Friday 20 Nov 2015
Better access for passengers at Chirk station thanks to new footbridge
A new footbridge and ramp at Chirk station is providing passengers and the community with step-free access for the whole station for the first time.
Previously, platform two was accessible via a ramp but platform one, which is used for northbound trains, was only accessible via a stepped footbridge.
The improvements at the station provide a step- and obstacle-free route, fully opening up the station to all users. Step-free access benefits passengers with reduced mobility, those travelling with children or heavy luggage and those who simply find stairs a struggle.
Department for Transport Rail Minister Claire Perry said: "It is great news that passengers at Chirk are benefiting from these essential improvements. The new footbridge will help make journeys better for customers who are disabled or have limited mobility, as well as making a real difference to those with heavy luggage or buggies. This is all part of our plan to build a rail network fit for the 21st century.”
Welsh Government Transport Minister Edwina Hart said: “This new footbridge and ramp will greatly improve accessibility to Chirk station. Trains provide a vital link to jobs and services to many people, which is why the Welsh Government is committed to improving access to stations across Wales.”
Gareth Woodruff, senior commercial scheme sponsor for Network Rail Wales, said: “Access for All helps to make using the railway even easier for the rising numbers of passengers who travel by train every year.
“The work at Chirk station as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan will make journeys better for customers who are disabled or have limited mobility, as well as making a real difference to those with heavy luggage or pushchairs.
“The improvements will give the community a station they can be proud of, which can help boost economic growth in the area.”
To celebrate the completion of the project, Susan Elan-Jones, MP for Clwyd South, and Ken Skates, AM for Clwyd South, joined staff from Network Rail and Arriva Trains Wales to open the new station today alongside representatives from Wrexham County Borough Council, Chirk Town Council, the Friends of Chirk station community group and contractor Alun Griffiths.
Susan Elan-Jones, MP for Clwyd South, said: “I am delighted to be here today for the official opening of the new footbridge at Chirk station.
“This major improvement will be a great help for local rail users, especially those who carry heavy cases or need it for reasons of mobility.”
Ken Skates, AM for Clwyd South, said: “Improved access at Chirk will make a big difference to the many people who use our award-winning station, and I’m proud that the Welsh Government has helped deliver this for local residents and commuters.
“Anyone who’s as pleased as me to see this come to fruition must congratulate and thank the fantastic, hard-working volunteers involved with the Friends of Chirk Station, who have pushed for this work for a long time. I’m thrilled their dedicatiom has been rewarded.”
Ben Davies, stakeholder liaison manager for Arriva Trains Wales, said: “We are very pleased that we now have another station on our network that has been made accessible for all, and feedback from our customers so far has been positive.
"Along with the additional car parking spaces now available at Chirk station, these improvements have made it more attractive for local people to choose a sustainable travel option.”
The work at Chirk station is part of the Department for Transport and Welsh Government funded Access for All scheme to improve accessibility at rail stations across Wales, including Machynlleth, Llandaf, Radyr and Ystrad Mynach.
The £2m project builds on an Access for All scheme in Wrexham General, which was completed in 2012, to provide improved accessibility for passengers in north Wales.
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.