Major improvement works to create a step-free route between the entrance and all four platforms at Harpenden station is set to start. The £4.6m project includes the installation of a new footbridge, replacing the current one, with three new passenger lifts and stairs to the four platforms. As part of improvements to the station, the ticket gateline on platform one will be relocated to allow a better flow of passengers through the station and a new canopy will be installed on platform one.
Network Rail is also planning to invest £2.1m to increase the number of car parking spaces at the station by more than 200 through the construction of a single deck above the existing east side car park. There are currently 456 parking spaces on this side of the station.
This follows the improvements that were made at Easter when the car park was resurfaced and 36 additional spaces created. It is anticipated that this scheme will also help to address the issues around capacity for taxi parking at the station.
Martin Frobisher, Network Rail route managing director, said: “Improving access to stations is an important part of building a bigger and better railway. We want people to make their journeys by train, so need to make our stations as easy to use as possible. The new lifts and footbridge will achieve this and help to better meet the needs of passengers and businesses at Harpenden. The investment we are going to make to increase the number of car parking spaces is also great news for passengers as we know there is a high demand for spaces.”
First Capital Connect customer services director, Keith Jipps, said: “We are delighted that funding has been secured to create a much-needed parking solution for Harpenden customers. We have already done much to improve the east side station car park with a new surface and better lighting earlier this year and more improvements will follow on the other side of the tracks later this year.
“The new station footbridge with lifts will be a huge improvement for customers with buggies, heavy luggage or disabilities and we’re pleased to be taking the opportunity to further extend canopies and add new waiting shelters on platform one.”
Network Rail and First Capital Connect have been in close consultation with St Albans and City District Council and Hertfordshire County Council highways department on the decked car park scheme. If planning approval is granted, work could start as early as January 2013 with the car park opening by the autumn of that year.