South Londoners regularly complain that there aren’t enough train and Tube stations in their part of the capital as there are in the north. What’s got to hurt more is knowing that some areas in South London that desperately need a train or Tube station actually used to have one, only for it to be shut down.
One such area is Addiscombe, in the London Borough of Croydon. The area is currently only served by a tram that runs between Wimbledon and Beckenham Junction, but once upon a time it had its own railway station.
In fact, the station was located exactly where the Addiscombe tram stop is located today. The station was known as Bingham Road Halt, and was only open for a total of nine years.
Bingham Road Halt was opened on Bingham Road, between Coombe Lane and Woodside, in 1906 as part of the South Eastern Railway. It was built with the intention of enticing passengers to use the equally short-lived Woodside and South Croydon Joint Railway.
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Bingham Road Halt did not have a permanent building structure
The station was built at the same time as Spencer Road Halt, between Selsdon Road and Coombe Lane. Bingham Road Halt, which consisted of two platforms made out of old timber railway sleepers, was particularly well-used and saw a gradual improvement in passenger numbers.
But despite the station’s popularity, commuter numbers were not able to offset its losses of £2,000 a year. During the First World War, the UK had to make cuts to services that were not deemed necessary in order to support its war budget, meaning that keeping Bingham Road Halt open could no longer be financially justified.
So, in 1915, the railmotor service running through the station was withdrawn, and the station fell into disuse. Some trains still ran on the line, stopping at Coombe Lane and Selsdon Road stations, but this too ceased in 1916 and the entire line was closed to the public.
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In 1935, a new station was built on the south side of Bingham Hill, and was named Bingham Road Station. This time it was an actual station rather than a simple train halt.
The station failed to make enough of an impact to keep running a regular service to London. The Saturday service was halted in 1967, and by 1976 the station was only serving passengers travelling between Sanderstead and Elmers End.
The station was permanently closed in May 1983 and then demolished a year later. But at the turn of the century, new public demand for better transport in the area in and around Croydon led to the fruition of the London Trams line, previously known as Tramlink.
This included a new route to Beckenham through Addiscombe, which was constructed on the north side of Bingham Road where the halt was once based.
In honour of the road’s past, the new tram stop was actually going to take the name of its defunct predecessor. Instead, it was named Addiscombe after the closure of British Rail’s Addiscombe Station in 1997.
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