COMMUTERS are set to benefit from a £1.4m revamp of Billericay railway station.

Work on transforming the station, in Radford Way, into a bigger, more modern and passenger-friendly place, is set to begin in the autumn.

The improvements will include refurbishing the existing Victorian building, enlarging the ticket hall and putting in more machines plus new waiting shelters Railway bosses also plan to improve the staircases, install new high-tech information screens and replace the existing canopy outside the station with a glass-fronted entrance.

Some commuters hailed it as good news for the 8,000 passengers who use the station every day. Others said they thought it was wasteful as the station did not need such a major overhaul.

Nick Peacock, 49, of Chapel Mews, Billericay, a regular commuter to London said: “The ticket machines here are really unreliable and the queues are terrible.”

Derek Monnery, chairman of Essex Rail Users’ Federation, said: “I’ve seen the plans and Billericay train users are going to get a nice, modern and welcoming station building.”

Billericay councillor Phil Turner, said he was pleased with the investment. He added: “This is a welcome investment which has been needed for a long time.

“But we haven’t seen the details of the plans yet, and we want to make sure the changes are good for everyone.”

A spokesman for National Express East Anglia, which leases the station from Network Rail, said more information and detailed plans would be available in September.

The money will come from the National Stations Improvement Programme, a £150million fund set up by the previous Government.