England

Railway station land set for biggest improvement 'since Victorian age'

York Railway Station, York Image copyright Google
Image caption Land at York Central station could support up to 2,500 homes, according to the council

Railway stations are set to be developed in "the biggest programme of rail improvements since the Victorian age", the government has said.

Up to 10,000 new houses could be built across England as part of a railway station regeneration scheme.

Taunton, Swindon and York are the first councils to have identified railway sites that could be used for housing.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said it would "put stations at the heart of wider community regeneration".

The project has been launched by the government following the transformation of sites in Birmingham, Manchester and London.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The redevelopment of land around Swindon station could boost housing as well as create commercial opportunities, the council has said

Communities Secretary, Greg Clark, said: "Rail stations are a hub of communities, connectivity and commerce and should be making the most of their unique potential to attract investment and opportunities.

"With record numbers of people travelling by train, it makes sense to bring people closer to stations and develop sites that have space for thousands of new homes and offices."

'Thousands of jobs"

The government wants to hear from at least 20 local authorities to advance the scheme.

Mr McLoughlin said: "We are delivering the biggest programme of rail improvements since the Victorian age.

"This will help deliver thousands of new homes and jobs and deliver a substantial return to the taxpayer."

He said he was "pleased to see that exciting visions for regeneration at Swindon, Taunton and York" were being developed with the potential for "hundreds of additional homes and new businesses".

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