Bedford’s commuters are likely to face increased inconvenience as car parking at the station will be significantly reduced from Monday, 21 October until Sunday, 22 December.
The car park closure is a consequence of the Midland Main Line Upgrade, as part of the electrification of the line northwards towards Wellingborough, Kettering and Corby.
Network Rail say the upgrade will, ‘provide a quieter and cleaner railway for passengers and those living nearby.’
Drivers will be well aware that Bromham Road Bridge is currently closed for the works.
The bridge needs to be demolished and reconstructed at a raised height, to provide a safe distance to allow the equipment to be installed.
Network Rail engineers will be using two cranes in the car park at Bedford station to allow this upgrade work to be carried out, meaning there is a reduction in parking spaces. Parking for disabled passengers will not be affected.
Sandra Caprio, Business Development Contract Manager at Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “This project is essential to give Bedford passengers a better service but for nine weeks, while cranes are at work, it does mean a significant reduction in parking in our main station car park.”
Alternative car parks within one mile of the station are signposted. Bedford car park season ticket holders will be able to use the premium car parks at Bedford and Flitwick stations (excluding numbered premier bays).
They will also be able to use their permits at all north Thameslink and Great Northern managed stations, however spaces at these stations are available on a first-come, first-served basis and most are very popular.
A temporary bridge for pedestrians and dismounted cyclists to use is also in place to maintain access whilst Bromham Road is closed.
Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “Network Rail would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused and thank passengers for their patience while the work is carried out.
“Bromham Road bridge needs to be demolished and reconstructed to enable the electrification of the line northwards towards Wellingborough, Kettering and Corby.
“As the Midland Main Line upgrade progresses well, this work will bring a quieter and cleaner railway for passengers and residents in Bedford and the surrounding area.
Rail campaigner and Green Party councillor, Ben Foley, said, “Bedford rail users are again suffering as part of a project that will leave Bedford with a worse train service than it had before.
“Meanwhile, I hope those who find it hard to park their cars will explore alternative ways of getting to the station, such as the buses or cycling.
“Hopefully this closure being forced on us can at least provide the impetus for a change which will help ease some of the traffic congestion and environmental damage caused by large numbers driving to the station.”
Drivers and commuters can find out more information here.