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, £3.25bn, programme of investment. More than £2bn of this will be invested in stations in and around the capital.
Robin Gisby, director of operations and customer service 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
Some of the top (by spend) station improvement schemes include:
Birmingham New Street, Blackfriars, Edinburgh Waverley, King’s Cross, London Bridge,
Farringdon, Cannon Street, Glasgow Central, Paddington
Bromsgrove, Leicester, Maidstone East, Manchester Victoria, Nottingham, Oxford, Putney, Reading Green Park