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Rail revamp is on track

Major work to transform Bognor Regis railway station is due to start soon.

 

The £1.8m scheme is scheduled to begin early next year after being initially scheduled to start last summer.

 

A Southern Railway spokesman said the project manager had confirmed the preparations were well underway.

 

“The contract is out for tender and we have every intention of starting the project in January,” he said.

 

The work will involve the biggest changes to the station in decades.

 

It will see the Edwardian building, which is a Grade II listed structure because of its historic importance to the town, brought into the 21st century.

 

A waiting room, a new restaurant and a creative hub are part of the extensive proposals which received planning permission and listed building consent from Arun District Council last year.

 

Trevor Tupper, the Coastway representative for the West Sussex Rail Users’ Association, welcomed the imminent start of the works.

 

“This programme has been going on for years. The Station Square was completed out the front last year but the rest of the station is almost like a mausoleum in there.

 

“They need to pull it apart and start again because it’s a good, solid building. It will be good to see the cafe back in use,” he said.

 

The work is likely to take eight months to complete. Some will be carried out at nights and weekends to keep disruption to the million-plus annual total of passengers to a minimum.

 

Extensive works to the station’s facade will see items renewed, repaired and the extensive brickwork cleaned.

 

The granite-style flooring will be replaced with more anti-slip tile effect flooring.

 

The bookstall is going to swap places with the ticket office and the taxi office will be moving to stay next to the bookstall.The pavilion-style frontage of the cafe will be kept .

 

Passengers getting on and off trains will pass through a gateline restored to its original design. The current partition will be taken down and replaced with a wooden picket fence with metal railings in between.

 

A waiting room will be created in the empty room opposite the current ticket office. Another empty area will become a creative hub in a joint project with the University of Chichester and West Sussex County Council. The latest session about this project took place on Tuesday.

 

Funding for the work will come from the Department for Transport.

 

Cllr Paul Wells said: “This investment into the station is good news. It is the point of entry to the town for many people and serves as an important gateway.”

Posted in Community.