Transformational Inverness Rail Station Funding in Place
Delegates attending a major rail conference have been told that funding for the first phase of a major refurbishment of Inverness railway station is in place and work should be under way by late summer of this year.
Progress on the “transformational” project was reported by Peter O’Connell, ScotRail’s Head of Commercial Development, in a presentation to the annual rail conference staged by HITRANS, the regional transport partnership for the Highlands and Islands, in Inverness on Monday (29 January).
Mr O’Connell said early investment would see improvements to Station Square, with tender documents issued to prospective contractors in the Spring.
Later phases would involve major improvements to the two other station entrances – on Strothers Lane, leading to Inverness Bus Station, and on Falcon Square, leading to the Eastgate Shopping Centre. This work was earmarked for Spring of 2019. He indicated that the total investment in the railway station, including improvements to the main concourse and new retail units, would be in the region of £6 million.
He said the emphasis for improvements to Station Square would be making the area pedestrian friendly. The Royal Highland Hotel, located in Station Square, would require 8 parking spaces but there would be no bus drop offs in the Square. Discussions would continue with the hotel owners in a bid to relocate their parking spaces away from Station Square. Alternatives such as increased parking provision at both Eastgate Falcon Gallery Car Parking and Rose Street Old Town Multi Storey Car Park have been offered to the Hotel.
Alex Hynes, Managing Director of ScotRail Alliance, told delegates that the railway station improvements would provide “a fantastic gateway to the city centre”.