Final plan for Leicester Railway Station revealed

The ramp will rise up to the station entrance through a new public plaza
The ramp will rise up to the station entrance through a new public plaza -Credit:Leicester City Council

Final designs for a "radical revamp" of the city’s historic railway station have today been revealed by Leicester City Council. A new picture shows the entrance will feature a curved ramp leading through a plaza to make the station more attractive and easily accessible.

Under the plan, the station’s main entrance will be moved around the corner from London Road to Station Street, which will be closed to traffic and replaced with a new pedestrianised public area. The former Parcel Yard pub and taxi office will be demolished - work which expected to be completed by the end of the summer - creating the space needed for the redevelopment to go ahead.

Knocking down the pub building will reveal the original façade of the historic, Grade-II listed station, which will be carefully restored to its Victorian glory, the authority has said. The railway station redevelopment is led by the city council and Network Rail, with £17.6 million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

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Pick up and drop off points, including for taxis, will shift from inside the station to a new location at the rear of the station, off Fox Street and close to the new entrance. The glass-roofed "porte-cochère" where taxi go now will be completely overhauled to provide space for cafes, bars and shops.

An aerial view of how things will look
An aerial view of how things will look -Credit:Leicester City Council

Once completed, the building will also have more space inside for passengers to wait and there will be secure bike storage underneath the new curved entrance ramp. The statue of Thomas Cook, whose first ever excursion was a trip from Leicester to Loughborough, will be moved a prominent position.

Leicester Railway Station is currently used by around five million passengers each year. This is forecast to increase by around 60 per cent over the next 20 years, the city council said.

City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “Leicester’s railway station is a landmark building, but as a vital transport hub, it needs a radical revamp to meet the needs of a modern city the size of Leicester. We have been working closely with our rail industry partners and listening carefully to feedback form the public as we progress and develop these ambitious plans that will improve the station and revitalise this important gateway into our city.

“The award of almost £18 million of extra Government investment into the city through the Levelling Up Fund is powerful endorsement of the importance of the project. It will make a vital and lasting contribution to Leicester’s future growth and prosperity.”

The final development proposals have now been submitted by the city council to its own planning committee for approval. The council plans to appoint a main development partner this summer, following a competitive tendering exercise. Construction work is expected to begin shortly after the contractor is appointed.