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£2m major revamp for Gloucester railway station unveiled

By citizenmike  |  Posted: February 24, 2014

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All change at Gloucester railway station

Comments (24)

A £2MILLION revamp of Gloucester railway station is on the cards.

The station has long been criticised for letting down one of Gloucester’s key entry points for visitors.

But the frontage and the approach to the station are set for a major overhaul after a successful campaign for action.

Network Rail chief executive David Higgins said: “We are pleased to confirm that we are already in discussions regarding proposals for improvements. I understand that both Network Rail and First Great Western have committed some support.

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“We will therefore continue our discussions regarding the city of Gloucester’s aspirations for the station.”

The comments were made in a letter to Gloucester City Council leader Paul James who wrote to Mr Higgins asking that action be taken to sort out the station.

Some works have already been carried out, including the installation of a new lift to provide step-free access to platforms.

But a major makeover is needed in time for the thousands of Rugby World Cup visitors expected to descend on the city in September 2015, councillors have said.

Mr James said: “I am keen that when we have the Rugby World Cup here we present the best possible image for the city.

“Although we have had some improvements to the railway station in the last couple of years, it still doesn’t give the impression that we want to give.

“With these improvements, and if we are successful in our bid for a bus station revamp too, it will make a huge difference to these arrival points into the city centre.

“Discussions between Network Rail and city council officers are taking place and we are talking about not just a facelift for the building but for the approach to the station as well.”

Rail passenger Mike Dyer, who travelled to Gloucester from London on business, said: “It looks like it has seen better days. I have been here a couple of times on business now and I can see it is in need of a bit of help.”

Fellow passenger Nick Harwood, from Swindon, said: “It is not easy to find your way to the centre from the station because there’s not much in the way of signage.”

Detailed plans for the revamp are about to be drawn up. It comes as the city council sits tight as it waits to hear from the Government on whether a bid for money to revitalise the ailing bus station has been successful.

If the cash injection gets the go-ahead, that too could be ready in time for the sporting extravaganza next year.

Councillor Andrew Gravells, who has led a task group on how the railway station could be improved, said: “First impressions of any city are always very important. These plans will knock passengers for six when they arrive and will get their visit off to a cracking start.

“I am very keen to see the main hall signposting visitors to the key city attractions and racks full of up to date information on them, along with offers to persuade them to return.”

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24 comments

  • zinboya  |  February 25 2014, 9:13PM

    Fat_Sam, I know Bristol is much bigger than Gloucester, but the railway station is NOT in the center of Bristol.

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  • jas37  |  February 25 2014, 8:43PM

    Forgot to mention - someone has made a point regarding the cleanliness of buildings, this is a major issue. The condition of some of the buildings in Southgate is terrible. "Southgate News" is perhaps the most obvious example. Large numbers of visitors wander up from the Quays past these eyesores to the Gate Streets. What a terrible advert for the City, this must surely be addressed as a matter of priority.

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  • jas37  |  February 25 2014, 8:30PM

    Good to see a decent debate with some constructive ideas even though there are some wayward comments.--- Sam58, didn't the University of Worcester build the new Campus and Sports Centre and I doubt if the "City of Worcester" is building a new Waitrose either. The Quays is surely much more impressive than any developments that have taken place in Worcester in recent years. The Triangle was I believe always a non starter for a transport hub. The current Rail Station is in an ideal location for the City Centre. The facelift is welcome but I hope even more energy and resources are put to use in ensuring an improvement in Train services.

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  • cityboy1981  |  February 25 2014, 12:20AM

    ABOUT TIME! GIVE US THE STATION WE DESERVE.

