New hope for rail station improvements in Lowestoft and Beccles
Hayley MaceA campaign to smarten up railway stations in north Suffolk took a major step forward yesterday with a meeting at the House of Commons.Hayley Mace
A campaign to smarten up railway stations in north Suffolk took a major step forward yesterday with a meeting at the House of Commons.
Waveney MP Bob Blizzard met representatives from Network Rail to express his concern over the state of the stations in Lowestoft and Beccles.
Patches of weeds have recently been tidied from the areas of Oulton Broad South and Beccles stations, which are owned by Network Rail, but Mr Blizzard was keen to for reassurance that the tidying will continue and that the outside of Lowestoft station will be improved.
The meeting yesterday afternoon came after Mr Blizzard presented colour photographs showing the state of Lowestoft and Beccles stations to Network Rail chief executive Ian Coucher at the Labour Party conference in Brighton last month.
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Mr Blizzard said: 'This was a very constructive meeting and I'm pleased to say it looks like we've now got positive ways forward for both stations.
'With regards to Beccles, I wanted a commitment that the work to clear the weeds will continue. I've now had that, so hopefully we will have a permanent improvement there.
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'As for Lowestoft, the good news is that there is somebody who wants to develop part of the unattractive station building for retail or leisure use.
'They have to get all the necessary permissions for that, but I hope that it will be able to go ahead within the next six months.
Mr Blizzard said any new occupant would be expected to carry out renovations to improve the outside of the building.
He added: 'If that doesn't happen for any reason, I have told Network Rail that I expect them to do work themselves to improve the external appearance of the station, which looks neglected at the moment.'
Mr Blizzard had previously branded Lowestoft station 'an unacceptable spectacle for visitors and locals to behold'.
Network Rail was unavailable for comment.