Call to smarten up Lowestoft station
PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 June 2013
Archant © 2012
The region’s train operator Abellio will be required to repair and maintain shabby stations, including Lowestoft, rail minister Simon Burns said in Parliament..
Waveney MP Peter Aldous called on the transport minister to negotiate with Greater Anglia, when it extends its franchise contract, to ensure Lowestoft station and its surrounds were smartened up and brought back into full use.
Mr Aldous said that while he welcomed work to improve the transport links at Lowestoft station, more needed to be done.
Suffolk County Council, Waveney District Council and the Greater Anglia operator are already developing a new transport interchange to improve bus, taxi, cycle and pedestrian access at the gateway to the town in a £1 million scheme.
The work includes resurfacing the car park and adjoining land to create an extra 70 marked spaces, redesigning the taxi rank and installing two modern bus shelters with real-time travel information boards.
But Mr Aldous said in the Commons: “Lowestoft station is Britain’s most easterly station, and while welcome work is currently taking place to improve bus interchange facilities, the station itself remains shabby in appearance.
“Will the minister confirm that, as part of the negotiations for the extension of Greater Anglia’s franchise, the government will do all it can to ensure that the station and its surrounds are smartened up and brought back into full use?”
Mr Burns said that although there will be no changes in the requirements for the direct award up until 2016, Abellio would be required to undertake normal repair and maintenance activities and to invest in areas where there is a positive business case.
He said that he fully understood the impression given by Lowestoft station, and he would be drawing Abellio’s attention to it.