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  • Fat_Sam  |  February 24 2014, 10:37PM

    I disagree about using the Triangle as a transport hub. It's too far from the city centre - it would end up being another development sucking more life out of the centre. Instead the city centre needs to re-invent itself as the new out-of-town. And to me that involves a train and bus station to re-in force what the centre should be - the real hub of a city. Agree about too many supermarkets. It appears focus has been on introducing competition between supermarkets. Unfortunately that's come at a price: the death of the city centre. I used to work in Cheltenham. At 5pm the centre is buzzing. I occasionally venture into Gloucester at 5pm: it's practically a graveyard! I doubt £2million gets you much these days so I'm not expecting much more than a lick of paint and some fancy railings, benches and lights. Long-term (i.e. post-Rugby World Cup) what is REALLY needed is a major overhaul. A Victorian façade, or something ultra-contemporary made from glass, steel and concrete (it doesn't have to be in the style of the 1970s). The idea of stations at Churchdown and Quedgeley seems feasible. Exeter is about the same size and supports 7 stations! Ultimately, the success of any major town or city comes down to one thing: demographics. The more affluent a place (and its economic hinterland - in Gloucester's case an area covering the city and the area towards the west of the county) the better the facilities and services tend to be. All services need a business case to justify their existence. A business case is easier to support when theres a plentiful supply of money.

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  • dontyaknow  |  February 24 2014, 10:17PM

    There is a lot of sensible debate on this thread - JASB123 - I do agree with you that Gloucester is receiving a lot of investment and hopefully this will continue to come in and regenerate the city. The Quays seems to be drawing people in, the last time we went there was a lot of people there, more than I had ever seen. The new cinema is fantastic and the restaurants coming in are very much welcome. I am looking forward to development in the Blackfriars area, its been too long coming, but the last plans I saw for it looked quite impressive with a public open space and encouraging the link between the Cathedral and docks. However, I hate what they have done with the Triangle, a prime piece of land effectively wasted. I think Gloucester is past the saturation point on Supermarkets. There are now too many. I think Lecorches initial point was that whilst there is investment coming in and the fringes of the city are looking good and shaping up, the city centre is looking very downtrodden. It is not helped by the post war architecture on the gate streets and the lack of maintenance on a vast swathe of buildings.

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  • Richardburton  |  February 24 2014, 8:52PM

    The trouble it seems with Gloucester is the council can't join up anything up! We have a new bit here and another some where else. we now have the quays which is ideal for eating and drinking but not shopping! More up 'class 'shopping coming to kings square (only time will tell). we had a shop wanted to move into a empty place by hobbycraft but deemed to low class! The bus station still needs to be sorted and now we have a £2 million to be spent on the railway looking good, but not getting us better links for traveling on the railway! I have lived here all my life and we do need to draw people to Gloucester we don't have any family actitives, like a butterfly farm, paint your cups saucers etc. We need to draw familys in and to do that we need family things to do! Nobody seems to listen to the views of the people of Gloucester we get what 'they 'want us to have ... End of!

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  • JASB123  |  February 24 2014, 4:31PM

    Sam there has been far more than take aways (I agree with you on the Supermarkets and the use of the Triangle could have been better) but have you looked at the Quays recently - Portivo Lounge, Zizzi, Real China, Chimichunga and Ed's Diner have all recently opened. As for a sporting venue we have Kingsholm - not sure how many other cities the size of Gloucester would have more.

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  • Sam58  |  February 24 2014, 3:40PM

    Jasb123. i think it is not the amount of inward investment, it is what is being built from tat investment. there seems to be a never ending supply of supermarkets and cheap takeaway establishments. while these obviously have a place. i think Gloucester is crying out for some individualism and someone different to be built other than yet more shops and takeways. a theater, a venue for sporting events, a proper outdoor area in the city large enough to stage events. anything but ore supermarkets

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  • JASB123  |  February 24 2014, 3:00PM

    @Sam58 at least your comparisons are with a city of comparable size. Many comparisons use Bristol. I am not wanting to get into point scoring - I am trying to highlight how easy it is to knock somewhere without recognising the positive changes that have taken place. Gloucester has attracted many millions of pounds of inward investment - unemployment was dropping in Gloucester before it was in the rest of the UK. Let's stop talking down our home and start recognising the positives.

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