Government-backed £5 million revamp of St Albans City station will ‘ease congestion’

St Albans City Station

St Albans City Station - Credit: Archant

Thameslink passengers should hopefully benefit from St Albans City station improvements within the next few years, after its promised £5 million revamp was confirmed in George Osborne’s Budget.

Thameslink train

Thameslink train - Credit: Archant

Apart from providing more shops, changes should result in less congestion at the busy terminal.

Station operator Govia Thameslink Railways (GTR) applied for the multi-million-pound improvement grant last year, from a special Department for Transport (DfT) fund.

Following the Chancellor’s Budget speech last Wednesday (16), Stuart Cheshire, passenger service director for Thameslink, welcomed confirmation of £5 million of funding for the refurbishment.

He said that GTR’s bid was submitted nine months ago and the firm would now prepare a scheme in consultation with stakeholders “that will be delivered no later than March 2019, and hopefully much sooner.”

Stuart continued: “Our vision is to create a new station building at the second entrance on Ridgmont Road, with a wider gateline and new retail stores on both sides of the station.

“This, together with a larger concourse in the main station building and more ticket purchasing facilities will ease congestion and give our passengers a quicker, more pleasant journey through our busiest station on the north Thameslink route.”

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Welcoming the announcement, St Albans MP Anne Main said it was brilliant news for the city and commuters.

She went on: “I’m delighted that money will be spent to enhance our offering as a city and offer more services to commuters.”

Describing the city station as ‘the gateway to St Albans’ Anne said she had made that point in discussions with Govia last year about a station upgrade.

She added: “It is used every day by thousands of commuters and is often the first glimpse of the city that visitors see.”