Harlow Town station celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special event on Friday 30 July to mark the completion of a major upgrade of the station. The station has been transformed through a partnership between National Express East Anglia (NXEA), Harlow Renaissance and Essex County Council, as part of a £390k investment project to renew and improve the station buildings and environment, and provide easier access for customers. Every effort has been made to retain the unique features of this iconic Grade II Listed Building whilst renewing customer facilities to modern-day standards.
Work has taken place to open up and refurbish the station over-bridge which previously housed a small waiting area and the former parcel depot. The area has been renewed with new floor tiles, panelled and re-decorated walls and ceiling, and new lighting, with the colour scheme being chosen to reflect the station’s original paintwork. There are two new waiting areas, timetable boards and a display of station memorabilia. The original mosaic tiles have been retained and their appearance refreshed. In keeping with its history, display boards will be kept to a minimum to reflect the clean sharp lines of the refurbishment. The new works will provide improved access to the station platforms and passenger lifts for disabled customers and for those with pushchairs and heavy luggage. The external canopies and fascia boards at the front of the station have been replaced and renewed, and new parking bays for disabled passengers have been provided adjacent to the station forecourt.
To complete the transformation of Harlow Town station, NXEA has completed a separate £3m investment – as part of the company’s Service Improvement Plan – in a new multi-storey car park, constructed by Bourne Parking which will be officially opened as part of the station celebratory event, increasing car park capacity at Harlow by 300 spaces to 700.
The station and car park was officially re-opened by Robert Halfon MP for Harlow, and entertainment at the station to celebrate the upgrade and its 50th anniversary featured the Harlow Steel Band.
Mark Phillips, Deputy Managing Director of NXEA said:
“We have been delighted to work in partnership with Harlow Renaissance and Essex County Council on the improvement scheme at Harlow Town and with Bourne Parking to construct the new car park which together has totally transformed the station. I am very grateful for the support of our partners which has enabled this project to proceed.”
Andrew Bramidge, Chief Executive of Harlow Renaissance said:
“As a gateway into Harlow, the station presents the first image many visitors will have of the town therefore its appearance is of the upmost importance to help deliver a positive and welcoming impression. Over the past 50 years hundreds of thousands of people have come through the station doors and we are incredibly pleased that the partnership has been able to retain the character and essence of this Listed Building, whilst at the same time improving the travel experience for everyone who passes through.”
County Councillor Norman Hume, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation at Essex County Council added:
“I am delighted with the refurbishment of Harlow Town station – it is a testament to the successful working partnership between Essex County Council, National Express East Anglia and Harlow Renaissance. This project demonstrates our commitment to improving Harlow’s transport networks; providing residents, commuters and visitors with an enhanced travel experience whether by rail or road.”