In cities throughout the world, well designed, attractive rail stations are a source of real civic pride, and create a lasting impression on visitors. Transport Scotland's redevelopment of Dundee and Glasgow Queen Street stations will create new landmarks for the cities, while the refurbishment of Edinburgh Waverley has restored historical architectural features and created easier access to the platforms.
At stations in Scotland's four other cities, we have drawn up plans to significantly improve the facilities on offer and provide a new range of customer services, as well as a longer term vision to redevelop the stations and their surrounding area. Along with refurbished HST trains and faster journey times, and fares starting at £5, these station investments will transform the quality of travel between Scotland's seven cities.
The most significant initial improvements will start at Inverness and Aberdeen stations where we plan to refurbish the concourses to create space for shops and cafes including new ToGo convenience store kiosks selling newspapers, baked goods, drinks, snacks and a range of other products.
We will also work with specialist companies to provide new services including left luggage storage space, office facilities and meeting rooms, car hire, and collection points for parcels and online grocery orders. Further new facilities will include cycle hire, secure cycle storage and staffed travel information desks where passengers can ask for advice about their onward journeys as well as rail travel.
We will explore the potential for rolling out suchfacilities at all the principal city stations. Our longer term vision for Aberdeen, Inverness, Perth and Stirling stations, will create new public amenities in and around the stations as well as new more convenient routes from the railway to the city centres.
At Aberdeen station, there is potential to extend the existing station concourse to provide further shops, a hotel, and a simple pedestrian route to the nearby Union Square shopping mall and bus station.
Similarly, at Inverness station, there are opportunities to provide further new retail facilities on land next to the railway which would also create easier access from the station to the Eastgate shopping centre.
At Perth station, there is potential to improve pedestrian routes to the town centre and revise the station forecourt to provide more convenient drop-off points and taxi ranks. The entrance concourse could also be opened up to allow improvements to the existing ticket office, shopping and café facilities. A number of station buildings that are no longer used on a day to day basis could be refurbished to provide premises for local businesses.
At Stirling station, there is potential to create a public square in front of the station to improve the streetscene, pedestrian access to the station and provide some new shops.