Plans for platform extension could see eight-carriage trains serve Littleport station

PUBLISHED: 14:52 18 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:00 18 September 2018

Network Rail have submitted plans for a platform extension at Littleport railway station. PHOTO: Steve Williams

Network Rail have submitted plans for a platform extension at Littleport railway station. PHOTO: Steve Williams

Archant

Plans have been submitted for a railway station platform to be extended, which could see eight-car trains between King’s Lynn and Cambridge.

Barrow crossing at Littleport Station which connects the two platforms. PHOTO: Archant LibraryBarrow crossing at Littleport Station which connects the two platforms. PHOTO: Archant Library

Network Rail have made a planning application to East Cambs District Council to extend platform 2 of Littleport railway station and to create a new access ramp and stairs to platform 1.

This will enable eight-carriage trains to serve the station heading towards King’s Lynn with the train to use selective door-opening when heading towards London King’s Cross.

There are currently eight-carriage Great Northern trains serving the Ely and Cambridge stations but officials at a rail summit in January 2017 hoped to extend the service to Watlington, Littleport and Waterbeach.

In the application letter to the council, Network Rail states the platform extension work, which would add 82m to the platform, is permitted under The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order which grants planning permission for certain types of development.

But in order to build the new access ramp and stairs to platform 1, prior approval would be needed of the design and siting.

Access to platform 1 is currently situated at the north end of the northbound platform via the car park, where commuters would need to walk across the tracks from platform 2 on a barrow crossing.

But the new access ramp and stairs would be built on the south end of the southbound platform via the underpass, which would see the removal of the barrow crossing.

Chairman of the Fen Line Users Association (FLUA) Colin Sampson said he welcomed the news, stating that the group supported Network Rail’s plans to get rid of barrow crossings across the country.

Mr Sampson said the plans were a step towards tackling issues with overcrowded trains, adding: “The fact that it’s in the planning process it’s good news. 
“I’m hoping there are plans for the other two stations [Watlington and Waterbeach] as well.”

Commenting on the plans for new access to platform 1, Mr Sampson said: “It’s a lot safer, you’re not walking across the tracks.

“It might mean some people have to get up five minutes earlier but that’s a small price to pay.”

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