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Rail stations set for major improvements

PUBLISHED: 06:30 13 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:12 06 July 2010

Cromer railway station

Cromer railway station

Rail passengers across the region are set to benefit after it was revealed £3.25bn is to be spent on improving rundown stations throughout the country as part of a five-year investment programme.

Rail passengers across the region are set to benefit after it was revealed £3.25bn is to be spent on improving rundown stations throughout the country as part of a five-year investment programme.

The announcement was made yesterdayby Network Rail, which said passengers would be given the chance to decide where the money was spent by taking part in a major new survey.

Network Rail, which also announced yesterday that more than 150 stations in the Anglia region are in line for a revamp, 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 their priorities are.

The three-month research project will kick off later this month and involve on-line surveys, telephone surveys and focus groups.

The results from the survey will feed into a much wider review on stations, led by Network Rail, which will take place over the next year and involve every train operator, rail funding partner and interest group in the country.

Andrew Munden, Network Rail route director for Anglia, 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 under way, 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.”

Improvements to stations in the Anglia region will take place between now and 2014 with sums ranging from tens of thousands to millions.

The improvements to be made include 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; and smarter, redecorated stations with more seating and retail opportunities.

A spokesman for National Express East Anglia, said: “"We welcome the announcement made by Network Rail to make further investment in stations and we look forward to working in partnership with them to deliver improvements for passengers.”

Peter Lawrence, president of Railfuture, the UK's leading independent organisation campaigning for better rail services for passengers and freight, said: “Any move to spend money on the railways to improve them is welcome. Until we know the specifics of where the money is being spent, it's difficult to pass judgement, but in principle we welcome it.”

The survey can be accessed online at www.networkrail.co.uk/actionstations


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