Station Footbridge and Improvements
The footbridge is coming... we've still got a bit of a wait, but plans are coming together!
At a recent meeting attended by representatives from Network Rail, First Capital Connect, Gallagher and Hunts District Council, much of what we already knew, or suspected was confirmed. Designs are now in circulation, and work is expected to start in August 2013, with the bridge expected to open in February/March 2014.
We are hoping for some publicity material and drawings to follow.
The bridge is funded from a combination of the Section 106 contribution from Gallagher (£3.2 million) and a grant from the Department of Transport's Access for All scheme (£1 million).
There were originally due to be lifts on both sides, but this design was rejected by Network Rail due to ownership and maintenance issues. The accepted design features ramps on both sides of the railway, with lifts down to the platforms, and stairs on all accesses. The ramps are long but this is to satisfy Network Rail standards in relation to clearance of the overhead electric wires and to comply with the maximum gradients permitted under the disability legislation.
The new bridge will be located to the north of the existing station buildings; access from Love's Farm will be immediately to the south of the service yard for the shops.
Facilities and Access
The bridge will be permanently open to form a pedestrian route from Love's Farm across the railway and will be monitored 24 hours by CCTV.
There will be cycle parking to be provided on Love's Farm side, but no car parking.
It is, of course, anticipated that there might be some problems with commuter car parking. These problems are for Gallagher and, once adopted, for the County Council to resolve as Highways Authority, but LFCA are actively campaigning for this issue to be addressed proactively.
Contractors are expected to be on site in August 2013 with overnight railway closures starting in November 2013, and the bridge expected to be open to the public in February/March 2014.
The project team are trying to avoid having to close the railway too often as this drives up the cost exponentially due to the payments which have to be made to Network Rail. The team is liaising with other line closures to keep costs down and to speed up the project where possible.
There will be some noise and disruption during the course of the works but residents will be advised in advance of what to expect.
Thank you to John Carter for taking notes at the meeting.