Railway station surveys get underway at Manea and Whittlesey to see how they can be improved to enable longer trains

Flashback: MP Steve Barclay at Manea railway station when it celebrated increase passenger numbers n

Flashback: MP Steve Barclay at Manea railway station when it celebrated increase passenger numbers now it's platform is going to be extended. - Credit: Archant

Work to improve the railway stations at Manea and Whittlesey will steam ahead this weekend as contractors begin to undertake survey work.

Engineers will be surveying both stations and surrounding land as part of an ambitious project to lengthen the platforms at both stations and provide a footbridge between the two platforms at Whittlesey.

The improvements will enable trains to have more carriages, boosting passenger numbers.

The contractor completing the surveys is Keltbray and they will on site at the stations as follows:

• Manea Station - Sunday (25) and Monday (26) June for track surveys and Thursday (29) June for the topographical survey

• Whittlesea Station - Saturday (24) and Sunday (25) for track surveys and Tuesday (27) and Wednesday (28) for the topographical survey

Services will continue to run as normal when they surveys are carried out.

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The survey work forms part of a detailed feasibility study which was made possible after Fenland District Council was awarded £359,000 on behalf of the Hereward Community Rail Partnership (HCRP) last year.

The funding came from the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to help the HCRP progress the project to the next level, after an initial study in 2015 showed it was viable.

It is hoped the feasibility study work will be complete by December this year, when options for the various improvements will be brought forward.

Cllr Simon King, the HCRP’s chairman, said: “The commissioning and completion of these surveys is an important milestone in this project. Detailed plans and measurements of each station will facilitate ongoing option design work. The CRP is expecting to share all the information from this study including the options for each scheme in early 2018”.

Mark Reeve, chairman of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, added: “Enabling the delivery of infrastructure improvements has been an important part of the LEP’s work to date. We are pleased to see the start of this survey work, which has been funded by our Growth Deal, and hope that it unlocks further funding to allow improvement works to get underway as soon as possible.”