Rail passengers across England and Wales are set for better journeys thanks to a £20 million pot to fund new stations, announced today (26 August 2016) by the Department for Transport.
The next round of the new stations fund will provide up to 75% of the cost for construction of new stations or to reopen previously closed stations. The funding will improve access to the rail network and create new travel, employment and housing opportunities.
It follows on from an initial round of funding, which has already made a major difference to passengers’ journeys, with new stations at Newcourt in Devon, Pye Corner in Wales and Lea Bridge in London, and stations at Ilkeston near Derby and Kenilworth near Coventry in the process of being delivered.
Rail Minister Paul Maynard said:
The new stations fund is a great example of how our record investment in the railways and work with local authorities and industry is delivering better journeys for passengers.
Through this fund, passengers will benefit from new connections and faster journeys, making it easier to get to work and visit friends and family. It will also provide a major boost for local economies and support the delivery of local housing developments.
Norrie Courts, Director of Stations at Network Rail said:
The new station funding stream represents an important part of our railway upgrade plan to improve Britain’s railways, delivering real and visible improvements for passengers. The first round of the new stations fund helped deliver Pye Corner, Newcourt and Lea Bridge and is in the process of delivering Ilkeston and Kenilworth.
These are important stations for passengers who rely on the railway every day, and the announcement of additional investment to undertake a further round of new stations is welcomed.
Organisations such as local authorities, and train operating companies keen to boost local growth are all being encouraged to submit bids.
The schemes already completed as part of the first round have made a major difference to the local area, allowing homes to be built, connecting towns and boosting the economy. Just last month, construction began at Kenilworth - one of the largest towns in England without a railway station. The re-opening of the Kenilworth station, which closed in 1965, will allow residents easier access to Coventry and Birmingham but also help bring in shoppers and visitors to this historic town.
The deadline for bidders for the second round of funding is 18 November 2016 with an announcement of successful projects expected to be made early next year.
If you are interested in bidding for this funding, visit the Network Rail website.