Restored entrance to Middlesbrough train station formally re-opened
The main entrance to Middlesbrough train station has today, Monday 09 April 2018, been formally reopened after extensive works were completed by Network Rail to the station building and roof.
I am delighted to be asked to officially mark the re-opening of the Zetland Road Southern entrance to our railway station. The entrance to the station has been out of bounds for several years plagued by severe structural issues but it is a joy to see the entrance opened up again today. This is yet another positive step forward for our station.
Front row with Dave Budd, Elected Mayor of Middlesbrough, Mike Drewery, Group Station Manager East, TransPennine Express and Andy McDonald, MP for Middlesbrough and Shadow Secretary of State for Transport cut the ribbon re-opening the station entrance, with representatives of Network Rail and Colt Construction.
This entrance to the Grade II listed station building now provides a step free route from the station direct to Middlesbrough town centre via Zetland Road. It was formally reopened by local Member of Parliament and Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Andy McDonald, accompanied by David Budd, Mayor of Middlesbrough, and representatives from TransPennine Express, Network Rail and Middlesbrough Council.
Investment of £3m has been made by Network Rail in the station building and roof, restoring it to a safe and watertight condition for decades to come. The works also enabled the station entrance to be restored and a vehicle turning circle installed enabling customers to be dropped off by car from Zetland Road for trains.
The works have been completed in advance of a major new train timetable being introduced this May which will see TransPennine Express operate earlier and later services from Middlesbrough on Mondays to Saturdays and double the frequency of trains on Sundays to a train ever hour. Furthermore, TransPennine Express will introduce brand new state of the art Nova 3 five carriage trains on its services to/from Middlesbrough this autumn, increasing the number of seats available per train and enhancing the overall customer experience.
Graham Meiklejohn, Regional Development Manager for TransPennine Express, said: “The re-opening of the traditional entrance to this historic station at Middlesbrough provides customers with a restored, step free, well-lit and direct walking route into the town centre. This, combined with the completed works to the roof, provides an enhanced environment in time for the introduction of our additional train services this May and our new five carriage Nova 3 trains this autumn. It also provides a powerful launch to the phased delivery of improvements through the station masterplan delivered and funded in partnership by a range of organisations.”
Lisa McGuinness, Commercial Scheme Sponsor at Network Rail, said: “A lot has been done to get the southern entrance reopened and I’m delighted that by working closely with Middlesbrough Council and TransPennine Express we have been able to resolve this long running problem for customers at Middlesbrough. Network Rail is grateful for the patience of those who have been inconvenienced by the closure and we look forward to continuing to work with Middlesbrough Station’s stakeholders to further enhance the station and its surroundings.”
Right from first being elected I have campaigned to secure better rail services for Middlesbrough. Over the last several years, together with Middlesbrough Council, I have led a taskforce including Network Rail and TPE and others and working in partnership and now bringing to fruition what is the latest phase in a wonderful restoration of our much loved and iconic Victorian station. The latest announcement of new timetable updates and additional weekend services recognises the latent demand that exists and reflects the capacity for proper investment in rail transport to add both social and economic value to our city region , as well as providing the levels of comfort, convenience and safety that customers deserve.
I congratulate Network Rail and all their fabulous contractors and craftsmen and craftswomen who have expertly utilised £3m worth of investment as can be seen in the restored main entrance, the superb stonemasonry and Welsh Slate roof works. The skill and attention to detail is quite magnificent. But there is a long way to go before we see the full realisation of our aspirations to create a city-scape transport hub for Middlesbrough right at the heart of our city region. We've had financial commitments for further work on the project running to £5m from Network Rail, Middlesbrough Council and now the Tees Valley Combined Authority which will take us further on the journey and part of that exercise will be to secure the tens of millions pounds that the full scheme will need.
As for today, we can delight that pedestrian access is now safer, more accessible and directly connects to the town centre. I am sure it will be greatly welcomed by customers. This is a very significant development and signals again our determination to keep pressing on to deliver the full transformational vision set out in the Station Master Plan launched last month.
Middlesbrough’s Elected Mayor Dave Budd said: “It’s brilliant to see the re-opening of the southern entrance of Middlesbrough train station. The station is an important part of the history of Middlesbrough and also has a major role to play in its future as we continue to develop our city-scale aspirations. These improvements are just the start of the bigger picture and I would like to thank and congratulate all those who have been involved in the works.”