Whittlesea and Manea railway stations are on track for new platform waiting shelters – and passengers are being given a lead role in what they will look like.
Fenland District Council and the Hereward Community Rail Partnership are working with Greater Anglia to install the new shelters by the autumn.
The shelters are part of an ongoing programme of improvements to Manea, March and Whittlesea stations, with support and £9 million of funding from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.
Now passengers are being invited to choose which type of shelter is installed by voting for their favourite from three shortlisted designs. They include a modern shelter crafted from durable, renewable wood and anti-vandal styles made from stainless steel.
Votes can be cast via an online survey which is available at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MNM7SKK until Friday, August 16. Following the public consultation, the results will be reviewed and the option with the most votes will be procured, ready for installation later this year.
Two new waiting shelters will be installed at Whittlesea station, with one on each of the Peterborough and Ely bound platforms, and one will be erected at Manea on the Peterborough bound platform.
Improvements already carried out through the Railway Station Masterplans programme include new solar powered LED lighting at Whittlesea. Cycle parking for 50 additional bikes is also coming to March station, and there are plans to lengthen the platforms at Whittlesea and Manea stations.
Cllr Chris Seaton, Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder for transport, said: “These new waiting shelters will be a valuable addition to the stations and enhance the service for passengers, especially when the weather is poor.
“We’d like to know which type of shelter passengers would like installing and would urge as many people as possible to get voting for their favourite.”
Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough James Palmer said: “If we want more people to use our rail then we have to invest in the quality of journeys passengers can expect. The £9 million funding from the combined uthority will make a huge difference to the user experience.
“But alongside this it is vital to improve services to Fenland stations at Manea, March and Whittlesea. Manea to Cambridge, for example, is less than 30 minutes by train, yet there are few direct services. I’m working with train operators Network Rail and central Government to deliver the upgraded services our upgraded stations deserve.”
Greater Anglia’s customer and community engagement manager, Alan Neville, said, “We want our station facilities to meet the high standards our customers expect – and are spending £60 million throughout our franchise in order to achieve this – so it’s great to have station users’ input to ensure the improvements we make will be welcomed and meet their needs.”