe, Beckenham Junction, London

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