PROPOSALS have been submitted for a multi-million pound scheme to upgrade the transport interchange between trains, buses and taxis at Taunton Station.

Network Rail's planning application to Taunton Deane Borough Council also offers additional parking and aims to improve the connection from the station to the town centre.

The scheme would see the entrance relocated to the south side from its current position north of the underpass adjacent to the original Brunel down station.

The master plan includes alterations to form the new entrance, gate line and booking hall; a new transport interchange; improvement to the pedestrian approach to the station; new forecourt layout and paving; and a multi-storey car park.

The application is for listed building consent to alterations to the existing station buildings on Platform 2 with the addition of an extension and a formal application for planning permission is not required for the multi-storey car park.

The alterations will be to the platform supervisor's office, the adjacent store rooms, the bike shop, workshop and office to form the ticket hall and gateline leading onto Platform 2.

There will be a new glazed entrance, replacement flat roof over the bike shop and fencing will be repositioned, along with the addition of bollards and benches.

The area will have enhanced hard and soft landscaping to improve the pedestrian approach to the station.

Network Rail and Great Western Railway have been working with the council and county highways and consulted with local people and stakeholders.

A spokesman said: "With a forecast of a 44 per cent increase in passenger numbers using Taunton Station by the end of the decade, the problems identified at the station will be exacerbated, increasing the requirement for the enhancement works and the reason funding was awarded (through a Local Enterprise Partnership)."

Taunton Station was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the chief engineer for the Great Western Railway, and opened on July 1, 1842, as the temporary terminus of the Bristol and Exeter Railway.

It was rebuilt to accommodate increasing traffic in 1868 and there was further development that resulted in the longest platform on the Gret Western in 1895.

Developments in the last century took place in the 1930s, while the island platforms were taken out of regular use in the 1960s and 70s following the closure of various branch line under the Beeching Axe, although they re-opened under privatisation.