Plans to provide Whitton with a new improved train station building have now taken a significant step forward with the announcement of the commencement of works on 23 February.
The first of the two phase improvement scheme will begin with improvements to the station entrance which will be more prominent and welcoming, a larger booking hall and the introduction of a new retail unit, accessible toilet, ticket office and cycle racks.
Plans are in place to complete the first phase by the Rugby World Cup. The £2 million work is funded by Richmond Council, the RFU and the Department for Transport’s ‘National Stations Improvement Programme’ and will be delivered by the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance through their delivery partner Osborne.
The work will begin on 23 February with the closure of the station’s ticket office. Additional ticket machines and staff will be on site during peak hours to assist customers with ticket purchases.
To enable the works to be undertaken some of the parking immediately in front of the station will need to be temporarily suspended, a drop-off space will still be maintained.
Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Environment Cllr Fleming, said:
“The Council has already made a big investment in transforming Whitton High Street and residents have been calling for improvements to Whitton Station for a long time. We have invested £450k to this work and I know it will make a big difference to the local community.
“I know that the parking suspensions aren’t ideal – but I ask local residents and the business community to bear with us whilst the work continues. It will be worth it in the end.”
Catherine Oldham, Project Manager for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, added:
“We are delighted to be starting the station improvements at Whitton station. The need to improve accessibility has been a priority for us for a long time and we have worked hard to deliver improvements for passengers.”
A ‘Meet the Manager’ session is planned for Wednesday 11 February between 1600hrs-2000hrs at the station for passengers and local residents to find out more about the plans.
Phase Two enhancements will make the station completely accessible. Funded under the Department for Transport’s ‘Access for All Scheme’, work will begin at the end of October and is expected to be complete by Summer 2016.