Funding secured for new station footbridge at St Neots

The Department for Transport has pledged a further £1m funding to replace the footbridge at St Neots station.

The programme, due to be delivered by March 2014, will see the current station footbridge demolished and replaced with a ‘larger and disabled-friendly bridge, which connects the new Love Farm housing development and station car park directly to the platforms’.

The £1m comes from the Department for Transport’s Access for All Programme.

The Access for All Programme is part of the Railways for All Strategy to address the issues faced by disabled passengers using railway stations in the UK.

Central to the Strategy is the ring-fencing of £35m funding per year, until 2015, for provision of a disabled friendly, accessible route to and between platforms at priority stations.

This is in addition to a pre-secured £3.5m local authority Section 106 fund.

David Statham, Projects Director, at FCC said:

“The extra £1.5m will make a real difference to this project. We have some time to go before we are ready to start construction but I can promise our customers that the wait will certainly be worth it.

“The new footbridge will connect the Love Farm housing development directly to the station, which will come as a huge relief to the new home owners as they will no longer have to commute via the station entrance on the other side of the tracks.”

Councillor Jason Ablewhite, Executive Leader of Huntingdonshire District Council said:

“On behalf of the District Council and particularly the people of St. Neots, I would especially like to thank the partners who have been working so hard on this project behind the scenes over a considerable period of time, including First Capital Connect and Network Rail as well as officers at both my own Council and at Shire Hall.

“I know we have all shared a sense of frustration in waiting to see this essential upgrade actually happen but this fantastic award, together with the substantial development funding already in place from Love’s Farm, will now make this scheme a reality and give much added value.

“In planning ahead in anticipation of such funding being made available, much design work has already been completed and the District Council has the necessary contractual arrangements already in place with Network Rail to move forward the project forward immediately and therefore all the partners, including the Love’s Farm developer JJ Gallagher, will finalise this work in the coming 12-months when I am sure the earliest possible delivery date will then be announced by Network Rail.

“What is particularly pleasing is that this will help connect the Love’s Farm development with the rail station as well as St. Neots itself and also, with the current works underway at Huntingdon rail station, and these at St. Neots now becoming a reality, the District will have both its rail stations fit for purpose for the 21st century which is a real boost for our local economy as well as both facilities at last becoming fully accessible for everyone.”

Phil Verster, Network Rail route managing director, said:

“Providing easier access and better facilities at stations is a vital part of building a bigger and better railway. The improvements to St Neots will bring long-lasting benefits for passengers.”

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