West Croydon has gained an upgraded bus station, and seems to have taken its inspiration from old steam engines and tree houses.

The old tired bus station next to West Croydon railway station closed two years ago to permit the redevelopment, which cost £4.5 million and offers a 21 percent increased capacity.


© TfL

The upgraded station will serve 25 bus routes and 150 buses per hour at peak times, with 23,000 passengers able to use it every day.


© TfL

What makes it look good though is the detailing that’s gone into the design. The brickwork is at a human scale, and the considerable use of wood softens the design.

What works for me though is that although made of wood, the roof arches almost look like rusting metals from old steam engines.

It’s a curious blend, and a delightful change from the use of utilitarian concrete and blue painted metal that has dominated railway upgrades in recent years.


© TfL

The new bus station was designed by TfL’s in-house team, although I do wonder how durable those wooden seats will be when faced with the reality of grime and petty vandalism.


© TfL


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  1. AndyB says:

    Just wondered why it took so long to build, 2 years? I’ve seen housing estates go up quicker.

    • Gary McIver says:

      But there are not 23,000 passengers a day and 150 bus routes going through a potential housing estate when it is being worked on, is there?…….

    • AndyB says:

      It’s been closed to passengers for 2 years & most services were diverted away.

  2. Andrew S says:

    …and surely the roof could have been brought out much closer to the edge of the kerb? That’s a big gap to cross when it’s pouring down with rain.

  3. Charles King says:

    It does look very nice, the wood is very appealing. It’s just that this is completely at odds with the mass of grey, or silver, steel and aluminium used in the tramstop just across the road, only a few metres away. An integrated design would have suggested an integrated travel service. As it is, they couldn’t be more different. Bit of a shame.

  4. B Howard says:

    I would like to know if the 407 410 455 buses go to the new bus station like they did before?

  5. re: durability of the wooden seats. The new Crossrail seats will be wooden, and made from Kebony (see http://www.crossrail.co.uk/route/design/prototyping-refining-design-every-step-of-the-way / http://kebony.com ) – I suspect they might actually be more durable than any form of painted metal surface?

    The wooden seats on the outdoor platforms on the Overground seem to have lasted pretty well so far.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The construction time was actually only 9 months, starting in January. Prior to this the time was spent on demolition and tendering for the new build contractor. Also, the reason why the ‘wood’ looks like rusty metal is because it is rusty metal, better known as Corten.

  7. Mike says:

    Why couldn’t they tender for the new build contractor before they knocked down the old bus station, so that it was out of action for less time?

    And how come a brand new bus station has no “next bus” information? Even bus stops have it if they are busy enough.

  8. Mike kinswell says:

    The structure is all handmade from corten weathering steel and is made by what must be an extremely skilled workshop as to get that all to fit together must have been a challenge…. What lemon thought it was wood…. It’s a great looking art architecture piece and whoever made to steel work needs an award

  9. Nigel Couchman says:

    Thanks for those kind words Mike Kinswell.
    I am the workshop manager in charge of the team of guys that made those many intricate pieces, and each one was a pleasure to fabricate. The fact that all of those pieces fit together is a testament to the great team of fabricators,workshop staff, and installation crew that we have. I shall be showing them your post first thing Monday morning as I know they will appreciate your comments.

    • Rudy says:

      Hi Nigel, a great work indeed. What’s the name of the company if I may ask? I may be involved in a similar job in the near future.

  10. Tiffer says:

    Sorry, I just don’t like it. Its old fashioned and looks completely out of place in Croydon town center though it may look ok in some leafy village. How can anyone like that it has been deliberately covered in rust. The same effect could have been achieved by purchasing a couple of garden sheds and a few park benches for a lot less money. Why could it not look more like Hammersmith Bus Station?

  11. Andrew Jarman says:

    Remember when it was just all of those aluminum metal poled shelters in narrow islands in the 60’s and 70’s!

  12. Jasmine says:

    It is ridiculous that there is no electronic updates of bus arrivals – that is very glaring ommision, especially as the most basic bus stop on the high road has this information. Perhaps the millions spent on the project didn’t stretch to this basic necessity.

  13. Nigel Couchman says:

    Hi Rudy, The company is B&W Engineering of Aylesford, Kent

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