A £90,000 upgrade of Retford’s railway station is to go ahead as planned.
The original funding arrangement with Virgin’s Customer and Community Improvement Fund had been thrown into jeopardy because of the government’s takeover of Virgin’s East Coast rail franchise.
However, new operator London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has announced it will honour the original funding agreement.
It means that a number of improvements, including the refurbishment of the subway to Ordsall, will now go ahead as hoped.
Coun David Pidwell, Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure at Bassetlaw District Council, who last month wrote to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling asking for the funding to be secured, said: “We’re thrilled that the government has honoured the original agreement and this much-needed refurbishment can now go ahead.”
“The station is a key gateway to Retford and North Nottinghamshire and you only get one chance to make a first impression.
“We want to instil a sense of arrival when people visit this station and make the surrounding area safer and more appealing for local people.
The upgrade plans will include new LED lighting installed in the subway to Ordsall, drainage issues addressed and a new surface for the tunnel footpath.
The walls will also be painted and new decorative panels fitted.
Other elements of the station improvement project include new station and town centre signposts, new ‘Welcome to Retford’ signs on the four platforms and in the entrance, and new window displays and interpretation panels that focus on Retford’s history.
North Notts & Lincs Community Rail Partnership (NNLCRP) and Retford Civic Society have worked closely with the council to develop the project.
Rick Brand, from NNLCRP, added: “We welcome this news and can now start to progress the scheme for the benefit of Retford’s community and visitors to our market town.”
‘Work will improve links with town’
London North Eastern Railway Major Projects Director, Tim Hedley-Jones, said: “We’re committed to the ongoing development of Retford Station and these improvements will improve the links between the railway, the station and the town.”
Nottinghamshire county councillor John Cottee said Retford was an important destination “both in its own right and as a gateway to the wider area”.
“These improvements will not only help create a favourable first impression for visitors, but also instil a pride of place for local residents and visitors,” he added.