07:39 Thursday 2nd May 2013
Bigger Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
[P]AUL STAINTON: Well a few moments ago we were live at Cambridge Railway Station, celebrating the news that four million pounds is to be spent improving the facilities there. The money will be spent on the ticket hall, and was donated by developer Brookgate, as part of a condition for developing the CB1 redevelopment. But because the building is listed, all changes have to be approved by Cambridge City Council. The news has been welcomed by Linda McCord, who’s the Passenger Manager at Passenger Focus. She says it’s long overdue. (TAPE)
LINDA McCORD: I travel very regularly, and congestion, particularly at peak in the morning and the evening, it’s really just not pleasant for passengers. It’s very small, and really it needs to be completely revamped and extended. And that’s what we’re hearing is going to happen. So it’s very good news for passengers. (LIVE)
PAUL STAINTON: But Geraint Hughes, Partnership Manager at Greater Anglia, said plans will be hampered because the building was listed. (TAPE)
GERAINT HUGHES: We are constrained by this wonderful building that we have to deal with here. I think in certain circumstances we’d like a lot of areas to be bigger. But we have to deal with the space that we’ve got. We are very concerned about creating a gateway for the city here that the city really deserves, and what it wants. (LIVE)
PAUL STAINTON: Well let’s speak to the Chief Executive of the developers of the CB1 development, Brookgate. Sven Töpel’s here. Morning Sven.
SVEN TÖPEL: Hello. Good morning to you.
PAUL STAINTON: Are you pleased this money’s going to improve something so integral to Cambridge like the railway station?
SVEN TÖPEL: Yes, it’s the start of the regeneration and improvement round the station area. And people’s first impressions, when they arrive at the city. And there are a number of other public benefits that CB1 needs to deliver. But this is the first major milestone in terms of key public benefit.
PAUL STAINTON: You’re sort of helping create the whole gateway into Cambridge from the railway station, aren’t you?
PAUL STAINTON: Your CB1 development, the railway station, it’s the first thing you see if you come off the train into Cambridge.
SVEN TÖPEL: Yes. The next big hurdle really for CB1 is to bring forward the cycle parking, the three thousand space cycle parking scheme, which is in for planning now. And we’re also into planning for the scheme that delivers the new station square, which will improve the facilities for the travelling public. It will hopefully sort out and improve taxi facilities, short term car parking and much better drop off and pick up arrangements. Because the arrangements at the moment are chaotic at best, and dangerous at worst. So those are the next objectives in terms of delivery..
PAUL STAINTON: It’s a difficult build though, isn’t it, in that part of Cambridge, because of the historical nature of the building?
SVEN TÖPEL: Yes, and I think GA have got a difficult job on their hands. They’re working through it room by room in terms of the listed building, and they’ll be working with all of the rail operating companies, as well as Network Rail, the City Council, the conservation lobby and body and all of the other key stakeholders. So it won’t be an easy job, and I think they’ve got the vision, and I’m hopeful that they’ll deliver something that Cambridge deserves, as I think Geraint said in terms of a gateway to the city.
PAUL STAINTON: They’ve got the vision, but have they got enough money? Have you given them enough?
SVEN TÖPEL: I think the four and a quarter million is a significant sum. It isn’t a big building, and we’re starting to see the first ideas come out, and I think we’re hopeful that when they consult with the public later in the year, that the public will come back and say yes, we think that’s the right way forward. So we’re hopeful that it will deliver what everyone’s looking for.
PAUL STAINTON: If they come back and say we can do with a bit more, is there any more in the pot?
SVEN TÖPEL: Well not in terms of the Brookgate development. I think everything is up for refranchising in a year or two, and there may be further monies that will come out of the rail industry if additional benefits are required. But I would have thought that in terms of the CB1 development, that’s enough to deliver the vision for the station building.
PAUL STAINTON: Are you happy with the way things are going with that area, CB1, the station? Is it going to be a transformation that the City of Cambridge can be proud of?
SVEN TÖPEL: Well we hope so. And I think the quality of the buildings that we are putting up, the first few phases are there, the Microsoft building is there, the new student accommodation for ARU. And I think the proof is in the pudding. The quality is good. We’re sticking to the original vision for the Masterplan that’s been around now for the best part of ten years. These things take a while. One has a view. We’re consulting widely, and hopefully when we get to the end of it, people will say we’ve been successful in delivering the Gateway that Cambridge deserves.
PAUL STAINTON: How much is it all going to cost you? Do you know?
SVEN TÖPEL: In terms of ..
PAUL STAINTON: The final figure. Do you know where you are with that yet?
SVEN TÖPEL: I haven’t got that off the top of my head, but it’s obviously many millions, and I think with these complex regeneration projects it’s all about phasability, minimising disruption, but keeping the vision and working towards delivering it.
PAUL STAINTON: Sven, lovely to talk to you. Thank you for coming on this morning.
SVEN TÖPEL: Thank you very much indeed.
PAUL STAINTON: Sven Töpel, Chief Executive of Brookgate, delivering the Gateway to the City of Cambridge as you come out of the railway station, improvements to the railway station as well.