Rotherham train station delay slammed

DISMAYED Denis MacShane labelled Rotherham’s train station site an eyesore—as the delay-dogged project fell a YEAR behind schedule.

The MP wrote to Transport Secretary Justine Greening earlier this month, saying that the hold-ups were undermining other town centre improvements.

Work on £8.5 million Rotherham Central started in February 2010 and should have been completed last December—but the opening has been pushed back until 2012.

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South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive apologised for the delays but remain confident the finished station will be welcomed by customers.

Dr MacShane said: “The project is now over a year behind schedule, and has become an eyesore in the centre of Rotherham.

“The footbridge is also rather disagreeable, and is a major cause of inconvenience to my elderly and less mobile constituents.

“This unsightly welcome to Rotherham does not paint the true picture of a town on the up.

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“The town centre has undergone a broad refurb, including the redevelopment of the football ground and new council buildings.

“With this has come more interest in the previously flagging town centre shopping area.”

SYPTE customer experience director David Young said: “Although the redevelopment of Rotherham station has taken longer than initially predicted, the much needed improvements will ultimately provide a welcome to all visitors.

“Far from being an inconvenience to less-mobile constituents, the lifts will provide fantastic levels of access for the elderly and infirm, as well as those with pushchairs and wheelchairs.

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“And an eagerly-anticipated customer waiting area will also be included to further meet customer needs.

“The modern design, which was arrived at and welcomed by the public following consultation throughout the design stages, will change the face of the town centre and create an attractive and inviting gateway to the town centre.”

The station caters for about 500,000 journeys a year—with that number expected to rise when Rotherham United move home next season.

Mr Young added: “We appreciate the frustrations over how long the redevelopment is taking, and continue to apologise to anyone inconvenienced.

“However, we are confident that the finished station will be a welcome addition to the town.”