Network Rail has secured £8.6m to transform the station. Plans include modern retail facilities, improved waiting rooms and toilets, better signage, alterations to the existing bridge, new lifts and escalators. There will also be new glazed canopies to increase natural light.
Phil Verster, route managing Director for Network Rail, said: “Newcastle station is an incredibly busy and important transport hub for the north east. These improvements will help passengers to get the best from the listed building. Significantly the finished station will also give a better first impression to visitors to the city.
“We are working closely with the council and local business leaders to make sure our plans complement the city scheme to improve the area outside the station.”
Tim Hedley-Jones, stations and property director for East Coast, which manages Newcastle station, said: “Newcastle is one of the main stations along our route and East Coast welcomes today’s news, which will see significant improvements to some of its key facilities. Once completed, the changes will undoubtedly enhance the travel experience for our customers, whilst giving staff a better working environment.”
The station scheme is being developed in partnership with NE1 and Newcastle City Council who are seeking funds to improve the area outside the station for pedestrians, drivers, cyclists and visitors to the city and help kick-start the economic regeneration of the area. The Council and businesses in the city centre will also be investing in the project.
Deputy chairman of NE1 Ltd, Gavin Black, said: “This is great news for Newcastle and the north east, with the improvements to the station helping to cement the city’s role as the region’s capital. NE1 has worked hard over the last two years coordinating this complex project and we are confident that this work will increase connectivity and assist in unlocking further funding and private sector development around the station.”
The leader of Newcastle City Council, Cllr Nick Forbes said: ““Newcastle central station is a key strategic gateway not just to Newcastle but the north east and it plays a pivotal role in demonstrating that we are a modern European city with a 21st century transport infrastructure equipped to support business, generate economic growth and provide a warm welcome to visitors. We welcome Network Rail’s investment. These improvements will transform the area, providing a dynamic link to the regeneration of the Stephenson quarter and a clear pathway to the commercial heart of the city.”
Speaking about the station improvement fund, Rail Minister Norman Baker added: “Putting passengers first by making journeys more convenient and positive is vital if we are to encourage more people to travel by rail in the future.
“These projects will ensure that travelling on a train is a positive experience both during a journey and at the start and end of a trip so I am delighted to be able to announce this additional funding.”
Also in Europe today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to London.
City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
London.mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.