December 11 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 16, 2013
A major project to improve transport facilities in Lowestoft has received the ministerial seal of approval.
Transport minister Stephen Hammond officially opened the £1m bus-rail interchange system at the town’s train station this morning.
The interchange is said to provide improve access for train and bus passengers, taxis and other road users in a bid to help cut down on congestion.
The bus-rail interchange has a new bus shelter, which will eventually feature an information screen, and improved wheelchair access, a new taxi rank, more parking spaces and improved traffic management systems.
Today’s unveiling by Mr Hammond was part of the £6.25m Lowestoft Local Links project to boost sustainable modes of transport by getting more people walking, cycling and taking trains and buses to work and which will see a new cycle pedestrian bridge built over Lake Lothing.
After his tour of the interchange Mr Hammond said: “This is good news for Lowestoft and its transport infrastructure. It will make it easier for people to get around by using buses, trains and taxis and improves the quality of lives of people and helps local businesses.
“It is going to make a huge difference for locals.
“There are schemes up and down the country, just like this one, coming to fruition.”
The interchange involved Suffolk County Council, Waveney District Council and train operator Greater Anglia.
Graham Newman, the county council’s portfolio holder for roads and transport, said: “The changes being made will enable us to drastically improve the links between bus and rail travel, allowing for a seamless journey directly into the heart of Lowestoft town centre.
Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, said the interchange as a “great scheme” but it was only “a piece in the jigsaw” of providing a “first class 21st century transport system” for the region.
Stephen Ardley, deputy leader of Waveney District Council, said the interchange now gave a better first impression of the town to visitors.
Andrew Goodrum, Greater Anglia’s customer service director said; “The completion of the modern, new transport interchange for Lowestoft station is a great example of positive partnership working to develop much improved facilities for our customers.”
Future improvements at the station include sheltered secure bike storage spaces and a cycle hire scheme and negotiations are on-poing about opening up the main station building again.
Lowestoft Local Links won approval from the Department of Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund in autumn 2011 and has received funding from the district and county councils.