Rail station on track for facelift

PUBLISHED: 08:46 29 July 2014 | UPDATED: 08:46 29 July 2014

Exmouth railway station

Exmouth railway station

Archant

Exmouth train station is getting a new front plaza, drop-off areas, a taxi rank and possibly crossing on Marine Way - and it could be ready by next February.

The cash comes from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) and has to be spent this year.

The plan, drawn up by Devon County Council, with help from First Great Western and Network Rail, could be the first part of a three-phase scheme culminating in an integrated transport interchange.

Starting after Christmas, the clutter at the front of the station will be swept away to create a forecourt, with maps, and travel information including bus and train connections.

Cycle parking could be provided along with a public pump and bike maintenance facilities.

Outside the front entrance, in Marine Way, a 10m-long taxi rank is proposed; on the other side two 15-metre-long drop-off points are planned.

And a pedestrian crossing will be installed, enabling passengers to get to the town centre without having to go down the subway.

This could be an ‘informal’ crossing or a pelican crossing, and the width of the road will be narrowed by up to a fifth.

Lewis Ward, Devon County Council’s transport planning officer, said: “The distance from the station to the end of the Parade is only around 140 metres as the crow flies, a fraction less than the length of the station platform.

“But the labyrinth of ramps, steps and the occasional need to negotiate the bus station can almost double this distance, which can be all the more frustrating when rushing to catch a train.”

He said the long term aim was to ‘make the station part of the town centre.’

He added: “To help achieve this, an ‘at grade’ crossing of Marine Way will allow a level route to and from the town centre as an alternative to the subway.

“This helps save time for those in a hurry and makes the route between station and town as easy and intuitive as possible.

“We understand from station surveys that not all passengers are fans of subways.”

He added that the second stage could include an improved entrance at the front of the building opening out on to the forecourt.

The new entrance could be used at all times, avoiding the need for the route through the bus station.

In addition, the proposals involve extra booking hall space, retail space, ticket gateline, and platform shelters.

At the town council, on Monday night, he added: “We have been careful to design it so it can be expanded upon.”

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