East Grinstead station on course for the end of the year

1 October 2012

THE final phase of the two year scheme to upgrade East Grinstead railway station is now underway.

Southern Rail has already completed the £2.1 million station which will replace the old building, and work is now starting on the upper storey of the new car park which will increase spaces from 236 to 336.

Builders will be installing a prefabricated single deck over the existing car park which will be constructed off-site to keep disruption for drivers to a minimum.The deck will cost in excess of £1 million but project managers hope to open the completed site by the end of the year.

Councillor Heidi Brunsdon said she has been impressed with the revamp so far.

“The town needs this improvement. I am happy with the progress that has been made and hope residents, commuters and visitors enjoy the benefits of this station.”

The old station building will be demolished after the new one and the car park are fully operational. The work is scheduled for March 2013.

Simon Kerr, from the town’s tourism initiative, is also looking forward to the benefits the new facilities will bring the town.

“All the improvements to the station quarter at East Grinstead are going to be a plus for the town.

“We’ll have a brand new state-of-the-art station to enable commuters to have a better experience travelling to work, plus the very real bonus of welcoming people coming down the line to transfer to the town’s heritage steam railway at the Bluebell station.

“I’m just so glad that it’s all coming together at the right time.”

However some residents have criticised the lack of disabled access to Platform 1.

A Southern spokesman said only six trains a day came into Platform 1 adding: “We were unable to get a grant from the Department for Transport  (DfT) for lifts on Platform 1 because only six trains a day come into it, and after factoring in the numbers likely to use it, the cost of putting lifts on both platforms appeared disproportionate.

“In an ideal world we would have been able to put lifts on both platforms, but this was just not possible.”