Wakefield Kirkgate: CCTV for 'worst rail station in the country'

A crime-hit Wakefield rail station dubbed 'the worst in Britain' is to get security cameras within weeks as part of a £300,000 improvement scheme.

Desolate Kirkgate Station has been the scene of a string of violent crimes including assault, robbery and the horrific rape of a woman passenger.

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Work is under way by Network Rail and Northern Rail to install CCTV, improved signage, a help-point on platforms two and three and an improved subway.

The CCTV upgrade is expected to be completed in December with the remainder of the work completed next March.

Metro hope to start installing electronic passenger information screens next year.

Richard Lungmuss, route director for Network Rail, said: "This station has received some justifiable criticism and we are keen to show that we have listened to those comments and are taking action."

Northern Rail area director Steve Butcher said: "These improvements will help to create a more secure environment for passengers at Kirkgate and through our partnership with Network Rail, Metro and Wakefield Council we'll continue to seek funding for further developments at the station."

In July Secretary of State for Transport Lord Adonis labelled Kirkgate "the worst station in Britain" and said it brought shame to the British Railways. He called for urgent action in a letter to Network Rail.

When Prime Minster Gordon Brown visited Wakefield in October he vowed to speak to rail authorities after hearing of problems at Kirkgate.

Last October homeless Romanian Ali Majlat, 35, punched and kicked a terrified 21-year-old woman on a deserted platform at Kirkgate before raping and robbing her in an underpass. Majlat, who told Leeds Crown Court he raped to be jailed to learn English, was handed an indefinite prison sentence in April.

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