First glimpse of new Bedford station

Posted: 16 March 2010 | | 2 comments

Network Rail has unveiled images showing its plans for a new, environmentally-friendly station for Bedford.

Network Rail has unveiled images showing its plans for a new, environmentally-friendly station for Bedford.

Network Rail has unveiled images showing its plans for a new, environmentally-friendly station for Bedford. If planning permission is granted, the company aims to have the new station complete in time for the introduction of longer, 12-car trains in December 2011.

Artist's impression of new Bedford station (External)

Artist's impression of new Bedford station (External)

The tracks and platforms at Bedford station are currently being transformed as part of the £5.5bn Thameslink upgrade, which will result in more trains, more seats and more comfortable journeys for passengers travelling to or through London.

As part of this redevelopment platform 1A is being extended to accommodate 12-car train (currently it can only cater for 4-car services), creating additional capacity and increasing reliability and punctuality. To enable this new platform and track to be built, major changes will be needed to the station building.

Network Rail has been working with Bedford Borough Council and the Bedford Station Quarter scheme to develop plans to bring passengers a better, more modern station building, along with other great benefits:

  • More room within the station building
  • More entrances, making it quicker and easier to get in and out of the station
  • More modern station, with natural light and ventilation

Dyan Crowther, Network Rail route director, said: “The congestion-busting Thameslink upgrade will give passengers what they want – longer trains and more space. A new station building will complete our investment at Bedford and help make rail travel a more attractive option for everyone.

“Building the new station building alongside the existing one will mean minimal disruption for passengers and allow us to maintain access for the public throughout construction.”

Network Rail will be presenting its plans for Bedford station at a public meeting chaired by Bedford and Kempston MP Patrick Hall on Thursday 18th March at 7.15pm. The event is at the Guru Ravi Dass Centre off Ashburnham Road opposite the station.

Residents will also be able to give their thoughts on the plans to Network Rail’s Thameslink team at a special public drop-in event on Wednesday 24 March between 4.30pm and 7.30pm. The event takes place in the Harpur Suite on Harpur Street. All are welcome.

Network Rail intends to submit a full planning application for the new station building to Bedford Borough Council after Easter.

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2 responses to “First glimpse of new Bedford station”

  1. Cllr Will Hunt says:

    From a constituent!
    I attended the meeting held at Ashburnham Road last week. I am sure that the many points and issues raised were well documented but I feel some need to be emphasised.

    1. The myopic approach to one lift to take passengers unable to use the stairs to the first floor with the footbridge servicing all platforms and toilets.
    – It does not matter how large you plan this lift to be, when it breaks down NO ONE can use it.
    There is a need both physically and psychologically to have two lifts so in the event of one breaking down the other one will hopefully continue to work.

    2. I am concerned that the existing lifts and footbridge are to be incorporated in the new build. When asked ‘what happens if lifts are out of action?’ the spokesman said ‘a taxi is laid on for disabled persons to take them to the nearest station with disabled access’. That is a bit late when you have just got off a train which then leaves and you are stranded on a platform, or you are not disabled but are still unable to negotiate stairs for one reason or another.
    The lifts have been out of operation on numerous occasions.

    3. I really could not understand the need for the extra platform which takes over the existing station site when you are not considering fast trains stopping southbound, or the east west possibilities. The explanation for the need was not clear.

    4. I do hope you seriously consider toilets on the road side of the barriers on ground floor especially as the new passenger toilets are upstairs. It will also be essential if one of the retail units is a café.

    5. I shudder every time new build accommodation is without some parking spaces. Not all places in the country are accessible or affordable by train. People may use the train for work but for visiting family, socialising or holidaying a car is sometimes essential and to not provide space has a knock on effect on surrounding residential areas.

    6. I was horrified with the emphasis placed on the western by pass. A considerable amount of the traffic in Ashburnham Road is either, commuters, school traffic, people going to work, residents, or those trying to get from one side of town to the other e.g. Sainsbury’s at Clapham from Kempston. None of these would be helped by the bypass.

    7. Why, if Ford End Road Bridge is such an eyesore and a congestion problem is this not being taken into consideration with the redesign and new build of the Station Quarter?

    8. Disruption was stated as ‘being kept to a minimum’ but what will happen when platforms are built and extended? I do hope we will not be reduced to replacement bus services. Will residents be disturbed evenings and weekends?

    9. Will the multi storey car park have considerably more spaces as the existing car parking cannot cope at peak times? Who will run it and fleece the commuter?

    The whole meeting gave the impression of a cobbled together design of bits here, bits there, responsibility dished out left, right and centre. There needs to be responsibility taken for the entirety of the plan and execution and ultimately running of the area.
    I also could not believe the lack of coherent handouts for such an important meeting.

    Cllr Will Hunt

  2. It is unfortunate that the new Bedford Station proposals whilst taking account of the Thameslink Programme requirements, totally ignore EMT (no up fast line platform), EWRL (proposed Oxford & Aylesbury services using the Marston Vale railway line to Bedford) & freight (needing to pass through the station).
    The extension of bay platform 1A to 12-car length whilst welcome is hardly an improvement if no physical connection is made at the north (Bromham Road) end to the up slow line. The new platform has little utility unless it is a through line & bi-directionally signalled. It should also be signalled additionally (with a ‘calling-on’ facility) so that it can function in two halves (A & B) for use by EWRL & MVL services.

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