Car park expansion heralds start of work to rebuild Saxmundham Railway Station
- Credit: Archant
Work has started to expand Saxmundham Railway Station car park as part of the redevelopment of the site following the disastrous fire two years ago.
The car park will be expanded from 18 to 51 spaces as part of the redevelopment of the station which will be left as a single-storey building after the fire in February 2018.
As part of the work there will be several disabled parking bays and motorcycle parking created, all covered by improved CCTV.
It is expected that the work will take a few months to complete and during this time the number of car parking spaces available will be reduced while the work is carried out.
Greater Anglia's Asset Management Director, Simone Bailey, said, "We are very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but it is essential to enable us to carry out the improvements which will really improve this station and benefit those who use it in the long term - and prepare for increased usage in the future as the number of rail passengers continues to grow."
The entire station is currently being restored after it was damaged by fire in 2018.
It is to be remodelled into a single storey building which will incorporate a new waiting room for passengers and a new area for self-serve ticket vending machines, retaining much of the building's historic character.
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The new facilities make use of the previously vacant station building and will have CCTV as well as free Wi-Fi, laptop and phone charging points, comfortable seating and air conditioning in the waiting room.
The work on rebuilding the station is proposed to start in the summer - but there is not yet clear how long it is likely to take to complete.
As part of the project, platform two will also be resurfaced and fully refurbished.
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Saxmundham station is one of the busiest on the East Suffolk Line and over the last five years has seen passenger numbers increase every year from just under 140,000 in 2015 to 165,000 in 2018/19.
As well as serving the growing town of Saxmundham itself, the station is also the nearest rail link for Leiston, Aldeburgh, and Framlingham and the number of passengers is expected to rise over the next few years with new longer trains which have been introduced on the line.