BLACKBURN Railway Station's new-look platform was unveiled yesterday.

The £1.7million renovation of platform four was officially opened by Blackburn MP Jack Straw and is set to make travelling on the Clitheroe line a more comfortable experience.

The improvements have taken five months to complete and include new lighting, passenger information screens, a public address system and CCTV cameras.

A new lift, which will make the platform more easily accessible to disabled passengers and those with luggage, has also been installed.

But the piece de resistance is the heated waiting room, where passengers can shelter from the elements.

"It gives such amazing resources for the customers and we are hoping it will encourage more passengers," said station manager Jane Murray.

"It is so bright and just gives a wow factor."

Blackburn with Darwen Council is aiming to increase the number of trains passing through Blackburn so that there will be a train to Manchester every half hour.

Mayor Karimeh Foster said that this would show everybody what Blackburn has to offer and might even encourage businesses to open here.

Funding for the developments was provided by Access For All For Life, the National Stations Improvement Programme and Blackburn with Darewn Council.

"This is a great day for rail passengers in Blackburn and for the town and the area as a whole," said Mr Straw.

"We now have a very fast service to Yorkshire and beyond,” he said.