Construction work has officially started on a new car park at Manea railway station following a turf-cutting ceremony.
Fenland District Council, developer Danaher & Walsh, rail representatives and other key partners involved in the project marked the start of the initial groundwork on site this week (Tuesday, 21 September).
The car park is being built on land north of the station with a new access from Fodder Fen Road and footpath to the station. Once complete, the car park will offer over 100 car parking spaces including disabled parking bays. The scheme will also provide a new cycle shelter, CCTV and low energy lighting, enhanced drainage infrastructure, and there will also be bird and bat nest boxes installed in the area.
The car park is just one of many regeneration schemes for the district's stations being delivered through Fenland District Council's Railway Station Masterplans project, funded by £9.5million from the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, led by Mayor Dr Nik Johnson, and support from Greater Anglia.
Cllr Chris Seaton, Fenland District Council's Cabinet Member for Transport and Chairman of the Fenland Stations Regeneration Project Board, said: "A car park at Manea station has been talked about for many years, so I'm delighted that it is now finally under way.
"The facility will be a great asset to Manea and surrounding villages, providing residents with improved connections and better access to sustainable travel options. Hopefully it will get more people out of their cars and using our railways instead, for all or part of their journey."
Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, said: "This will make rail travel a viable option for more people from more areas of Fenland, help cut long and wearying car commutes, and bring exciting job options within reach. Letting the train take the strain is good for people's health and for pushing back on climate change.
"We've got big plans for transport in Fenland - linking communities in a sustainable hop-on hop-off travel network built around people's needs - which will offer car users frequent, local, and reliable alternatives for their journeys."
The car park construction works are due to last for approximately 12 weeks. Once finished, the long-term management of the car park will be handed over to Manea Parish Council which has been heavily involved in its plan and design.
The Parish Council and Manea villagers are also planning to bury a time capsule on site to mark the completion of the car park when it is formally opened later this year.