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Last Updated: Friday, 9 June 2006, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
Train cuts pay for station revamp
Sunderland Train Station - freefoto.com
The station is in a rundown condition
A rundown railway station is to get a multi-million pound revamp - paid for by cuts to services.

Sunderland station will get a 6.9m makeover in a deal with the government brokered by transport operator Nexus.

The project will be paid for by savings made from cuts in services between Sunderland and Newcastle.

The improvements follow an announcement earlier this year that train company Grand Central will offer services linking Wearside and London.

The project will see platform and waiting areas refurbished, with new passenger information systems and an escalator linking to the underground concourse to the street above.

'Dreadful welcome'

Mike Parker, director general of Nexus, said: "This success is a direct result of our decision to change rail services between Sunderland and Newcastle last year.

"In short, the Department of Transport has agreed Nexus can keep savings that will be generated by this change over the next 17 years, allowing us to pay for the transformation of Sunderland here and now."

Paul Watson, deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "This is fantastic news for our city. For too long the station has provided a dreadful welcome to Sunderland."

Work on site will start later this year and is expected to take around 18 months.

Union leaders criticised reductions in train service between Sunderland and Newcastle from five to one an hour last December.

Nexus said the reductions were offset by increased Metro services.

A station has existed on the current site in Sunderland since 1879.

It appeared in the Channel 4 documentary Demolition last year, aimed at finding Britain's worst buildings.




SEE ALSO:
Rail newcomer wins service battle
23 Mar 06 |  Business
Protest over train service cuts
09 Dec 05 |  England


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