Thursday 12 Nov 2009

SOUTH WEST OF ENGLAND TO BENEFIT FROM NATIONWIDE £3.5BN STATION INVESTMENT

Region & Route:
Southern: Wessex
| Southern

- £3.25bn to be invested nationwide over next five years
- Passengers to have their say
- More than 100 stations in the South West of England to be improved

Network Rail today launched the first ever piece of passenger research targeting stations, as it unveiled its plans to improve thousands of stations across the country in a five year. 

Around £12m of this will be invested in stations in the South West of England.

Chris Rayner, Western route director at Network Rail, said: "Stations are the railways' shop-front and they have been ignored for too long. With the punctuality of the railways now running at record levels and our major programme to boost capacity and provide more seats on trains underway, we can now look at other priorities and stations and are at the top of the list.

"Much is planned in this area over the coming years and we must invest wisely.  We shouldn't try and second guess passengers but ask them what they want from stations and what's important to them. We need to listen to passengers and use their views on stations to guide our decisions."

In a pioneering move, Network Rail is launching the first ever nationwide stations research project asking passengers what is important to them at their local station, where they would like to see investment and what are their priorities. The survey can be accessed online at www.networkrail.co.uk/actionstations

The research project will kick off later this month, last for up to three months and involve on-line surveys, telephone surveys and focus groups to really get into the detail of what passengers rate as the most important things to have at stations. 

The results from the survey, along with the station champions report expected shortly from the Department for Transport, will feed into a much wider review on stations, led by Network Rail. This will take place over the next twelve months involving every train operator, rail funding partner and interest group in the country.

At the same time Network Rail said over 2000 stations across the country are to benefit from investment between now and spring 2014 with sums ranging from tens of thousands of pounds to millions.  The improvements to be made include things like:

  • New passenger information systems
  • New lifts and stairways
  • New toilets, waiting rooms and shelters
  • New, longer or resurfaced platforms
  • Bigger or refurbished ticket offices and ticket halls
  • Better lighting and CCTV
  • Smarter stations - redecoration, more seating and retail opportunities 

The investment does not just come from Network Rail funds but pulls together all the investment being targeted at stations over the next five years and includes sources such as the DfT, train operators, Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly Government, PTEs, local authorities and other third parties.

The list of stations is not exhaustive and represents a ‘snap-shot’ in time and may include stations that are in the early stages of being planned but we, or our partners, are keen to see come to fruition over the next five years

Notes to editors

- Network Rail is also publishing an information booklet about stations and the research entitled 'Action Stations'
 
- Tens of thousands of leaflets will today be handed out to passengers inviting them to take part in the on-line survey

- All those who complete the survey will be entered into a free prize draw to win a season ticket (value up to £2,000)

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Journalists
Network Rail press office -Western route
07730 354394
MediaRelationsWestern@networkrail.co.uk

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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