Hatfield rail station set for �6m facelift

HATFIELD Railway Station is in line to get a multi-million pound upgrade, the Welwyn Hatfield Times understands.

The transformation will include a new bus interchange and taxi rank, multi-storey car park, new ticket office, retail units and – importantly – step-free access to all platforms.

Work on the project, which we understand will cost �6m, will begin next year and be completed by the end of 2013.

The upgrade is due to be given the green light by Network Rail’s investment panel when it meets tomorrow (Thursday) to agree �100m of station improvements across the country.

Neither Network Rail or rail operator First Capital Connect would comment ahead of the panel meeting, when contacted by the Welwyn Hatfield Times this week.

But plans to overhaul the town’s station have been on the cards since it was highlighted as in need of upgrading in the Hatfield Urban Transport Plan 2008.

That report said the station building was “basic” and “an uninspiring design”, but its attractiveness could be improved with a combined rail/bus interchange.

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It added: “The current arrangements at Hatfield station are unsatisfactory with conflicts between people and vehicles.

“Use of the station is growing and a revised arrangement is required to meet demand and to facilitate better interchange for rail users travelling to the station by bus, taxi, cycle, on foot or as car passengers or drivers.”

One commuter and regular station user told the WHT this week: “The improvements to Hatfield station is fantastic news.

“For people with buggies, bikes and suitcases, step-free access to and from the northbound platforms will be the best news of all, but I’m also looking forward to being able to get a bus home without having to negotiate all the illegally parked cars and taxis.

“Finally Hatfield residents have some good news.”