South West Trains, working in partnership with Network Rail and Southampton City Council have announced the start of a £3 million scheme to bring passenger improvements to Southampton Central station. The scheme, which will be delivered in phases, will provide a completely refurbished station with improved facilities for passengers including a new station entrance, a new enlarged booking hall and waiting room, new shops and passenger toilets.
The first phase of the work, now completed, will see the completion of a brand new ticket office and a new retail unit, which will open in September.
The next phase will see the renovation of the station building to include a new platform entrance, a new enlarged booking hall and a bright waiting room with natural light and new passenger toilets. This will also include new and replacement waiting shelters and canopies.
South West Trains Managing Director Andy Pitt, said: “We are really pleased to be working with Network Rail and Southampton City Council to deliver this £3 million investment programme. This is great news for passengers using Southampton Central, with the station becoming much more inviting with larger and brighter spaces, a fresh look and new facilities. The new entrance will provide a new gateway to the city and we hope to see more people choosing our trains as their favourite mode of transport.”
Richard O’Brien, Network Rail’s route director for Wessex, said: “Good rail links are vital for connecting people and businesses. Passengers in Southampton rely on rail to make almost 6m journeys every year reflecting the importance of the railway to the community and local economy. This major upgrade of Southampton Central station will make a big difference to local people, making the railway an easier and more attractive way to travel.”
Councillor Matthew Dean, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Southampton City Council has long campaigned for an improved station and I am delighted that this is now moving forward. We are pleased to contribute £800,000 to help make this happen.
The train station is used by thousands of residents, visitors and business men and women every day. It is vital that those passengers get the best possible customer experience, which then gives them the right impression of Southampton.”
The station will be completely accessible for all passengers, with a ramp providing access at the new entrance and a lower ticket counter.
Works are due for completion in late 2011. During the work period, all train services will remain unchanged and station facilities will be open to minimise disruption for passengers.