MP GETS INSIDE TRACK ON WHITLAND STATION MAKEOVER – AS NEW FIGURES PROVE HOW VITAL IT IS
Simon Hart MP has been given the inside track on the refurbishment of Whitland's run down station.
The railway station building has stood empty for more than a decade and was slowly rotting away, creating an ugly gateway to the town.
Now Network Rail is transforming it into a Regional Maintenance Hub which will see up to 20 people working from offices in the building.
Mr Hart has been campaigning for improvements at the station for five years and sent a dossier of supporting letters and documents from local businesses and councils to the Transport Minister to lobby for improvements.
"I am delighted that the years of campaigning by the local traders, councillors and myself has at last paid off and this station is being brought back into use" he said.
"Although the new building won't be open to the public, it will look smart and it will be great for the town to have extra workers there 24 hours every day using the shops and cafes.
"The next step is to ask Arriva Trains to install a ticket machine to make it easier for people to start their journeys from Whitland."
And new figures from the Office of Rail Regulation reveal that Whitand station saw nearly 56,000 people – more than 1,000 per week – through its doors last year.
The number of "entrances and exits" at the station rose from 53,842 in 2011-2012 to 55,932 last year.
Carmarthen remains by far the busiest station in Mr Hart's constituency of Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire with more than 434,000 visits last year – a massive increase of 13,000 on the previous year.
"The fact that both Whitland and Carmarthen stations have had large visitor increases in the past two years shows how vital it is that Network Rail, Arriva and First Great Western continue to invest in these stations and the services provided at them," he added.
Simon Hart MP
House of Commons
15, St John St
or 0207 219 3000