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Architect designs new Hove Station railway bridge
4:30am Tuesday 28th January 2014 in News
An architect has drawn up new plans to transform a railway bridge that has fallen into a “bad state of disrepair”.
Hove-based architect David Kemp has drawn up designs to improve the appearance and access over Hove Railway Station, which have received the backing of his MP Mike Weatherley.
Mr Kemp claims the addition of lifts in his new design would improve access for elderly residents, mothers with prams and workers trying to get around Hove.
It is also thought that glass panels, similar to ones used on the £9.8 million Adur Ferry Bridge, would discourage graffiti artists from using the railway bridge as a blank canvas for their work.
The station, which deals with almost 1.4 million passengers a year, is the responsibility of Southern Rail, but the footbridge falls under the jurisdiction of Network Rail and Brighton and Hove City Council who are responsible for maintaining the right of way and its general upkeep.
The bridge opened in 1890 with enclosed sides added in 1896 and new steps added in 1913.
The station suffered damage during the festive storms with the glazed atrium in the booking hall damaged by a leak and a section of plaster about a metre square is now missing meaning part of the station entrance is currently cordoned off from passengers.
Mr Kemp, of DK Architects in Hove Park Villas and a member of Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum, said the footbridge is currently in a “pretty poor state” and “looks unloved”.
He said: “It is one of the first places where visitors will see when they disembark from a train and their first impression will be of this footbridge.
“It’s time to do something that is befitting for a main entrance to the city and to make sure that people who live north of the railway lines can get proper access to the south.
“Old people find those footbridge steps quite a challenge and if they want to get down to George Street and can’t get over the bridge, they have to walk underneath the railway bridge in Fonthill Road or right around The Drive which is a huge detour.”
Hove MP Mike Weatherley said: “I’m delighted that members of the community have taken the initiative to step in when Network Rail and the council should have gotten involved some time back.”
A Network Rail spokesman said: “We are always happy to listen to proposals for improving facilities and we and the train operators work hard to deliver better stations across the network.
“As far as Hove goes, we have no plans for any scheme at the moment, but we are happy to work with operators and authorities.”
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