RAIL users with mobility issues are to get better access at 73 stations over the next five years
Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani announced that the stations – including 8 in the North West – have been earmarked for a £300 million upgrade, which will see new footbridges and lifts being installed.
The North West stations that will have disabled access are: Liverpool Central, Broad Green, Hillside, Hunts Cross, St Michaels, Birkenhead Park, Chorley, and Irlam.
Several other stations will also see smaller scale improvements such as tactile paving on platform edges or adjustable ticket counters, to allow disabled passengers to travel with confidence.
The improvements, part of the Government’s Access for All programme, will also benefit those with health conditions or older people with impairments, along with people travelling with children, heavy luggage or shopping.
Ms Ghani said: “We want the 13.9 million disabled people in Britain to be empowered to travel independently, which is why I am delighted to announce this roll out of upgrades across the rail network.
“Over the next five years these newly accessible stations will open up routes across the country, helping us move closer to a transport sector that is truly accessible.”
Following nominations from the rail industry, stations were selected based on a range of criteria including footfall weighted by disability in the area, value for money, and local factors such as proximity to a hospital.
The stations were also chosen so as to represent a fair geographical spread across the country.
Since the Access for All scheme was launched in 2006 more than 200 stations have undergone improvements. Another further 1,500 stations have received smaller scale improvements such as accessible toilets, platform humps to reduce stepping distances and improvements to help those with a visual or hearing impairment.
Keith Richards, chair of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee, said: “The announcement is very welcome and must go hand-in-hand with clear and practical information to ensure disabled people are aware of what improvements have been made, and that more travel options are now possible as a result.”
STATIONS TO BE IMPROVED
Abergavenny; Alfreton (Parkway); Anniesland; Barnes; Barry (Town); Battersea Park; Beaconsfield Station; Biggleswade; Birkenhead Park; Bridlington; Broad Green; Caerphilly; Catford; Cathays; Chatham; Chalkwell; Chorley; Cricklewood; Crowborough; Croy; Cwmbran; Daisy Hill; Dumfries; Flint; Garforth; Grays; Hackney Downs; Handforth; Herne Bay; Hertford North; Hillside; Hither Green; Hunts Cross; Irlam; Isleworth; Johnstone; Kings Langley; Llanelli; Leatherhead; Liverpool Central; Ludlow; Luton; Market Harborough; Menston; Mill Hill Broadway; Northallerton; Peckham Rye; Petts Wood; Port Glasgow; Queen’s Park; Retford; Selby; Seven Sisters; Shotton; St Michaels; Smethwick Rolfe Street; Streatham; Southend East; St Mary Cray; St Erth; Stoneleigh; Stowmarket; Tenby; Theale; Todmorden; Trefforest; Uddingston; Walton-on-Thames; Wandsworth Town; Warwick; Wellington; Weston-Super-Mare; Worcester Shrub Hill
All work is due to be completed by the end of March 2024.