The Northampton Rail Users Group met earlier today to discuss proposals for Northampton’s new £20 million railway station.
Plans for the development went on display at the Grosvenor Centre on Monday and most people welcomed the new-look station, which features a glass structure on one side and a number of shops inside.
Chris Garden, director of regeneration at the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation, who are heading the train station project, attended the meeting to outline the plans for the station, which include three phases.
He said phase one would be the new station building, phase two would be a multi-storey carpark to replace the exisiting surface level carpark, which would be dedicated to rail users, and phase three would be a development on the land left where the former carpark was.
He said the location would be a very important one for the development of Northampton’s enterprise zone and investment in the town centre.
He added that plans for the railway station aim to double the capacity it can cater for and provide better facilities for passengers.
Northampton South MP Brian Binley, who chaired the NRUG meeting, which took place at the Guildhall, raised some concerns about the proposals.
He said: “I think the taxi access to the station needs to be looked at again. We have got to get that right.
“The road layout and bus connectivity also need to be looked at. We have also got to ensure that people can park their bikes safely and securely.
“I am also concerned about how passengers with luggage and with children and buggies will enter the station.”
He said London Midland, who provide the service, shouldn’t be the main ones to decide the structure of the new station and how it will work.
He said: “They won’t be with us forever but the station hopefully will be serving this town for the next 80 to 100 years.”
Work on the new station is expected to start in May andbe complete by Autumn 2014.