New entrance part of Preston station revamp

The new entrance at Preston station
The new entrance at Preston station

An eye-catching new entrance at Preston station is open to the public this week.

The unit forms part of a £2m refurbishment of the station by Virgin Trains which includes free high-speed wifi access, additional parking spaces and a bicycle hub.

The modern design of the Butler Street entrance forms a juxtaposition of styles next to the traditional station building.

Virgin said the revamp is due to record numbers using the transport exchange with more than 1.2m passengers having travelled between London and Preston during the last two years.

Michael Stewart, general manager for the West Coast and Anglo-Scottish services, said: “As we celebrate our 20th year (of operating the West Coast mainline) we continue to put our customers at the heart of everything we do.

“Our investment at Preston station is a great example of this. Each phase of investment has been designed to enhance the experience for customers using the station and accommodate the growth we’re seeing in passenger numbers.

“We’re proud that the £2m has now been completed, and we’d like to thank Network Rail, Lancashire County Council and Preston City Council for their support.

“We hope customers using the station will benefit from these changes for many years to come.”

The Butler Street entrance features a retail unit, customer information, arrival and departure screens and additional ticket machines.

County Coun Michael Green, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Planning, said: “Over two million passengers use Preston railway station each year, making it a critical transport asset and important gateway for Lancashire and for people further afield.

"These changes will undoubtedly improve the experience for passengers, enhancing the station’s presence within the city centre and its relationship to a range of proposed commercial and residential developments including the £200m UCLan campus redevelopment, City Centre Living and the leisure-led transformation of the Harris Quarter.

"Key sectors of the Lancashire economy require better transport connections to continue prospering, including tourism, aerospace, the energy sector, and higher education; while other key industries rely on rail capacity for freight services. We want Preston to have a modern, 21st century facility and Virgin Trains’ investment in the station is welcome.”