Network Rail and its partners have confirmed plans to add another floor to the new Haywards Heath station multi-storey car park and to build a new entrance.
The three-deck car park is part of the much heralded and long awaited station regeneration scheme which includes a new 30,000sq ft superstore for the town, let already to Waitrose.
Network Rail says the improved plans, which were first revealed in the Mid Sussex Times last October, will also include an entrance from the car park, opening directly onto the platforms.
Both enhancements were put forward by residents during the early consultation and have been woven into the scheme.
The number of car parking spaces for the station will now be around 1,100 instead of just 670.
If plans are passed work could start in May ahead of the £20million development of the wider station area being led by Solum Regeneration, the joint venture partnership between Network Rail and Kier Property.
Cllr Gary Marsh, the district’s Cabinet Member for property and economic development, welcomed Network Rail’s further investment.
He said: “This is fantastic news for the town. We are delighted that Network Rail and Southern have listened to the residents of Haywards Heath and responded so positively to local requests to use the regeneration of the station as an opportunity to provide a significant increase in parking spaces and to improve the area around the station. Solum Regeneration’s plans are a welcome boost for Haywards Heath.”
Network Rail’s route managing director for Sussex Tim Robinson said: “This is a great example of how the railway industry can work with other partners to attract investment that benefits local economies and our passengers too.
“The support of local communities is vital to what we do and their enthusiasm and ideas have helped to drive this project forward.”
Train operator Southern’s head of project delivery Pieter Wilke said: “Haywards Heath is one of our busiest stations, attracting passengers from many of its surrounding villages. The station car park fills up very quickly every morning and this investment will provide opportunities for more people to travel by train.
“There will be some short term disruption during the construction but we are looking to minimise this by building the car park in phases so there will always be car parking spaces available.
“We are also working with the council to ensure that there are other car parking choices available. Every effort will be made to help ensure our regular users are able to park their cars.”
John Robinson, development manager with Solum Regeneration, said: “Network Rail’s investment will make a very good scheme even better.
“We will co-ordinate our construction works with Network Rail to minimise any disruption to neighbouring properties and the travelling public.”