Multi-million pound project to transform access to Chelmsford railway station starts

Work is set to start on a multi-million pound project, £4 million of which is Government funding provided through the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, to transform access to Chelmsford railway station.

Encouraging sustainable transport

The purpose of the total project is to provide a package of improvements at the rail and bus gateway to Chelmsford and is aimed at encouraging increased use of sustainable transport to facilitate housing and economic development in the city centre, while reducing congestion and associated carbon emissions.

The specific objectives of the complete project are to:

  1. Improve the quality of the station facilities and its environment (the gateway to Chelmsford), to regenerate the immediate area and enhance the image and economic prosperity of the city as a whole
  2. Provide improved circulation and capacity within the station - one of the busiest in the country
  3. Improve linkages to the station, particularly by sustainable modes of transport, to reduce congestion and facilitate housing growth and economic development in the city centre
  4. deliver significant environmental enhancements to the public circulation space around the station for all modes of transport, including pedestrians and cyclists
  5. provide better integration with the adjacent bus station
  6. facilitate sustainable access between station buildings and the emerging university quarter in the north of the city centre, including Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), major employers and a new large residential neighbourhood on the former Marconi site
  7. improve the health of Chelmsford citizens by providing improved walking and cycling connections to the station

The need for development

£4million to improve access to Chelmsford stationChelmsford rail station is one of the busiest stations in England, the second busiest station outside London in the Greater Anglia area. It deals with approximately 8.3 million passenger journeys per year (2013/2014, Office for Rail Regulation). Usage of the station is continuing to grow (up 3.5%, 2012/2013 to 2013/2014 and up 19.5% in the last five years).

The quality of the gateway from the railway station to Chelmsford city centre is critical to the image and economic prosperity of England’s newest city. Coupled with the redevelopment of a number of major sites in the vicinity of the station, for housing and commercial development, the package will deliver significant environmental enhancements to the public circulation space around the station and better integration with the bus interchange, as well as providing much better circulation, connectivity and capacity improvements, and regenerating the adjacent area.

The SELEP’s Strategic Economic Plan (March 2014) identifies the A12 and Great Eastern Mainline Brentwood-Chelmsford-Colchester Corridor as a key driver of growth, along with additional growth in Maldon. The A12 and Great Eastern Mainline (GEML) link London with these centres and the routes provide the main access to Harwich and Felixstowe.

SELEP Downloadable DocumentReview the business case here.

Funding for growth

This project is one of 96 Local Growth Fund projects bringing growth to the South East. Click here to read the business case for the Stansted Airport College.

The Local Growth Fund is the Government’s funding pot of at least £2bn a year from 2015/16 to 2020/21. Most of the funding is allocated through a competitive process, there are have been three rounds of Local Growth Funds between 2014 and 2017 which funds projects which will deliver up to 2021.

Growth Deals are a £12 billion national long-term programme to revitalise local economies. The deals are an exemplar approach of the British economy being rebuilt from the bottom up, and sharing the benefits of the recovery around the country.

In total the SELEP Growth Deal with Government bring almost £590.8m of investment to East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock. Over the lifetime of the Deal (2015-2021 we aim to deliver 78,000 jobs, 29,000 homes, the deal and brings new responsibilities and flexibilities. and is set to attract a further £960 million extra investment into the South East over the next five years.