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East Grinstead station renovation is entering its final stages

By East Grinstead Courier  |  Posted: September 20, 2012

  • WORK ONGOING: East Grinstead Station, where redevelopment work is ongoing to update the train station and car-park

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TWO years in the making, the final phase of a multi-million pound regeneration of East Grinstead train station is under way.

Southern Rail has already completed the £2.1 million station building, which is next to the original one on Firbank Way.

The next stage of the redevelopment is adding an extra level to the current upper car park, taking the number of spaces from 236 to 336.

Builders will be installing a single deck over the car park, which will be prefabricated off-site, with the actual construction on-site being kept to a minimum.

This will cost in excess of £1 million and the project managers hope to be able to open the completed site by the end of the year.

Councillor Heidi Brunsdon is impressed with the revamp so far.

She said: "The town needs this improvement. I am happy with the progress that has been made and hope residents, commuters and visitors enjoy the benefits of this station."

The old station building will be demolished after the new one and the car park are fully operational. This is scheduled for March 2013.

Simon Kerr, from the town's tourism initiative, is looking forward to the benefits it will bring.

He said: "All the improvements to the station quarter at East Grinstead are going to be a plus for the town.

"We'll have a brand new state-of-the-art station to enable commuters to have a better travelling experience to work, plus the very real bonus of welcoming people coming down the line to transfer to the town's heritage steam railway at the Bluebell station.

"I'm just so glad that it's all coming together at the right time."

However, many residents remain angered the new station will not have disabled access to Platform 1.

A Southern spokeswoman said only six trains a day came into Platform 1 adding: "We were unable to get a grant from the Department for Transport (DfT) for lifts on Platform 1 because it factors in the amount of footfall that would use this platform, and it appeared disproportionate.

"In an ideal world we would have been able to put lifts on both platforms, but this was just not possible."

DfT provided £370 million of funding for lift schemes across the south east between 2005 and 2015, but East Grinstead station was not included.

To see the plans for the car park and talk to the project managers, visit the main car park at East Grinstead station today (Thursday) between 4.30 and 8pm.

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  • shooter73  |  September 21 2012, 2:28PM

    With regard to the ridiculous platform 1 debacle, why can't the train arrive at platform 2, allow passengers to disembark, and then pull back out and into platform 1? This protocol works perfectly well for the Uckfield train at Oxted. Why not do it at East Grinstead? Instead we get dumped on a rush hour platform with one narrow exit and absolutely no disabled access. It is a disgrace that they are spending £1 million on more car parking (= more £900 a year permits sold) when fee-paying passengers are inconvenienced in this way.

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  • Commuter1  |  September 21 2012, 1:27PM

    So a 'brand new state of the art station' is going to make my travelling experience to work better is it?! Hmm no it isn't. What would make it better is faster more frequent trains to London that are on time! I don't care about a building that takes me all of 10 seconds to walk through.

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  • shooter73  |  September 21 2012, 11:25AM

    Where are all the waiting cars that currently clog up every bit of free space around the station at rush hour going to go when buses are rerouted through the forecourt as per the plans on the Mid Sussex website? Also, although there has been must fanfare about increased spaces for Cycles, nothing concrete has been provided in the plans. Same goes for scooter and motorbike parking. We are very close to the end of this redevelopment and all we know for definite at the moment is that car parking is to be increased. Everyone else has to submit detailed plans that the public can view. Why not Southern?