Cash for worst train stations
The 10 worst railway stations in the England are to get £50m government cash to carry out improvements.
Manchester Victoria received the lowest satisfaction rating, followed by Clapham Junction, in south London, and Crewe, in Cheshire, in a report by Station Champions Sir Peter Hall and Chris Green.
The report for the Department for Transport found that while 81 per cent of rail passengers were satisfied with their overall journey, only 65 cent were satisfied with their station. The authors call for urgent improvements.
Transport Secretary Lord Adonis is visiting all ten listed stations in a whistle-stop one-day tour, to see conditions for himself. He commissioned the report after a making a round-Britain rail tour in April. While describing it as “a highly enjoyable and by and large positive experience,” he added: "I was struck by the great variation in the passenger facilities at stations. Train travel has improved a good deal in recent years, but more needs to be done to improve conditions and services for passengers at stations.”
The ten stations Lord Adonis will visit today are: Clapham Junction, Barking, Stockport, Manchester Victoria, Preston, Wigan North Western, Liverpool Central, Warrington Bank Quay, Crewe and Luton.
Lord Adonis continued: "I want every station to be a good station - a hub of local community life and somewhere that you wouldn't mind spending time, with adequate facilities.
"I support the report's recommendations of minimum standards for stations - classed by size - in terms of information, car and bike parking, facilities and environment.
"I intend to make these minimum standards a requirement in future rail franchise agreements with train operating companies."
Commenting on the ‘Better Rail Stations’ report, Michael Roberts, chief executive at the Association of Train Operating Companies, said: "Stations are the shop front for the railways. This is a comprehensive report which rightly highlights that while passenger satisfaction with stations has risen in recent years, much more needs to be done to deliver a consistently good station experience."
Passenger Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said: "We know from our research that the key thing for passengers is to have the trains running on time. They are also concerned about how delays are dealt with. While it is very important that stations provide a welcoming environment, we would be worried if money for station improvements is diverted from other areas."