Extra money is set to be ploughed into the redevelopment of Aldershot station, with the plans expected to be approved.
The increase in the programme of £2.052 million from £1.775 million comes after changes to the scope and design of the scheme and inflation across the building sector.
The delivery phase of the project, which aims to improve access to the railway station, create sustainable transport links to new housing developments and support the wider regeneration plans for the town, has experienced significant delays since its approval in 2019 and 2020.
These delays are mainly due to the approval processes for implementing elements on Network Rail land but the Covid pandemic also affected the site investigation work and temporarily shifted resources away from the project.
In late 2022, railway approval to implement the scheme had been granted and the project was to enter the procurement and delivery phase. However, early in 2023, Hampshire County Council updated the scheme’s design around Aldershot railway station due to budgetary constraints and inflation across the construction sector.
Due to these factors, Hampshire County Council wants to increase the budget to implement the changes.
A revised total estimated cost of £2.052 million would be funded from a combination of developer contributions, government funding and money from Hampshire County Council if the executive lead member for universal services, councillor Nick Adams-King, gives the green light on Monday (November 27).
The proposed changes focus on creating a high-quality north-south cycle route between Aldershot Railway Station and the Wellesley housing development, providing the second cycle links between Wellesley and the town centre, with this being the eastern link, which connects to the railway station.
The scheme should also deliver improved pedestrian facilities along this route, including priority crossings for pedestrians and cycle users over the A323 High Street, Victoria Road (town centre) and Arthur Street (near the railway station).
Alongside the original pedestrian improvements planned for Windsor Way, the revised scheme will also include a significant area of carriageway resurfacing in this location to address existing defects.
The county council is developing proposals to install more cycle parking around the railway station that would follow as a second phase after completing the main works. This is being developed in liaison with South Western Railway, which would take on future maintenance responsibility.
If approved, the project will deliver a new north-south cycle facility between the highway boundary at Gun Hill (route to Wellesley) at its north end and Aldershot Railway Station at its southern end.
Starting from the north end, the proposed route includes several improvements for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.
These include a new parallel crossing on A323 High Street to prioritise pedestrians and cyclists when crossing the road, which has a high volume of traffic. At the north end of Pickford Street (at its junction with A323), there will be a modal filter to provide access for pedestrians and cyclists only and prevent the use of Pickford Street as a through-route for motorised traffic, improving the area’s amenity.
Victoria Road will be narrowed to one lane between its junctions with Pickford Street and Arthur Street, with a parallel crossing over Victoria Road and continuous footways on both sides of Victoria Road when crossing these two side roads.
A two-way cycle route will be constructed on the west side of Arthur Street, segregated from motor traffic in an area formerly used for on-street parking. A parallel crossing on Arthur Street near the railway station forecourt will provide improved accessibility to the railway station.
A shared-use footway cycleway through the railway station forecourt will provide continuous footways over the railway station car park access.
Various minor works and maintenance improvements on and around the railway station forecourt will increase and improve pedestrian arrangements, such as block paving repairs, minor footway improvements, signing improvements or removal of redundant street furniture.
Pedestrian crossing points and footway improvements will be improved on Windsor Way and Arthur Street. Carriageway resurfacing will be carried out on sections of Windsor Way, Arthur Street, Victoria Road, and A323 High Street.
There will also be various changes to on-street parking, such as relocating, which maintains the existing spaces for residents, permit holders, disabled users, and pay and display parking. Additionally, there will be various changes on the station forecourt to the taxi rank location and pick-up/drop-off bays.