c2c’s new Thorpe Bay ‘smart station’ opened

c2c’s new Thorpe Bay ‘smart station’ opened

National Express train operator c2c completed the refurbishment of Thorpe Bay station today, with the new-look station officially reopened by local MP James Duddridge. Thorpe Bay is c2c’s first ‘smart station’ and the refurbishment, which cost approximately £500k, included:

-      A significantly improved ticket hall, with a more open design to make customers feel welcome and an open counter that is suitable for wheelchair users

-      Extra information screens and video screens for customers, including a dedicated board shaped like a smartphone with travel information on London Underground services for commuters

-      Two additional new ticket machines, which enable customers to buy tickets for the following day and collect pre-booked tickets in addition to tickets for immediate travel, and smart-ticket compatible ready for future improvements

-      A refurbished waiting room, with direct access from the ticket hall introduced

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-      A brighter station with new lighting installed and all the glass panes replaced in the canopy above the station entrance

-      Improved heating and air conditioning within the ticket hall

-      Redecoration and repainting of the station

c2c Managing Director Julian Drury said: “Thorpe Bay is the first of what I hope will be many c2c smart stations - a new concept for the rail industry that breaks down the barriers between customers and staff, and gives passengers more freedom to serve themselves while retaining the traditional booking office option for those who wish to use it. This station has more customer information, more ticket machines, and is ready for smart ticketing when it is introduced, and I hope local residents will be very pleased with the results.”

James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, said: “It’s an enormous privilege to re-open this, my home station. It looks gorgeous inside - airy, light and bright. One of the great things about c2c is they listen to what the community want, and it makes a great first impression for Thorpe Bay.”

Julian and James were joined at the opening by local resident Jim Snelling, 81, who had worked at Thorpe Bay in 1946 and was wearing his old British Rail uniform to mark the occasion. Jim said: “This new look station is absolutely excellent and makes a real change, it’s certainly very different from what I’m used to. We didn’t have moving posters like that in my day, and I wish we had.”

c2c’s consultants for the redesign work were Lambert Smith Hampton, the scheme was designed by BPR Architects, and the work was delivered by Consortia.