AN MP has met with the rail minister to press for a derailed £4million overhaul of a train station to resume as soon as possible after a four-year saga.

In 2020, Greater Anglia had plans approved to demolish the main building at Wickford train station, in Station Approach, and replace it with a new, modern station and to extend platforms.

Despite positivity around the project, the Covid pandemic put work on hold and parts of the station have been closed off by large hoardings since.

This week Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, met with Rail Minister Huw Merriman to discuss the rebuild programme.

The MP emphasised a modern train station is needed for his constituents, given the size of Wickford town.

Mr Francois previously highlighted the “unacceptable situation” at Wickford in the House of Commons and is pushing for a swift solution.

The minister confirmed that Greater Anglia requested funding as part of the Department for Transport Annual Business Plan 2024-2025.

Commenting after the meeting, the MP said: “I thank the rail minister for a very constructive meeting during which I was able to express a strong desire for this situation to be resolved, as soon as possible.

“Clearly, my constituents deserve much better and I look forward to receiving from Greater Anglia firm dates as to when this rebuilding project will now finally be completed.”

A Greater Anglia spokesperson confirmed the it is committed to the project. They said: “We are working to replace the station building at Wickford as soon as possible.

“We have secured planning permission and put forward proposals in our business plan for the next year. Subject to our business plan being approved by the DfT, will then go through the tender process as quickly as possible.

“We will keep customers updated about the progress via our usual channels.”