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Transport Minister Baroness Kramer witnessed crucial works to upgrade stations in Manchester and inspected one of the UK’s largest rock salt mines today (11 December 2014).
The minister went to see the extensive refurbishment and remodelling of Manchester Victoria station, a project which is part of a wider £1 billion-plus Network Rail Programme to deliver electrification and the Northern Hub scheme to improve rail services across the north of England.
The work has been undertaken to redevelop the station to support increased passenger numbers.
Baroness Kramer said:
Good transport links are at the heart of the government’s plan to build a stronger economy. I am pleased to see that Network Rail and the on-site team have been able to deliver this scheme whilst maintaining an operational railway.
The transformation of the station will see the listed heritage elements of the station maintained and restored as well as the rest of the station brought up to date to act as a fitting gateway for the city.
Earlier in the day she opened Guide Bridge station in Greater Manchester, which has benefitted from £1.7 million of investment from the government and Network Rail.
The recently completed works have seen a number of improvements, lifting it from a somewhat neglected state to a modern and appealing environment for rail passengers.
The work includes a brand new car park and the installation of CCTV cameras across the station. A new ticket office building installed with a ticket vending machine will make it quicker and easier for customers to purchase tickets. Improved lighting has also been introduced throughout the station.
Baroness Kramer commented:
Guide Bridge station is one of many stations that has been transformed by the National Stations Improvement Programme. I am pleased that thousands of rail passengers are benefiting from these changes at this station every day.
The minister also visited a salt mine in Winsford, Cheshire, one of the largest sources of natural rock salt in the UK. It is used by the Highways Agency and local authorities to grit roads. The visit forms part of the government’s work to ensure the transport network is prepared for severe weather.
See our Youtube video on how the Department for Transport is working closely with highway authorities to ensure disruption to the transport network is kept to a minimum in the event of severe winter weather.