THIS is the first glimpse of new plans to revive a rundown Hampshire station.

Rail bosses have today released images of an ambitious £500,000 scheme to modernise the Grade II listed Eastleigh train station.

Under plans being drawn up by South West Trains, vehicles will not be able to drive to the front because it will be paved over, however there will still be a taxi rank.

New pedestrian crossings will be introduced from the station to Southampton Road, while there is also extensive new bike racks.

The designs also link up with the Bishopstoke Road cycle route, made possible by a Department for Transport grant.

A large area in front of the station will be paved, trees planted and better street lamps and new bollards fitted. Teresa Smith, manager of Eastleigh Business Improvement District, welcomed the plans to improve the station. She said: “It will be an improvement for the town. Creating more areas to store bikes safely will enable more commuters to use the trains.

“The station is a listed building so there is a limited amount of changes that can be made to it, but improving the facilities and the forecourt will be a great first impression for visitors to the town.”

South West Trains is developing the scheme with help from Network Rail, Hampshire County Council and Eastleigh Borough Council.

The £499,000 cost will be met by Transport for South Hampshire Local Sustainable Transport Fund, along with contributions from developers. Planners will decide whether to grant the scheme planning permission later this year. If successful, the work is expected to be carried out next year.

Borough council leader Cllr Keith House said: “This is another improvement for the town centre following on from the council’s move to Upper Market Street and improvements around the recreation ground.

“It’s all part of smartening up the town and making it more attractive for shoppers and visitors.”