Ipswich station up for national award after a transformational year

Ipswich station concourse

Ipswich station concourse - Credit: Archant

Ipswich railway station has been nominated for a prestigious award as we near the end of a year when it has been transformed by a £2m facelift.

Ipswich Station forecourt. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Ipswich Station forecourt. Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

It has been shortlisted to be crowned “Station of the Year” at the National Rail Awards.

The station has recently undergone a £2 million redevelopment with a wide range of improvements including a complete refurbishment of the existing ticket hall to create more space during busy periods, refurbished waiting rooms, open plan counter service, additional ticket vending machines and an improved layout of the station forecourt and bus interchange.

The internal work was funded and carried out by Greater Anglia and has seen Greggs and Starbucks join WH Smith on the concourse for passengers heading away from the station.

The forecourt was rebuilt by Suffolk County Council linking into the Travel Ipswich project aimed at making the town more accessible for people walking or using public transport.

James Steward at the new barriers at Ipswich railway station.

James Steward at the new barriers at Ipswich railway station. - Credit: Archant

James Steward, Greater Anglia’s Area Customer Service Manager for Ipswich said, “I’m delighted that Ipswich has been shortlisted to be named Station of the Year.

“The work that has been done here has transformed the station and its surroundings, and has helped to ease congestion, making our customers’ lives a little easier when they travel with us.”

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Although the station forecourt work was completed earlier in the year, it has not been formally reopened because the council and Greater Anglia are waiting for the resurfacing work on nearby Ranelagh Road and Burrell Road to be completed before the formal reopening is marked.

Also shortlisted is Cambridge Station and Greater Anglia train driver, Stuart Connell, who is nominated for the Outstanding Personal Contribution Award.

Mr Connell was hailed a hero last year when he put the safety of his passengers above his own after the train he was driving collided with a tractor at a level crossing near Thetford in Norfolk.

Although he was badly injured in the collision and in shock, having avoided a derailment Mr Connell continued his duties, walking the train to reassure and look after the 135 passengers, who later called him a ‘hero’.

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