Work is finally due to start on building new toilets at Market Harborough railway station in the next few weeks.
The long-awaited Network Rail scheme at the busy mainline station is set to begin this autumn – and be completed by next March.
That will be almost three years since people were forced to start using temporary loos at the front of the station in the middle of 2019.
Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, told the Harborough Mail: “We are continuing to make progress on a project to bring new toilets for passengers at Market Harborough station and work is on track to start on site this autumn.
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“There will be a new toilet block with disabled facilities, as well as a waiting room on platform 1.”
He added: “Improvements were also made to the temporary toilets in March.
“We are working closely with East Midlands Railway to keep disruption for passengers to a minimum.
“And we want to thank people for their continued patience whilst the permanent toilets are closed.”
Cllr Phil Knowles, a long-time critic of the time it’s taken to build new toilets at the station, told the Mail: “This is simply not good enough.
“Network Rail missed a golden opportunity to provide new toilet facilities when they carried out the £53 million revamp of the station two or three years ago.
“The new platform and new footbridge have been worth their weight in gold,” said Cllr Knowles, who leads the Liberal Democrats on Harborough District Council.
“But why are thousands of rail commuters as well as many other station-users still waiting for proper toilets years later?
“The fact that people are still having to go to makeshift toilets reflects very poorly on our popular station as well as on Market Harborough.
“The station is on my district council ward.
“And local people ask me regularly what the heck is going on with this massive issue.
“So Network Rail had better pull their finger out and make sure that we get our new facilities no later than next March,” insisted Cllr Knowles.
“We need proper provision for disabled people as well as people with buggies and prams – and for all of us right across the board.
“The people of Market Harborough and beyond deserve better.
“So we’ll be keeping a close eye on Network Rail to make sure that they stick to their new timetable and deliver on their promises.”
Cllr Phil King, the leader of Harborough council, told the Mail: “It’s regrettable that it’s taken so long to build new toilets at our town’s railway station.
“But I welcome the fact that at long last work is set to start and there’s an end date in sight.”