Work has begun on the designs to remodel the station concourse at Brighton. The improvements will provide modern facilities whilst maintaining and restoring the architectural importance of the Grade II Star listed station.
Southern is working with Network Rail on the development which includes:
- Twice as many automated ticket gates.
- A new Travel Centre/ticket office.
- A new waiting lounge with comfortable seating, train information and a cafe.
- New customer information screens providing train departure information. Additional customer information screens positioned above ticket machines, supplemented by monitors in retail units, waiting areas, travel centre and entrances.
- Removal of the departures board and supporting structures giving better views out to the historic train shed.
- Demolishing the 1970’s building containing WH Smith giving a better layout and opening up views of the concourse buildings.
- A wider selection of retail units.
- Opening up the third arch of the central walkway creating a wider central thoroughfare in and out of station.
£4.5 million has been secured from the Department for Transport’s Station Commercial Project Facility for the project. A further £500,000 will be added by Southern.
All station users will benefit whether they are rail passengers themselves, seeing off or greeting passengers or just using the station as a meeting place. The improvements will mean Brighton station can provide a better experience for passengers who make 7 million return journeys each year, as well as allowing it to cope in the future with the forecasted increase in passengers.
Given the station’s listed status, we are working closely on our plans with Brighton & Hove City Council’s listed buildings team as well as other heritage stakeholders such as the Railway Heritage Trust.
John Oliver Southern’s sponsor for the scheme said: “We are determined to use this once in a generation opportunity to make real improvements at Brighton station which has the potential to offer a modern travelling experience in a marvellous historical setting. To achieve this within the budget and timeframe depends crucially on effective working together with Network Rail, the Local Authority and other stakeholders”.
Simon Chapman, Network Rail’s Route Enhancement Manager for Sussex said: “Brighton station will be transformed by this investment which will ensure passengers benefit from improved facilities, more space and better access to the platforms. The station is a gateway to the town and a vital link to London and, as more people travel by train for business and pleasure, it’s important we invest to ensure the railway continues to support economic growth in Brighton and across the county.”
Malcolm Wood, company secretary of the Railway Heritage Trust said: “The Railway Heritage Trust is pleased that the proposals for Brighton Station are going to address some of the heritage aspects of this important station, and looks forward to the opportunity to contribute to the project as it develops.”
Work is planned to start at the end of 2012 with completion by the end of 2013. The project will be phased to ensure the station stays open and the impact on station users is minimised.