The hub aims to encourage users not to use their cars
Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) has announced that it has secured a £2.219 million grant for the development of an integrated transport hub at Flitwick Rail Station.
The project aims to provide a more efficient way to link different modes of transport (bus, rail, car, cycling) together to encourage the transition away from driving to the station.
The council with its partners Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) developed proposals that, the group said, will “radically improve” how the station functions. The proposals included:
- A redeveloped station forecourt with new pedestrian, cycle and vehicle access
- New passenger drop-off and dedicated taxi areas
- A public transport interchange with three bus stops, passenger waiting areas, including real time departure information
- Improvements to Steppingley Road, including vehicle access to both the station and Tesco opposite
- Dedicated facilities for Center Parcs Woburn passenger collection and drop off
The digital infrastructure around the station will also be updated so information for all forms of public transport will be displayed on live departure boards.
There are also plans for the landscaping and planting of the site, to incorporate attenuation rain gardens. The carbon reduction metrics for this are around 103 tonnes of CO2.
Cllr Ian Dalgarno, CBC executive member for Community Services, said:
“The integrated transport hub will make joined up public transport simpler, easier and a much more pleasant experience and the scheme also aims to encourage more cycling to the station with safe and secure cycle racks.”
Improving accessibility is part of another programme
This project will not provide step free access to the platforms. Improving accessibility at the station is part of another programme, called Access for All. Paul McKeown, investment director for Network Rail, said:
“We know how important work to improve accessibility at Flitwick station is for passengers and the local community.
“Planning and development work is ongoing, following the Government’s announcement in March 2020 that a project at Flitwick station would be funded as part of the Access for All Programme.
“We are working with the Department for Transport to deliver a project which will include the installation of lifts at the station as soon as possible.”
Planning application due to be submitted by the end of August
The grant is the result of a collaboration between the council and the South East Midlands Local Economic Partnership (SEMLEP) and has been awarded as part of the Government’s new Getting Building Fund. The funding will be added to the council’s existing investment in this scheme which, combined, will total in excess of £4 million.
SEMLEP Chief Executive, Hilary Chipping, said:
“The Flitwick scheme further improves connectivity and will assist achieving sustainable growth as well as providing jobs as we strive to recover economically from this pandemic.”
A spokesperson for SEMLEP told the Chronicle that alongside the immediate station, the scheme will also enable regeneration of the wider station area on owned by the Council and Network Rail.
Adding that there are no proposals for the latter at present but it will open up and opportunity for brownfield site regeneration there at a later date.
The scheme will form the basis of a planning application which is due to be submitted by the end of August. Construction of the hub is scheduled to be completed by March 2022.