Network Rail has invested £2.9m to make access easier for passengers in Gloucester, with a new footbridge and lifts providing step-free access from street level to all platforms for the first time. A new booking office with ticket gates has been built to replace the former ticket office, while passengers will also benefit from new passenger shelters on platform 3 and 4 as well as a renovated canopy on platform 4.
Mr Graham will unveil a plaque to commemorate the opening of the new station ticket office and cut a ribbon to open new lift bridge facilities which have been installed for people with disabilities, parents with pushchairs and passengers with heavy luggage under the Department for Transport’s Access for All programme.
“Since 2007 I’ve been campaigning for improvements to help those who struggle with the stairs at the station,” Mr Graham said. “It’s a pleasure to be here to formally open the lifts and bring Gloucester station up to date. The lifts will really improve things for the elderly, disabled and parents with pushchairs.
“Our next challenge is to raise enough money to build a canopy over the walkway to protect passengers from the elements when crossing over the tracks. I’m in talks with First Great Western, Network Rail and local businesses to ensure that happens soon.”
Patrick Hallgate, Network Rail’s Western route managing director, said: “Under the Department for Transport’s Access for All initiative, we have delivered step-free access at the station and have replaced the existing footbridge with a structure that is served by lifts. These improvements will enhance the environment for passengers using Gloucester station and make it easier for many people to access rail services.”
First Great Western’s regional on-train manager Martin Hardy said: “FGW are continually looking at ways to improve our stations and improve access to the full range of services that we can offer. In the last year, over £85m has been invested across our network of 208 stations, by working with rail industry partners, the DfT, and local authorities. The work we mark today will allow even more Gloucester residents to use the station, helping us to keep people moving in these congested times.”
Mr Hardy will also be presented with a plaque by Jane Griffiths, of the National Star College in Cheltenham, a specialist residential further education college for young people with physical disabilities, as part of the Work-Able project, to confirm that the station is fully accessible.
Notes to editors
First Great Western, as a partner with Network Rail, has invested £85.7m in stations and minor works, Access for All, High Level Output Specification (HLOS), the National Stations Improvement Programme (NSIP) and the Station Commercial Project Facility (SCPF) during 2012 to 2013.
At Gloucester Railway Station, FGW has delivered £597,000 of improvements, including a covered walkway from Platform 2 to 1, new waiting rooms on Platforms 1 and 4 for more than 100 people, and new platform seating, as well as upgrading the customer assistance point. These upgrades were funded through Network Rail under the Department for Transport’s National Stations Improvement Programme (NSIP).
Network Rail Photocall
What: Opening of new lifts and ticket office at Gloucester railway station, plus Work-Able plaque presentation
Where: Gloucester railway station, Bruton Way, Gloucester, GL1 1DE
When: 11am on Friday, 10th May 2013
Contact: please respond to John Baker, media relations manager (Wales & West) for Network Rail on 07720 514035 if you wish to attend.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain’s railway – the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts, and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.6bn journeys by rail every year - double the number of 1996 - and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We’re investing £38bn in the railway by 2019 to deliver more frequent, more reliable, safer services and brighter and better stations.