NS, ProRail and the Municipality of Middelburg are going to tackle the station and the area around it considerably. In the coming years, the station building will be renovated and arranged in a smarter way, the platform roof and passenger tunnel will be refurbished and the station area will be renewed. “We are now going to look at how we can best fit the work in.” The work is worth several million.
The station has been nominated for a thorough approach for years. Last year there was a major setback when it turned out that the foundation of the monumental building also had to be renewed. “Over the past few months, we have conducted extensive research into a solution,” says NS project leader Ken Prijn. “It turns out to be impossible to repair, so a completely new foundation plus floor will be installed.” The fact that the foundation was so bad seemed like a setback, but now also offers opportunities to not only renovate the building, but also to redesign it.
“We want to organize the space in the station in a smarter way and better match it to the needs of the traveler,” says station manager Marion den Hooglander. “We want a catering facility on the side of the passenger tunnel. Then it is easy to quickly get on the train with a cup of coffee or a snack. Moreover, you can wait there heated for the train.”
The station concourse is now hardly used. “That's why we're looking at a new interpretation. But just like with the rest of the station, it depends on entrepreneurs or initiatives that are interested in one or more spaces.” In addition, the bicycle shed will be made more user-friendly.
The area around the station building will be given a new look and feel, says ProRail project manager Eric-Jan Luijk. “Next to the station building, the platform will be raised so that it is level with the entrance of the train. This height is important to allow people with a mobility impairment to use the train independently.” The monumental platform roof will also be renovated and flooding in the passenger tunnel will be reduced. The passenger tunnel will be given a more attractive appearance that better fits in with the immediate surroundings.
With the arrival of new student housing at the station, the station area cannot be left behind, says alderman Chris Simons. “Public transport and sustainability are very important for future mobility. Middelburg station is considered a mobility hub, a place where different modes of transport come together. For example, well-functioning facilities such as kiss-and-ride and park-and-ride are part of this. This will give Middelburg station a pivotal role.”
The work will cause inconvenience. “Of course you always have that, but the passengers will get a better station in return!” says Luijk. “We are now going to look at how we can best fit in all the activities.”
Because many different activities are planned in a relatively small space and the station always remains in service, the implementation puzzle has not yet been fully completed. It is already clear that the work will be divided into different projects, in order to limit the inconvenience as much as possible. We start with the station building. This will be followed by work on the area around the station building (the platform roof and the passenger tunnel). Finally, it is the turn of the station square.
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