In a major milestone to upgrade transport choice across Fenland, the Combined Authority Board has agreed funds to start construction at Manea and March railway stations and has set the end date for delivery.
To accelerate this key Fenland Regeneration priority, Mayor James Palmer had asked the Board to sign off the outline business case and trigger construction as quickly as possible. At their virtual meeting today, the Board unanimously agreed and cleared drawing down £1.2 million from the budget to get procurement and contracts under way.
Manea Station Car Park building will now start in February 2021 and finish by May 2021. The March Station Car Park and Platform 1 building will also begin in February 2021 and be completed by December.
Critical to Mayor Palmer’s plans for improving transport in general across fenland, the station improvements will bring more jobs and opportunity within the reach of Fenland people and deliver green travel where shorter car journeys can dovetail into more frequent, reliable and user-friendly public transport options.
Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough James Palmer:
“Thanks to today’s vote, we can forge ahead, get boots on site, and have these car parks open and delivering for Fenland. Manea and March stations serve a wide and primarily rural area so many people have no choice but to drive to their nearest station and they need to park somewhere. The railway is a lifeline in providing fairer access to jobs, education, training and to services like healthcare, and people deserve welcoming and functioning stations that deliver.”
The Fenland Stations Regeneration project was put into the Combined Authority’s Transport Programme in March 2018 and is a top priority in the Mayor’s Business Plan.
“The March and Manea improvements are great value for money and will make a massive difference to the lives of the people they’ll serve. We know from the number of responses to our consultations how wanted these developments are, so we simply cannot delay. That’s why I’ve asked the Board that we get started right away, so we can deliver these long promised, long awaited improvements all the sooner.
“Delivering these station improvements is a key priority for me. They were promised in the Devolution Deal, and they underpin the long-term aims of our entire Local Transport Plan – to double the economy over 25 years; boost Fenland productivity; make housing growth possible and sustainable; cut journey time and inconvenience; make public transport a desirable, viable and reliable option for people, and help our whole area to embrace greener and more active travel, transforming to a net zero carbon economy,” said Mayor Palmer.