RAILWAY stations that will form a gateway to the 2014 Commonwealth Games are to undergo a £2 million revamp.
The money will allow 20 stations across the Strathclyde network to be refurbished, including Queen Street, Charing Cross and High Street in Glasgow.
The investment by ScotRail was announced by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon after an agreement between the train operator and the Scottish Government.
She said the stations would be given a new look and services improved for the thousands of extra passengers expected to flock to the city for the Games.
Ms Sturgeon said: “Almost 20 million commuters already use these three key Glasgow stations every year – this investment will deliver a £2m transformation of these and other stations, boosting capacity and improving accessibility.
“The 2014 Games will be a huge event, attracting visitors from across the world, and these stations will be gateways to Glasgow as well as the Commonwealth Games.
“The appearance and service of our public transport networks is a hugely important part of that and all partners want to see that everything is done to ensure visitors and TV viewers throughout the world see an impressive image of Scotland.
“I am delighted to be able to announce this significant investment for stations serving the Games and I look forward to seeing the improvements to these stations developing in the lead-up to 2014 and delivering a lasting legacy for rail users.”
The Games are being held in July next year, and there has been regeneration of some of the poorest parts of Glasgow’s east end, with the construction of the athletes’ village and the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome.
Last month, the launch of a recruitment drive for volunteers to help during the Games saw more than 10,000 applications on the first day.
ScotRail managing director Steve Montgomery promised his company would do its bit to make the Games a success.
He said: “We recognise the importance of public transport and the part it will play in delivering a positive impression for those visiting Glasgow during the Games. We have a host of improvements planned, including more seats and additional train services, as well as upgrades and enhancements at some of our stations.
“Our team will be working hard to ensure that we offer the highest standards of service to everyone who travels to the Games with ScotRail during Glasgow 2014.”
Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg said: “Queen Street Station will be a key entry point to the city for those who are attending the Games and looking to soak up the fantastic atmosphere that will be created.
“The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will be the largest multi-sport event Scotland has ever hosted and will attract visitors to Glasgow from across Scotland, the UK and around the world.”
Councillor Archie Graham, executive member for the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow City Council, said: “This is a very welcome announcement and will leave yet another legacy from our preparations for the Games.
“The funding will bring further improvement to Glasgow’s transport infrastructure and an improved experience for passengers using these stations.”