'Unattractive' Gloucester railway station work to begin

Artist's impression of revamped Gloucester railway station Image copyright Gloucester City Council
Image caption New cladding on the building and a redesigned forecourt are included in the plans

Work to revamp an "unattractive" railway station is due to begin sooner than expected after a council agreed to pay for design work.

The project at Gloucester station includes a new underpass and access, redesigned forecourt and cladding.

Last year the scheme was awarded £3.75m from the Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) but the cash is not available until April 2020.

Gloucester City Council will pay £425,000 so design can work begin now.

That money will then be reimbursed from the LEP funding when it is made available next year.

The council's Conservative leader, Paul James, said it meant work on the project, to improve the "forecourt which isn't very attractive", could begin "straight away".

Image copyright Gloucester City Council
Image caption The existing steps to the underpass will be replaced with a walkway

He added that "sorting the subway" was a crucial part of the project.

"It will have the steps taken away to make it easier for people with buggies and wheelchairs, and also [involve] straightening it out so you can see all the way through, so it feels a lot safer."

He said the underpass was a major engineering task because it went under the railway line.

"Providing a modern and inviting railway station is part of our strategy for attracting more people to visit, live and work in our growing city."

David Owen, of GFirst LEP, said the investment "will not only create a much better environment for passengers but will also provide a safer, more attractive access and improve the connectivity of the city".

The scheme will also see a new access road, linking the station's car park directly with Metz Way.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The current station forecourt has been described as "not very attractive"

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