Loughborough Station Travel Plan

Context

Located 1km to the north east of the town centre on the fringe of the urban area, Loughborough station serves the London St Pancras to Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield mainline and the regional Connect services between Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Lincoln.

Generally the station is used by commuters for the mainline service, but with several large employers and a university campus in the town it has also become a destination station. It is the fourth most heavily used station on the Midland Main Line and East Midlands Trains predicts further significant growth.

Need for a Travel Plan

Travel Watch East Midlands commissioned a study in July 2007 entitled 'Accessing the Railway: An East Midlands Passenger Survey', which identified the following key issues for Loughborough station:

  • Chaotic forecourt/no step-free access
  • Poor/poorly presented bus information
  • Lack of car parking/secure cycle storage

This study has also provided baseline data on the distance travelled to the station and mode used by passengers. This indicated a high level of bus use, with scope for further improvement.

The station is currently accessed off the fifth arm of a heavily congested junction, which does not encourage pedestrian/cycle movement to and from the site. Charnwood Cycle User Group has identified the need to improve cycling access on the local highway and to improve pedestrian access over the Meadow Lane Bridge and the surrounding industrial estate.

The station is part of a major redevelopment proposal (Loughborough Eastern Gateway) for the north eastern part of the town. This will eventually see new car parking arrangements and transport interchange facilities for buses, taxis and cyclists.

Description of the process

Key Stakeholders:

  • Charnwood Borough Council
  • East Midlands Trains
  • Network Rail
  • Leicestershire County Council
  • Travel Watch East Midlands
  • Loughborough University
  • Charnwood Pedestrian User Group
  • Charnwood Cycle User Group
  • Rail Future
  • LANRAC
  • Kinch Bus

Leicestershire County Council has taken on the project management of the travel plan: identifying key stakeholders, establishing a steering group, arranging and chairing meetings. Views and opinions of stakeholders have been gathered throughout the year and the meetings have provided a valuable forum for discussion and action.

Action Plan highlights

  • Introduction of Plus Bus scheme for Loughborough (May 09)
  • Production of sustainable travel information map for Loughborough.
  • Customer Service Staff trained to provide onward sustainable travel information (June 09)
  • Additional 20 secure cycle storage facilities installed. (March 09)
  • Interim improvements for bus access to station (March 09)

Key lessons learned

  • The most important lesson learnt so far has been to get all the key partners to talk to each other and agree on actions which are mutually beneficial.
  • Delivery of key actions in a short timescale is key, if partners can see progress they are far more likely to contribute to the process.
  • There are a number of concerns about the quality of data collected, which will be used to measure progress, and this may be problematic in the future.
  • Funding constraints have proved problematic, as many of the partners have no budgets for this kind of project. This can help in terms of managing expectations, so a pragmatic approach has had to be installed when producing the action plan. In the future it is hoped that partners will be able to budget for STP initiatives.
A- A A+