Transport group director criticises plans for Northampton’s new railway station

Northampton's current train station
Northampton's current train station

The director of a Northampton transport group has spoken out against plans for the town’s new £20 million railway station.

Paul Withrington, of Transport Watch, said the new train station was a waste of taxpayers’ money and the cost of it would be a £200 tax hit on every household in the town.

He said; “The station is perfectly adequate as it is. I would rather see the money spent on the pot holes on the roads. The roads are falling to bit and there’s going to be a huge maintenance bill.”

Mr Withrington claimed many more people use roads in the town than those who travel by train and said the money could be better spent in a number of ways.

He added: “A trivial number of people arrive in Northampton through the train station. I don’t think it will make a difference to the economy of the town.

“When you arrive or depart at a railway station you bustle on. You don’t visit somewhere twice as often because of it.”

Plans for the new train station include a glass structure on one side, a number of shops inside and a new multi-storey carpark.

They also aim to double the capacity the station can cater for and provide better facilities for passengers.

But Northampton South MP Brian Binley, chairman of the Northampton Rail Users Group, who have been consulting with the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation about the plans, said: “We have only got to look at our station to know that it’s quite frankly a mess. It looks awful and it gives the wrong image of Northampton.”

He added: “It’s especially the wrong image bearing in mind we want to attract 400 companies providing 15,000 new job somewhere in the region.

“Most of the people who come to look at the town will look at the station first.

“This is more than just about transport. It’s about helping us to create jobs, opportunities and wealth for generations to come.”

Work on the new station is expected to start in May and be complete by Autumn 2014.