TURNING East Croydon into a more welcoming gateway to the town is behind a £5.4 million improvement project which gets under way in just over a week's time.
The overall project is part of the Connected Croydon programme and takes in the area around East Croydon Station and along George Street to Wellesley Road.
The work is a collaboration between Croydon Council, the Mayor of London, Transport for London (TfL) and Network Rail.
The first phase will include improving pedestrian access to the station and enhancing the street environment with new pavements along George Street, between the station and Wellesley Road.
It is also intended to improve crossings at the junction of George Street and Wellesley Road, making it easier for pedestrians to reach the town centre.
The work, starting on January 19, is expected to last until December and the council is warning pedestrians will face disruption, with one side of the George Street pavements being closed at a time while renovation work takes place.
The second phase of the work, starting later in the year, will include the creation of a new pedestrian area on Billinton Hill, next to the station, and improved connections between the station and tram and bus stops.
The taxi rank and public drop-off and pick-up points are also to be upgraded.
Councillor Kathy Bee, the council's cabinet member for environment and transport, said: "At the moment, people are coming out of what is not exactly a brilliant station to an area of congestion and confusion, and that does not create a good impression.
"East Croydon is the number one entrance to the town and with most people arriving on foot we need that to be a more positive experience than it is at the moment.
"This project is about making it more comfortable and easier for people when they arrive in Croydon and less of a chore to use George Street."
Cllr Bee added: "While we appreciate there will be some short-term disruption for those using the station, the long-term benefits are huge, and will see vast improvements to the area around the station."
David Rowe, head of borough projects and programmes at TfL, said: "We are delighted that our funding will help transform the areas around the main entrance to East Croydon Station, making it more attractive and easier for passengers to use.
"Improved pedestrian ways and better connections between the train, bus and tram will significantly improve access to the station, as well as help to boost the local economy."
People will be able to get more information about the plans at an open event being held on the East Croydon Station forecourt on Monday (January 12).
The event runs from 4pm to 8pm.