25th April 2019
Plans for the redevelopment of Taunton railway station have now moved a step closer as Great Western Railway and construction company John Sisk & Son finalised contracts for the multi-million pound regeneration scheme. Working alongside Somerset West and Taunton Council and the Heart of South West Local Enterprise Partnership, the plans are designed to help support plans for economic development in the town.
Planned improvements as part of the scheme include a new multi-storey car park, a new ticket office and entrance along with additional bike spaces. An improved bus and taxi interchange will also make it easier for passengers to travel to and from the town centre and firepool development. With passengers visiting the town by train expected to double over the next decade, this redevelopment will help improve the customer experience.
Work is expected to start in the project this summer with a completion date of spring 2020.
Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow said:
“I worked hard with stakeholders to secure the investment for Taunton railway station. With passenger traffic through the station to significantly increase this upgrade is crucial and I am delighted work will be underway shortly. The development also plays an important part in the regeneration of Firepool and the town centre. I am pleased that GWR are also taking note of ideas fed in from my surveys to local people to ensure the designs fit in with the Garden Town strategy.”
GWR Head of Commercial Development Clare Kingswood said:
“Taunton station is a key gateway to the town and with the overall investment in the rail network including brand new Intercity Express Trains that have already increased capacity by over a quarter than the trains they have replaced - we are expecting passenger numbers to increase significantly over the next decade. We are pleased to be working with Somerset West and Taunton Council and the Heart of South West LEP to deliver the additional car park and bike spaces that Taunton has needed for some time, and it is great that we have finalised the contracts with John Sisk & Son and are able to move into the construction phase of the project.”
Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership Steve Hindley, CBE DL, said:
“We are delighted that this major project to improve Taunton station is now getting under way, with a £4.6m contribution from our Local Growth Fund. This significant investment will not only transform the station environment and improve its accessibility, but also act as a catalyst for commercial and residential development in the area around the station. It’s part of the LEP’s wider strategic infrastructure programme to improve connectivity throughout the HotSW area of Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay.”
Somerset West and Taunton Council Chief Executive James Hassett said:
“The council is proud to support this project which will greatly improve the experience for customers and visitors to Taunton; and is of wider benefit to businesses and the whole area. The redevelopment of Taunton railway station aligns with our ambitions for growth, and has long been a feature of our town centre regeneration plans. It is an integral part of our intention to link the station to the town centre with upgraded and enhanced pedestrian access along the River Tone through Firepool and the Coal Orchard. The provision of multi-storey car parking and public transport facilities is an essential part of the development in planning and investing for the future.”
A spokesperson for contractors John Sisk & Son said:
“John Sisk & Son look forward to working in close collaboration with Great Western Railway, Somerset West and Taunton Council and wider stakeholders to deliver this key infrastructure. In line with our sustainable approach we will complement in house experience by working with the local supply chain. We hope to make a positive impact through proactive engagement and leave a lasting legacy with the community.”
Author: Darren Porter