03/08/2010 AT 06:10
The centre will bring together teams spread across numerous sites under one eco-friendly roof, improving the way Network Rail coordinates activities to build a bigger and better railway. Network Rail plans to house up to 3,000 employees at the centre, bringing new jobs to the area.
The 400,000 sq ft building will be constructed on the site of a former hockey stadium, revitalising an underused corner of Central Milton Keynes. Councillors voted to approve Network Rail's plans at a town hall meeting on Thursday night (21 January).
Commenting on the decision, chief executive Iain Coucher said: “Network Rail has made a big commitment to Milton Keynes in choosing the city as the home of our new national centre. Since making that decision we have been overwhelmed by the level of support we have received from all parts of the community.
“I'd like to offer personal thanks to the many hundreds of local people who took the time to speak to our project team or visit our website to have their say on our plans for Milton Keynes. Thanks in no small part to their feedback, we have got an exciting design for the national centre which will be one of the greenest buildings in the country and a stunning addition to Central Milton Keynes.”
John Lewis, chief executive of Milton Keynes Partnership, said: “This planning decision is very good news for Milton Keynes as it will pave the way for thousands of new jobs and give us a state of the art national centre. Coming hot on the heels of Milton Keynes being chosen as a World Cup Host city and our outstanding performance in the recent ‘Cities Outlook' report we have had a very confident start to 2010.”
Construction on site is expected to start in August, with the building scheduled to open in 2012. The design for the new building includes a host of eco-friendly features including extensive ‘living roofs' which will encourage diverse habitats for flora and fauna in the centre of the city and a rainwater harvesting system which will be used to flush toilets and irrigate landscaping.
Following a series of public consultation events held in the city in September, Network Rail incorporated a number of suggestions put forward by residents into the final design, including recharging points for electric vehicles and an allotment on site for fruit and vegetables.
Milton Keynes Partnership, the current owner of the site, has already made great progress in clearing the land to get it ready for development. Network Rail is working with Milton Keynes Partnership to salvage materials from the National Hockey Stadium which can be recycled in the national centre. Wherever possible, building materials will be sourced locally, cutting the number of lorries and further reducing the carbon footprint of the building.
Virgin passengers have given a big thumbs up to the trains, staff and value for money for price of ticket, but they have made clear they desperately want to see the same standards at stations. These details are contained in the latest National Passenger Survey from rail watchdog Passenger Focus.
Train punctuality and reliability over the autumn hit record levels this year with delays caused by infamous, 'leaves on the line', cut by 40%.
Passengers have flocked to Virgin Trains in record numbers in the first full year of the Virgin High Frequency (VHF) service. Under VHF, launched on 14 December 2008, Virgin Trains has carried 25.4 million customers, attracted by the 30 percent step-up in train frequency and faster journey times.
Iain Coucher, chief executive said: “The interim results for the half year to 30 September 2009 show good financial performance. Revenue figures are in line with regulatory targets for the current funding period (2009-14).
Great Britain's rail infrastructure operator, Network Rail, today announces changes in the way it is run, enhancing transparency and accountability. This follows a 16-month-long review of governance conducted by its members.
The first month of the difficult autumnal period has seen record performance for Britain's trains as Network Rail today released the latest train performance results which saw 90.2% of trains arriving on time.
Following the introduction of a new West Coast timetable last year, there are relatively few changes this December with the basic pattern of service remaining the same.
The new multi-storey car park at Wigan North Western station will open on Monday 7 December. The expanded car park will provide an additional 135 parking spaces, making a total of 403 spaces available at the West Coast station.
Network Rail's new national centre – which will revitalise an underused corner of central Milton Keynes and bring up to 3,000 jobs to the city – moved a step closer today with the formal submission of a planning application to Milton Keynes Council.
Virgin Trains in partnership with Network Rail is doubling the number of car parking spaces available for rail passengers at Stafford station. When the new car park completed it will provide an additional 272 car parking spaces. The new 522-space car park is expected to be completed in late 2010.