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2009-05-05 DfT-001
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Champions to oversee station improvements


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Department for Transport

Champions to oversee station improvements
_______________________________________________________________


date
5 May 2009 12:08
source Department for Transport
type Press release

note DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (059 ) issued by COI News Distribution Service on 5 May 2009


Passengers' requirements at stations across England and Wales are to be reviewed by two 'Stations' Champions' who have been asked by the Government to suggest ways to improve facilities.

Transport Minister Andrew Adonis, who has just returned from a six-day rail tour of Britain, has asked Sir Peter Hall, President of the Town and Country Planning Association, and Chris Green, a non-executive director of Network Rail and a former Chief Executive of Virgin Trains, to advise the Government on improving stations.

Announcing the station review in a speech to the Railway Forum today, Andrew Adonis said:

"My tour gave me a real insight into the state of the network, which is good overall. It was clear however that the quality of stations is extremely variable and at many major stations the service level is often downright poor.

"I experienced stations where toilet facilities were closed or uncleaned, where there was a lack of refreshments or adequate bicycle or car parking facilities. There was great variability in the quality of bus interchanges, together with the unavailability of local transport information and even basic local street maps.

"To address this issue I have asked Sir Peter Hall and Chris Green to look at how we can get the basics right as well as to consider the broader role of stations in the future."

Commenting on the initiative, Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, said:

"Train companies have already done a good deal to improve stations, and this has been reflected in steadily improving satisfaction scores in the Passenger Focus National Passenger Survey over the past five years. But train companies are keen to move faster and we have been calling for quicker procedures to approve projects. We very much look forward to this Ministerial initiative giving a boost to such ideas and enabling operators to deliver the passenger improvements we want to make more quickly."

The champions will advise on the minimum levels of service that should be set at stations - ensuring they are appropriate to the stations' passenger flows - so passengers can be confident that stations will meet set standards.

They will also provide advice on how other changes such as 'quick wins', better station management, future franchise agreements, Network Rail initiatives, and longer term investment can be brought about in a way that that delivers better stations.

Government initiatives to improve stations include Access for All, in which £370 million has been committed towards improving facilities for disabled passengers, and the National Stations Improvement Plan, which aims to upgrade approximately 150 stations with £150 million of funding.

The Department for Transport also sponsors the Secure Stations Scheme which includes a national accreditation scheme recognising measures to improve station security and provide reassurance to passengers and staff. This new initiative will be a way of bringing all stations up to a similar standard.

Notes for editors

1. The stations review will consider:

* the minimum facilities that passengers should be able to expect at stations, as appropriate to the size of their passenger flows.

* what can be done to enhance stations as transport interchanges and community institutions.

2. The National Stations Improvement Programme (NSIP), an initiative worth £150 million to modernise approximately 150 intermediate stations in England and Wales in 2009-14, was announced in the 2007 Rail White Paper.

3. The primary objective of the NSIP is to bring about a noticeable and lasting improvement in the environment at stations for the benefit of passengers.

4. Access for All is a £370m ring-fenced fund for station accessibility improvements under the Government's ten-year Railways for All strategy. Station selection and prioritisation is made by the DfT. To date, 145 stations in England, Wales and Scotland have been selected to receive step-free access improvements.

5. The Secure Stations Scheme is sponsored by the Department for Transport and accreditation is undertaken by the British Transport Police. Over 90% of all overground rail journeys involve passengers starting or finishing their journey at a Secure Station.

6. Sir Peter Hall is an English town planner, and geographer. He is the Bartlett Professor of Planning and Regeneration at University College London and President of both the Town and Country Planning Association and the Regional Studies Association. Sir Peter was also a Special Adviser on Strategic Planning to the UK government (1991-94) and a member of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's Urban Task Force (1998-1999).

7. Christopher Green joined the Network Rail Board in 2005 following his retirement as Chairman of Virgin Rail Group. Chris has over 40 years of railway experience, having joined British Rail upon leaving university. He held various management positions including Managing Director of Network SouthEast and Intercity. He was Chief Executive of Virgin Trains from 1999 to 2004. Chris was also Chief Executive of English Heritage, a non-executive director of Eurotunnel and past Chairman of the Railway Forum. He is a Trustee of the Liverpool Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk


Railhub Archive ::: 2009-05-05 DfT-001





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