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Work begins next month as part of a multi-million pound scheme that will deliver not just a straighter rail line to allow non-stopping trains to travel faster between London and Sheffield, but also a new car park, initially with 300 spaces and increasing to 500, and an enhanced station for passengers using Market Harborough.
On Tuesday 27 June between 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm, project team members from Network Rail and station-operator East Midlands Trains will be on hand at the station to answer questions and details about the plans for the construction of the new car park which will be located on the east side of the station – the opposite side of the railway to the existing car park.
Construction of the new car park will begin on Monday 3 July and will take around six months to complete. All of the spaces in the existing car park will remain available throughout the construction of the new car park.
Spencer Gibbens, principal programme sponsor for Network Rail’s Midland Main Line Upgrade, said: “The upgrades at Market Harborough bring benefits not just to the town and those who use the station, but to everyone who travels on the Midland Main Line. The straightening of the line at Market Harborough is part of a wider programme of works which seek to provide a journey time improvement for journeys between London and Sheffield on the Midland Mainline, while the new car park, platforms and accessible footbridge will make travelling from Market Harborough much easier.”
Lisa Angus, Head of Major Projects for East Midlands Trains, said: "We welcome Network Rail's planned improvements at Market Harborough station which will deliver some great benefits for customers. We're looking forward to work getting underway on the new car park and are pleased to be working with Network Rail to show customers and our staff the plans for the new look station."
Nick Pulley, Chair of the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), said: “Through our Local Growth Fund, the LLEP has allocated £3 million towards this exciting project which will improve the accessibility to Market Harborough train station and shorten the journey time from Market Harborough to London St Pancreas.”
“The biggest single flow of business travel for regional cities or towns is to or from London. Therefore, improved journey times and facilities for rail travel on the Midlands Mainline are of crucial importance to businesses throughout Leicester, Leicestershire and the rest of the East Midlands.”
David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Fast and efficient transport systems are essential for economic growth; with the scale of improvements often requiring public and private sectors to think long term, and outside their own immediate areas.
“This is why D2N2 is putting a total of £5million from its Local Growth Fund allocation into improving this Market Harborough section of the Midland Main Line. We are working with our colleagues in the neighbouring Sheffield City Region LEP and Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, and the rail industry, to boost the line’s capacity and improve train speeds on southbound services.”
The existing station building at Market Harborough will be retained as part of the upgrade programme following consultation with residents and station users