Boost for rail commuters as station car park plans steam ahead
Plans to create new car parks at Manea and Whittlesea railway stations have taken a step closer to fruition with the appointment of a specialist contractor to develop the schemes
The new car parks are among the raft of improvements for Fenland stations being delivered through Fenland District Council's Railway Station Masterplans scheme, funded by £9.5 million from the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, led by Mayor James Palmer.
Last month the Council submitted a planning application for the 112-space car park at Manea station, and now Greater Anglia, which manages both Manea and Whittlesea stations, has appointed TTPP Construction Consultants to progress the development and design work for both sites.
Both stations have already seen the installation of new platform waiting shelters through the Combined Authority funding and Section 106 contributions, with platform extensions among the other improvements in the pipeline.
Cllr Chris Seaton, Fenland District Council's Cabinet Member for Transport and Chairman of the Fenland Stations Regeneration Project Board, said: "Encouraging rail travel and making our stations more accessible to local residents, businesses and tourists are key priorities for the Council, our partners and the Hereward Community Rail Partnership, so it's great to see more projects forging ahead.
"We are looking forward to working with TTPP Construction Consultants to deliver this key infrastructure work. The Fenland Stations Regeneration Project plan shows the station car parks will be completed next year, which will make a huge difference to local residents and rail commuters."
Mayor James Palmer of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority said: "It's important that local residents and businesses know they're on the way to getting the benefit of the Combined Authority investment in regeneration. We've put in a lot of money to make rail a more attractive and user-friendly option, with improved facilities across the Fenland stations. The car and cycle parking we've funded will help get 'long haul' commuters off the roads and into the trains, but I shan't stop pushing for the reliable and frequent services that will give rail travel the big boost it needs to coax people on board".
Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs at Greater Anglia, said: "We welcome this further progress in the development of the car parks at Manea and Whittlesea rail stations. We are transforming our railway, with a complete fleet of new trains, which are already operating on our services through Manea and Whittlesea. With a more comfortable travel environment and more seats they are making rail travel an ever more attractive option, especially as it benefits the environment in our wonderful region. While Government advice is currently to avoid public transport, we recognise these developments will be welcomed by customers in the future and we are grateful to Fenland District Council and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority for their support."