The London commuter city getting a £160million train station and 14,000 homes as it is so popular

By Staff

A London commuter hotspot once called the “dullest and most stupid spot on Earth” is now such a popular place to call home it is getting a £160 million new railway station and thousands of new homes to keep up with demand.

Chelmsford is growing at rapid speed with more than 3,400 homes built in the Essex city since the 2018/19 financial year. It’s the tenth highest amount in the East of England and Essex’s second-fastest growing area according to Government figures, as reported by Essex Live.

The city, once dubbed “the dullest and most stupid spot on Earth” by literary great Charles Dickens but also known as the birthplace of radio, has come on leaps and bounds over the past decade and beyond. Chelmsford was given city status in 2012 as part of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

READ MORE: The lovely London neighbourhood named best place to live with high street full of independent shops

To cater for the new residents and ever-growing popularity, the new station will ease some of the pressure on Chelmsford’s central railway station on the Great East Railway Line. Chelmsford is home to the third busiest in the region with more than 5.7m people using the station annually according to the Office for Rail and Road – in Essex only Stansted Airport (7.9m) had more passengers between April 2022 and March 2023.

The new railway station, based in the north of the city at the Beaulieu development, is being built at a cost of around £160m but is part of a wider £252m project. The station – funded by the Government, the South-East Local Enterprise Partnership, and local developers – is expected to open at the end of next year with the larger regeneration of the Beaulieu Park estate including new road infrastructure and up to 14,000 homes.

‘People are so happy the station is finally getting here’

The station, which will serve the line on which trains travel to the likes of London Liverpool Street, Ipswich and Norwich, will include three platforms, parking for 700 cars, a bus interchange, and 500 spaces for cycle parking and storage. An overlapping line will allow fast trains to pass through unimpeded.

“I have been out knocking on doors speaking to the residents of Chelmsford for several years and people are so happy that this [station] is finally getting here,” Cllr Marie Goldman (Lib Dem) of Chelmsford City Council said.

Vicky Ford (Cons), the MP for Chelmsford, added: “It’s the biggest project that Network Rail are doing anywhere in the East of England and it’s the first station to be constructed on this line for over a century. The passing loop will make a difference to passengers all the way between Norwich and London and the branch lines.

“It will mean fast trains can overtake stopping services here and that means we can home more trains and a more resilient service with fewer delays. The trains that are coming now are using the new passing loop that was connected over the Christmas and New Year period.”

They added: “The whole project is still firmly on track to be completed next year so the station can be opened and we can get these new tracks absolutely up and running. They are working night and day and working to minimise the impact of weekend closures and maximise the speed at which this project can be delivered. It’s going to be first-class, world-class infrastructure for the future.”

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