Plans have been drawn up to rename East Croydon rail station as Croydon Central.

Croydon Council has held talks with Network Rail and is to push for the switch, which it hopes will reinforce the station's role as the borough's transport hub. 

Council bosses believe the new name, alongside existing plans to install two new platforms, could help position Croydon as the economic capital of south-east England.

Council leader Tony Newman told the Croydon Guardian: "It is all part of that wider statement about the borough.

"Croydon Central says we are not at the end of some branch line somewhere, we are right in the middle of the busiest rail network in the country.

"It is about saying that we are not going to be that sleepy suburban borough that takes its share of the cuts and quietly goes away.

"We are a much bigger place - we would be the seventh largest city in the country if it was anywhere else other than the edge of London - and I think it's time we started acting like it."

He added: "We have brought it up and Network Rail seemed quite excited by the idea of it. It would be their call ultimately but we have started discussions and it is something we are very serious about."

Any name change would have to be rubber-stamped by the Department for Transport and would prove expensive.

Plans to rebrand Northampton rail station as Northampton Castle to "reflect its heritage" came under fire in April when it emerged new signs and maps would cost £200,000. 

But Nathan Elvery, Croydon Council's chief executive, said East Croydon station's current name "makes no sense whatsoever" and that the switch would boost the borough's economy.

He added: "If you don't start making your mark and being bold about things, it will just carry on and we will be seen as a continued suburb of London rather than the geographical economic hub, which we truly are for London.

"There is more commuter traffic through East Croydon than goes through Paddington and Euston every day combined.

"When you think abouit that, you realise that is major artery for trains. Croydon Central sounds right when you think about it in that sense."

Gavin Barwell, Croydon Central MP, said he did not think the change was necessary.

He added: "I'm not opposed to it but I don't have a strong view for it. It has a pretty high profile as it as and I think people know it's Croydon's main station."

A spokesman for Network Rail said: "Decisions over station namings involve many parties, from operators, to Network Rail and the Department for Transport.

"We're working closely with the council on our plans for the Croydon and we're always happy to talk to them about the name."

Should the change go ahead, it would the second station in the town's history to bear the name Croydon Central. The first opened in Katherine Street in 1868 but closed down three years later.

It reopened in 1886 but last just another four years before shutting for good due to poor usage.

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