(2) what assessment his Department has made of the proportion of financial support for station improvements at Stockport Railway Station which will come from (a) local authorities, (b) rail industry and (c) central Government;
(3) whether station improvements on the 10 major interchange stations identified for priority improvement by the Station Champions would go ahead without financial support from local government and industry;
(4) what assessment his Department has made of the ability of (a) local authorities and (b) local industry to provide financial support for station improvements at railway stations as part of the new £50 million fund;
(5) by what date he expects to announce the amount of funding from the new £50 million fund to be distributed for station improvements at Stockport railway station.
The Department for Transport has agreed with Network Rail that they will make up to £50 million available in the near future to tackle improvements at the 10 key stations, including Stockport, identified in the Station Champions’ report as being in most need of improvement.
We are challenging the industry and local government to raise part of the money required for each of these stations themselves to help us maximise the impact of the £50 million. At this stage it is not possible to anticipate the proportion of funding that will come from Network Rail, industry and local government either at Stockport or at any of the other priority stations. However, we are expecting third party funding to be a key feature of those schemes that are taken forward. We realise that seeking additional funding in the current economic climate may be difficult, but this is crucial in maximising the benefit of the schemes.
We are keen for improvements at these stations to begin as soon as possible, and anticipate that the £50 million will be used as part of a rolling programme before 2014. Announcements will be made as improvement packages at individual stations are agreed.