Several East Croydon buildings were evacuated this morning as police carried out a controlled explosion on a suspicious car on Dingwall Road.
Police were called to reports of a vehicle seen with wires hanging from it at 8.46 this morning, opposite Croydon Boxpark.
Specialist officers attended and cordons of up to 200m were installed, which led to the closure of East Croydon train station during morning rush hour, and the suspension of the tram line.
A number of other buildings were also evacuated, including HMRC’s regional centre at 1 Ruskin Square.
Rodney Alexis, business manager at Service Graphics Croydon, close to the scene, said: “It has impacted us. The branch was closed for three and a half hours.
“We couldn’t do anything this morning in terms of getting print jobs out, and a loss of walk-in customers.
“We’re under more pressure to get the work out. Some of the clients are very understanding about the situation and giving us a bit more time.
“Client-wise, I’ll be fine. I’ve lost a bit of money, with certain jobs we couldn’t get out.
“The police are doing their job. Once they established that it wasn’t what they thought it was, they could have reopened the pavement.”
A police robot was brought in, and the Metropolitan Police confirmed a controlled explosion was carried out.
The incident was resolved around 11 this morning, with Southern Rail tweeting that East Croydon station, one of London’s busiest non-terminal stations, reopened at 11.20.
By 1.15 this afternoon, the cordons had been lifted and Boxpark, Nando’s and office businesses were starting to get back to normal.
Many complained that they had work to catch up on, or lost money during this morning’s closure.
Others in the immediate vicinity said safety was a paramount issue amid a heightened terrorist threat following Sunday’s attack in Streatham.
The vehicle, with Romanian number plates, remained at the scene at 2.40 this afternoon. The owner has not been arrested, and police at the scene did not expect any charges to be pressed.
HMRC had no comment to make about today’s incident.