Crewe station revamp scrapped by coalition Government
PLANS for £2 million of improvements to a major railway station have been scrapped.
Nearly £3 million had been allocated to give Crewe station a much-needed facelift under two separate schemes.
But one phase will no longer go ahead because the new coalition Government has scrapped a £50 million project announced last November.
Crewe was included in former Transport Secretary Lord Adonis's list of 10 stations in the country that were in need of urgent modernisation.
The funding would have been used for improvements to the ticket hall, concourse and platform facilities.
Planned work included renewed surfacing on staircases, improved lighting in the concourse, and refurbishment of the waiting rooms and toilets.
It would have started later this year and ended by 2012.
Another project to re-glaze the roof canopy above platforms five and six, which is being funded by Network Rail, has started.
It is being carried out at night to avoid disruption and is due to be completed by the end of the year.
Network Rail spokesman Colin Gadd said there were, effectively, two schemes at Crewe station.
He added: "The first was funded from the Better Stations scheme and consisted of refurbishment of the ticket hall, improved lighting in the concourse and overbridge, refurbishment of the waiting rooms and toilets and some brickwork cleaning.
"This project, which was valued at approximately £2 million, has been shelved.
"However, a £1 million scheme to re-glaze the roof canopy above the main parts of platforms five and six is going ahead and work has already started on site."
Sam Dixon, Virgin Trains station manager at Crewe, said: "Crewe is a station which is in urgent need of improvement, so we are disappointed at this news.
"The announcement strengthens our view that operators running stations like Crewe on a day-to-day basis need freedom to carry out improvements themselves.
"Longer franchises would allow us to make this sort of investment."
Councillor Roy Cartlidge, chairman of Crewe Railways Environment and Manufacture (CREAM), said he was "appalled" by the new coalition Government's decision.
He added: "I know they're on a cost-cutting mission, but I don't think they realise the ripples they will cause by throwing this stone in the pond.
"The station will worsen, people will lose confidence in investing in the area and local construction workers will not get work on the station.
"Then, when the work is to be done, the price tag will have gone up again.
"This is not going to save any money in the long-term."