Luton Railway Station’s leaking roof raised in Parliament as cafe forced to reopen to 'survive' despite lack of repairs

Kimbo Caffe at Luton rail station had closed due to a leaking roofKimbo Caffe at Luton rail station had closed due to a leaking roof
Kimbo Caffe at Luton rail station had closed due to a leaking roof
The issue was raised in Parliament

Luton Railway Station’s leaking roof has been raised in Parliament as its station cafe has been forced to reopen to ‘survive’ despite the lack of repairs.

Rachel Hopkins MP has called for Network Rail to fix the roof of the station’s Kimbo Cafe, which has been closed since February due to the leaks.

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Kimbo Caffe was closed following overnight rain which leaked into the restaurant area. It’s believed the roof was previously damaged with sandbags used as a temporary measure to protect the building.

Speaking in Parliament, the MP for Luton South said: “Privatisation has led to the break-up of not just track and train but infrastructure, such as at Luton station. I am thankful that the Rail Minister visited and has seen it for himself. He knows that I am very passionate about standing up for my constituents, and we will soon get our lifts installed. The leaks in the roof have impacted a small local business – the café – and commuters cannot get their cup of tea in the morning. Despite that, the small business moved back in, with the leaking roof, in order to survive. Will the Secretary of State please press upon Network Rail to at least fix the leaks in the roof at the station, if nothing else?”

Mark Harper, Secretary of State for Transport, replied: My honourable friend the Rail Minister visited that station and that very café. As the honourable lady knows, we are keen to make sure that we fix the roof while the sun is shining. I will talk to the Rail Minister and see if we can make progress to ensure that the station is in an appropriate state for her and her constituents.

While Network Rail is responsible for the repair, Thameslink collects the rent for the cafe – but a date for repairs has still not been given. A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We are currently investigating this matter and we are working with all parties to reach a solution.”

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A Thameslink spokesperson said: "We appreciate how difficult this is for our tenant and we're meeting with her this week to discuss how we can come to an arrangement about her rent to support her business.”

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