02 June 2010

Better Scottish Stations

As part of the cost-saving measures forced on the Department for Transport (DfT), the £50 million Better Stations scheme, championed by former Transport Secretary Lord Adonis last November, has been scrapped. The scheme's brainchild was seen as Adonis himself, who, while travelling the country by train as Transport Minister, found much wanting at many major stations.

Perhaps the scheme's demise is sensible when faced with the kind of deficit transport will need to play its part in curbing - especially if it enables existing capacity-enhancement schemes to continue.

However, as is so often the case now, Scotland has seen money pledged to improve a number of its major train stations, at a cost of £1 million. At a time when a scheme along the same lines has been disbanded, many will question why Scotland is receiving a share of the Station Community Regeneration Fund. That's partly a self-answering question, since the finance comes from a different pot. A pot that hasn't been taken back by the DfT, presumably since it has no absolute control of it.

Dundee, Kilmarnock, Cupar, Dumbarton Central and Kinghorn stations will all receive money for projects including shops and arts facilities. This, in turn, aims to achieve precisely what the Better Stations scheme aimed to do - improve the travel experience for passengers, create new amenities at stations and offer new employments opportunities.

Further applications for grant money are still invited, with the closing date being October. It would be nice to think that stations such as Manchester Victori and Warrington Bank Quay, that officially made it onto the 'worst ten' list, will receive a similar financial sprinkling during the next round of grant awards.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Because the Scottish budget has already been set, and Mr Osborne said yes, you can keep budget as it is and make the cuts next year. Thus this fund will only be around for the rest of the year and dare say next year will be gone.

Saying that I WISH there spend the money on bus stations instead

Stirling, Perth, Livingston, Galashiels , Falkirk, Coatbridge and Ayr all need doing up badly. Edinburgh has has it celling getting fixed for the past 7 months later!

Cumbernauld one is a DUMP.