Mayor's ‘hop-on hop-off' public travel revolution

Turf cutting Manea station

Turf-cutting ceremony at Manea station are, from left, Joanne Rose, Fenland District Council Transport Officer; Ed Willars, Danaher & Walsh Contracts Manager; Cllr Chris Seaton, Fenland District Council Cabinet Member for Transport; Cllr Janet Coupland, Manea Parish Council Vice-Chair; Cllr Steve Emery, Manea Parish Councillor; and Daren Daubney, Danaher & Walsh Site Manager. - Credit: FDC

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson revealed he has “big plans” to improve public transport in Fenland.  

Dr Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, said his transport proposals included “linking communities in a sustainable hop-on hop-off travel network built around people’s needs”. 

He promised to deliver schemes “which will offer car users frequent, local, and reliable alternatives for their journeys”. 

Dr Johnson was speaking after work started on  a 100-space car park at Manea rail station. 

It is part of regeneration scheme that includes a cycle shelter, CCTV and even bird and bat nest boxes. 

He said the long awaited car park “will make rail travel a viable option for more people from more areas of Fenland. 

“Letting the train take the strain is good for people’s health and for pushing back on climate change.” 

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The Manea car park is being built on land north of the station with a new access from Fodder Fen Road and footpath to the station.  

It is one of a number of schemes being funded by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority with support from Greater Anglia.  

The Combined Authority set aside £9.5 million for railway station enhancements.  

Cllr Chris Seaton, chair of the Fenland Stations Regeneration Project Board, said: “A car park at Manea station has been talked about for many years, so I’m delighted that it is now finally under way. 

“Hopefully it will get more people out of their cars and using our railways instead, for all or part of their journey.” 

The car park construction works are due to last for approximately 12 weeks.  

Once finished, the long-term management of the car park will be handed over to Manea Parish Council which has been heavily involved in its plan and design. 

The parish council and Manea villagers are also planning to bury a time capsule on site to mark the completion of the car park when it is formally opened later this year. 

Fenland District Council, developer Danaher & Walsh, rail representatives and others involved in the project marked the start of the initial groundwork on site on September 21.