Council bids to revamp Weston Railway Station with Sunnyside Road entrance to reopen soon
PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 November 2018
Tens of thousands of pounds are being sought to improve Weston’s ‘neglected’ railway station to ensure it is a fitting ‘gateway’ to the town.
Weston Town Council will lodge a bid to Great Western Railway’s (GWR) Customer and Communities Fund for up to £40,000, which would be used to pay for several improvements to station’s interior and frontage.
A chunk of the funding would be dedicated to improving the Sunnyside Road entrance, which was closed amid much criticism in 2015 after repeated issues with antisocial behaviour, but is due to reopen soon.
Fresh signs, refurbished windows, more greenery and a new lick of paint have also been proposed by the town council.
If the bid is successful, the council anticipates the work will begin in 2019, with completion by spring 2020 pencilled in.
Town council clerk Malcolm Nicholson told the Mercury the application is likely going to be for between £30,000-40,000, and he hopes the forms will be in the post by the end of the week.
He said: “The money will hopefully pay for new seating and improvements outside the station, including to the Sunnyside Road frontage which is to reopen shortly.”
The work would link in with North Somerset Council’s Heritage Action Zone project, which has seen significant efforts to revitalise and promote use of Weston’s historic architecture.
The bid follows GWR’s investment of £1million in the train station earlier this year which will include the introduction of ticket barriers when the Sunnyside Road entrance is reopened.
Central ward councillor Richard Nightingale believes a revamp of the station could play a pivotal role in the ongoing regeneration of Weston’s town centre, as it serves as one of the key entrances to the town centre.
He said: “After the success of our recent campaign to make platform one at the station open to disabled access, I am really glad further investments are being applied for to improve the rest of the station.
“Our railway station is the gateway for rail travellers to our town.
“It should welcome visitors and impress, instead it has become dingy and neglected. I’m now glad it will become part of our town’s priorities for regeneration.”