A 112 space car park at Manea station in Cambridgeshire remains incomplete – a year after it was due to open.
Linking CCTV to March station is thought by residents to be the main reason for the delay.
“My guess is the modifications to the CCTV are taking longer than first thought,” said Manea councillor Charlie Marks.
“Looks like the initial contractors got it wrong.”
He added: “Hopefully it will open soon so train travellers can benefit from it and travel to and from our wonderful village.
“I am sure there are questions being asked at a high level as to why this hold up has happened, which is well above my pay grade as the local district councillor for Manea.”
Danaher & Walsh Civil Engineering began work on the car park in September 2021.
The company announced it was carrying out the scheme on behalf of Fenland District Council “following a competitive tender”.
A turf cutting ceremony on September 21, 2021, marked the commencement of works, and was attended by representatives of Danaher & Walsh, Fenland District Council and project managers Pell Frischmann.
The car park is being built on land north of the station, accessed from Fodder Fen Road. Once complete, the car park will offer over 100 car parking spaces and feature a footpath to the station.
The scheme will also provide a new cycle shelter, CCTV, low-energy lighting, and improved drainage infrastructure. Bird and bat nest boxes will be installed in the area.
Cllr Chris Seaton, Fenland District Council’s Cabinet member for transport and chairman of the Fenland Stations Regeneration Project Board, said at the turf cutting ceremony: “A car park at Manea station has been talked about for many years, so I’m delighted that it is now finally under way.
“The facility will be a great asset to Manea and surrounding villages, providing residents with improved connections and better access to sustainable travel options. Hopefully it will get more people out of their cars and using our railways instead, for all or part of their journey.”
Plans to create new car parks at Manea and Whittlesea railway stations were among the raft of improvements for Fenland stations being delivered through Fenland District Council’s Railway Station Masterplans scheme, funded by £9.5 million from the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority.
Both stations have already seen the installation of new platform waiting shelters through the Combined Authority funding and Section 106 contributions, with platform extensions among the other improvements in the pipeline.
The station improvements were “signed off” by then Mayor James Palmer of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority.
“We’ve put in a lot of money to make rail a more attractive and user-friendly option, with improved facilities across the Fenland stations,” he said at the time.
“The car and cycle parking we’ve funded will help get ‘long haul’ commuters off the roads and into the trains, but I shan’t stop pushing for the reliable and frequent services that will give rail travel the big boost it needs to coax people on board”.
Originally the car park at Manea was promised for completion last April.
One resident described it was “completely ridiculous that it’s not even open”.
But another was more philosophic.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” she said. “ We’ve coped without it so far and we will until it’s open. “Let’s be honest, there’s way more important things to worry about in this world.”
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