Transport Minister Chris Mole today unveiled new facilities at Southampton Airport Parkway station that promise to smooth the journeys of thousands of rail passengers who arrive at the station each day.
A new footbridge and two new platform lifts have been built at the station thanks to a £2m Government grant and additional funding from the BAA, South West Trains and Hampshire County Council.
Transport Minister Chris Mole said:
"Southampton is a major international gateway and I'm delighted to open these new facilities which will make life easier for passengers.
"If we are to encourage more people to travel by train improving access for passengers is vital. That's why we launched our £370m Access for All initiative in 2006 which has not only enabled us to make these improvements to Southampton but is helping us to fund similar improvements at other stations."
Andy Pitt, Managing Director of South West Trains, said:
“With more and more people using Southampton Airport as a fast link to access our frequent and punctual services to London, it’s crucial that we make it as easy as possible for everybody to travel between the station and the airport.
“The opening of the new footbridge will mark a significant step forward for the station and the airport, and we are hopeful that even more passengers will now take the opportunity to find out just how easy it is to make the connection from rail to air.”
Dave Lees, Operations Director for Southampton Airport, said:
"The new rail footbridge at Southampton Airport Parkway is conveniently located adjacent to the airport terminal, just 60 seconds walk from the Arrival's Hall. This means passengers can be joining their train just a few minutes after their aircraft touches down.
"The bridge is a significant improvement for passengers from across Europe who are increasingly using Southampton Airport as a fast link to access London - just 66 minutes away.
"The bridge will also assist passengers visiting the south coast region, particularly to Weymouth in the run up to the 2012 Olympics."
Notes to editors
1. The total cost of the project at Southampton Airport Parkway station is £2.9m which has been made up by funding from the Department for Transport of £1.99m. The remainder was made up £224,000 from South West Trains and £90,000 from Hampshire County Council. BAA contributed around .£600,000 as the new bridge provides onward connectivity to the airport terminal.
2. Delivery of the work at Southampton Airport Parkway was managed by the South West Trains in conjunction with BAA and Network Rail.
3. The £370 million Access for All initiative was launched in March 2006 to fund the redevelopment of train stations across England, Scotland and Wales.
4. Access for All comes under the DfT's Railways for All strategy, launched in March 2006, which sets out what the rail industry is doing to improve access.
5. Organisations such as Councils, charities and regional transport executives are invited each year to bid for funding from the Access for All fund. The funding must be matched by financial contributions from the region. Unsuccessful bidders are encouraged to resubmit their application in following years.
6. A full list of the stations benefitting from the scheme can be found at the Department for Transport's website at http://www.dft.gov.uk/transportforyou/access/rail/railstations/ssf/
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