A new long-awaited toilet block is set to be built at Market Harborough railway station by the end of this May.
The town’s busy transport hub will also have a new waiting room for passengers as work has started on the multi-million pound scheme.
The new amenities are due to open an “astonishing” three years after travellers were forced to start using temporary loos at the front of Market Harborough’s London mainline station in the middle of 2019.
Network Rail is knocking down the old facilities and building a new toilet block, which will include an accessible toilet and baby changing facility, as well as a waiting room with seats and a drinking fountain.
“These improvements will provide a more pleasant experience for station users.
“Despite some early challenges, work is now progressing on site and is expected to be finished by the end of May 2022,” said Network Rail today.
“In recent years Market Harborough station has had a major upgrade, with straighter tracks allowing trains to travel through at a higher speed, a new accessible footbridge, and 200 extra car parking spaces.
“To allow teams to carry out the work safely, the area will be fenced off throughout and a clear diversion route will be in place.”
Cllr Phil Knowles today said he’s “delighted” by the pivotal breakthrough after battling for years to get the improvements carried out.
''I am delighted that I have secured the timetable which if followed seems to indicate that the work will be completed by the end of May.
“I will continue to press on this, I have already asked to be kept fully informed on progress.
“I think that is particularly important as the formal response I received included a comment that Network Rail will let me know 'if there are any changes to the programme',” said Cllr Knowles, who leads the Liberal Democrats on Harborough District Council.
“It has ready taken far too long to see this project completed and now is the time to get this over the finishing line.
“Market Harborough deserves a 21st century railway station for a 21st century Harborough.”
Gary Walsh, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Midlands route, said: “I’m so pleased to see this project under way.
“The new facility is just one element of a whole range of changes we’ve made at Market Harborough to provide a better station for passengers.
“Delays to this project have been frustrating and I hope station users will join me in welcoming this new progress,” admitted Mr Walsh.
“We’ll continue to work closely with East Midlands Railway to make real improvements that meet the needs of all station users.”
Today Harborough MP Neil O’Brien said: “This is great news, that I know will be welcomed by many constituents.
“We’ve seen a lot of investment into the station and a number of improvements - and this is another important part of enhancing the passenger experience in Market Harborough,” said the Conservative MP.
“I had a very useful meeting at the station recently with Network Rail and East Midlands Railway to discuss this and a number of other areas that I look forward to working with them on to further improve our station.”
Lisa Angus, Transition and Projects Director for East Midlands Railway, said: “We have been working alongside Network Rail to deliver a vastly-improved Market Harborough station over the last few years and we’re happy work has begun on the new toilets and waiting room.
“Our passengers have been very patient waiting for the work to start on the new facilities and we would like to thank them for their continued support whilst the improvement works are taking place."