Peter Aldous calls for Lowestoft station refurbishment

Waveney MP Peter Aldous last week in the House of Commons called for the refurbishment of Lowestoft station.

In Oral Questions to the Transport Minister, Aldous pointed out that there is a compelling case for Lowestoft station to be returned to a good state of repair as part of negotiations for the extension of Greater Anglia’s rail franchise.

This is particularly important at the present time as part of the former Tuttles department store on the opposite side of Station Square has been converted in to a new pub run by the national chain JC Wetherspoon. Mr Aldous welcomes this development as he believes it will improve the environment of Station Square and will help attract more people into the town centre.

Aldous received assurances from the Transport Minister, Simon Burns, that Abellio, the parent company of Greater Anglia will be required to undertake normal repair and maintenance activities and to invest in railway stations where there is a positive business case. The Minister confirmed that he would raise Mr Aldous’ points to Abellio.

Peter Aldous said:
“There is now a compelling case for redeveloping Lowestoft station, to return it to a good state of repair and to make it a focal point for the regeneration of Lowestoft. I hope that the Government works with Greater Anglia to help make this a reality. It will be both improve public transport and boost the local economy.”

In May 2012, Aldous secured an Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons in which he raised concerns that Lowestoft Station’s appearance and aged facilities have become a disincentive to travel into the Waveney area for tourism and for businesses.

FULL TEXT:

Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con): What progress he is making on funding the refurbishment of railway stations. [161767]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Mr Simon Burns): In the past two years, more than £238 million has been spent on schemes benefiting more than 100 stations nationally, including major investment at Birmingham New Street, London King’s Cross and Reading stations. Work includes improved access, better parking, retail outlets and ticket offices.

Peter Aldous: I am grateful to the Minister for that answer. Lowestoft station is Britain’s most easterly station, and while welcome work is currently taking place to improve bus interchange facilities the station itself remains shabby in appearance. Will the Minister confirm that as part of the negotiations for the extension of Greater Anglia’s franchise, the Government will do all they can to ensure that the station and its surrounds are smartened up and brought back into full use?

Mr Burns: Although there will be no changes in the requirements for the direct award up until 2016, my hon. Friend will be reassured to know that Abellio will be required to undertake normal repair and maintenance activities and to invest in areas where there is a positive business case. I fully understand what my hon. Friend says about the condition of Lowestoft station and the overall impression it gives, and I will certainly draw both his comments and mine to the attention of Abellio.

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