All aboard the future of Station Quarter12th January 2015
With the first phase of highway improvements to the north side of Southampton’s Central Station completed last month, the next phase of the major regeneration of the area got underway this week (5 January 2015). Station Quarter has been successfully included in the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Local Growth Deal with the government, where the project has been allocated £4.185m of funding. Contributions have also being secured from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) National Stations Improvement Programme specifically for the improvements to the station forecourt.
Station Quarter cgi Wyndham Place
Phase one has seen the installation of the city’s latest artistic feature, ‘Canal Shore’, providing an fascinating heritage journey for visitors walking along Blechynden Terrace as they travel between the station and city centre.
The £5 million second phase will see the creation of an amphitheatre style events space outside of Frobisher House, and a new bus interchange facility will be implemented on Wyndham Place. The space outside of Wyndham Court will also receive improvements, including lighting features and seating areas, which will further enhance the appearance of the area and support the wider regeneration.
£350,000 of funding from the (DfT) will enable the pedestrianisation of the station forecourt, which will also include new seating and lighting, as well as sheltered cycle storage for 140 bicycles. Together with the new bus interchange, this will further promote sustainable travel links within the city.
There will also be access improvements to the north side of the station for visitors with disabilities, with a new ‘drop off’ point. In the future, car parking for the station will be available at Southbrook Road car park, including new wider spaces for visitors with disabilities, as well as 20 minute bays.
Preliminary works began in November with the removal of some trees, which will aid the creation of a new landscaping design, including new trees that will enable the space to be opened up.
Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Southampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “The first phase of works has made a huge difference to the space around the Station Quarter; it already looks very smart and welcoming. The planned improvements to the forecourt - with greater accessible and usable community elements in the wider area, as well as improvements to connections with the rest of the city in phase two - will be an excellent addition to this important city gateway.”
Balfour Beatty Living Places will be delivering the scheme on behalf of the council, South West Trains and Network Rail. Every effort will be made to minimise disruption during this period and to complete the work as soon as possible without compromising the safety of the workforce or travelling public.
An interview with artist Chris Tipping about the Canal Shore installlation is available to view at http://youtu.be/Yzwx8UP4tmk