A bid to give traders and motorists a desperately-needed lift is gaining traction in Liss as the wheels are turning on a regeneration plan.
Queuing times at the crossing gates will be shortened if plans to extend the London-bound platform at Liss station get the green light.
Plans to extend the “up” platform to accommodate 12 carriages are well on track with Liss Parish Council (LPC) committing £50,000 to the project.
Hampshire County Council has earmarked funds for a feasibility study while South Western Railway and Network Rail also support the scheme, with the latter hoping to spend £500,000 on re-signalling in 2024 to make the gates more efficient.
The scheme is a crucial part of a Village Centre Improvement Project that aims to breathe new life into the shopping district.
The area has been divided into three with the first section between the level crossing and The Triangle Centre in need of most attention.
“Some areas of Station Road are cut off by the level crossing from the main part of the centre and are rundown and in need of sympathetic development,” reads part of the Village Centre Redesign Brief.
“The street scene is poor, with a clutter of pots and signs, some poor pavements, and a lack of green planting. Parking for the centre is increasingly difficult with car parks close to capacity.”
Early plans for the station area include new trees and planters while the Lower Mead Shopping Pavement has potential for a “piazza style area” and an industrial-looking railway colonnade.
Increasing the length of the short platform is seen as key because many motorists avoid the village centre because of the queues caused by excess carriages on the level crossing.
It is hoped reduced waiting times will ease congestion and pollution while attracting more through traffic to the area.