Loughborough station’s £8 million improvement scheme has been officially unveiled, with local MP Nicky Morgan joining forces with Network Rail, Charnwood Borough Council and East Midlands Trains to celebrate the official completion of the scheme.
The station has been revamped into a brighter, more spacious and fully accessible travel hub, providing a welcoming environment for visitors and athletes travelling between Loughborough and London for the 2012 Games, and to provide long term benefits for all passengers using Loughborough station.
Improvements to the station and surrounding area include:
· New footbridge and lifts providing step-free access to all platforms
· Extended platforms capable of accommodating 10-carriage trains (the previous platforms would only accommodate a train with five carriages)
· Newly paved forecourt and car park as part of Charnwood Borough Council’s Eastern Gateway project
· New cycle parking, refurbished toilets and waiting rooms
· New ticket vending machines, updated customer information screens, new signage and booking hall improvements
· Refurbishment of platform canopies
The work has been completed through a successful partnership between East Midlands Trains, Network Rail and Charnwood Borough Council.
Nicky Morgan, MP for Loughborough, said: “As a frequent user of the Loughborough station, I think all the improvements are terrific. It is particularly good news that we can now get on and off along the whole length of the trains.
“The planters and new car park layout really add brilliant aesthetics and appeal to the appearance of the station, and I am especially impressed by the changes focussed on improving the ease of access for disabled passengers”.
“The completion of the improvements come at a perfect time, with Loughborough at the heart of the Olympics, hosting Team GB and Team Japan for the duration of the event,” she said.
Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, added: “Stations are vital gateways to the towns they serve and Loughborough is now one of which we can be very proud. Network Rail has delivered significant improvements to allow longer trains to stop here in order to allow more people to travel on the railway in the East Midlands.
“The additional works we have completed make that journey easier, through provision of cycle parking, new information screens and better access around the station. It is also a much more worthy gateway to the town with improved facilities and canopies.
“The Olympics will be an important time for Loughborough so it was essential these works finished on time. The partnership between the organisations involved has been a great success. I would thank passengers for their patience during the works.”
Tim Sayer, director for East Midlands Trains, said: “The completion of the improvement scheme will deliver some real benefits for commuters using Loughborough station, and we’re very pleased to have played our part in this scheme.
“The extended platforms mean that our passengers will be able to get on and off our trains much more easily and without having to move to a different part of the train. We’re already the UK’s most punctual train operator and this should help us to improve our performance even further by providing better access onto our trains.
“The station provides a real focal point for the town and these improvements to passenger facilities will offer an excellent gateway for people travelling during the 2012 Games and in the years to come.”
David Slater, leader of Charnwood Borough Council, said: “What I love about this project is that it demonstrates brilliantly what can be achieved when many agencies, each with their own priorities and pressures, come together to achieve a common goal.
“Because of that extraordinary team work, we have been able to come a long way in a relatively short space of time.
“I want to thank everyone involved in this project for their hard work in turning this once rundown part of town into this modern, welcoming gateway to Loughborough and Charnwood.”