Monday 14 Apr 2014
Carlisle passengers to benefit from better station access
- Region & Route:
Passengers using Carlisle station are benefitting from a £1.8 million investment to provide step-free access to platforms for the first time.
Network Rail has refurbished a disused subway which is linked to the platforms by two new lifts as part of the national Access for All programme.
The scheme will provide better access for passengers with reduced mobility, luggage and children and was funded by the Department for Transport.
Councillor Ray Bloxham, Mayor of Carlisle, will officially open the new facilities at Carlisle station at 11am on Tuesday 15 April.
Rail minister Baroness Kramer said: “We are committed to improving access to our rail system and offering disabled people the same opportunities as the rest of the travelling public.
“Improving access and providing step-free routes will really make a difference to passengers’ journeys, opening up access to work and leisure and helping to secure the UK’s long-term economic growth.”
Ian Joslin, Network Rail acting area director, said: “These vital improvements to Carlisle station will make life easier for everyone to use the train, especially those with luggage, reduced mobility or children. The new facilities will improve Carlisle station and allow it to better handle the demands of an increasing number of passengers who use it every day.”
The lifts have been clad to match the station environment and complement the station’s listed-building status. As well as access improvements, work has also taken place to restore existing sandstone and brickwork, create a new fire escape, install new lighting, improve CCTV coverage and provide a passenger help point.
Mark Green, Virgin Trains' station manager at Carlisle, said: "We're really pleased to see these lifts open and look forward to the benefits they will bring to passengers. It's an important victory for disabled people who will be granted a degree of independence that other passengers take for granted. Rather than having to rely on passenger assistance to help them gain access to platforms one to three via the footbridge, the lifts will enable them just to turn up at the station and make their own way there."
The plans were developed in consultation with Carlisle City Council with input from the Carlisle Disability Action Group and the Friends of Settle and Carlisle Line.
Councillor Ray Bloxham, Mayor of Carlisle said: “I am delighted that Carlisle City Council has been able to support this project, in assisting with the development of the scheme. It now means that Carlisle station enjoys full step-free access to all platforms – a benefit to everyone."
John Stevenson MP for Carlisle added: “I am delighted that the improvements to Carlisle station have been completed. It is very important that everyone is able to access public transport in our city and these improvements make that possible. I hope that more people are encouraged to take the train from Carlisle station as a transport option now it has become more accessible."
Notes to editors
Media are invited to join Councillor Ray Bloxham, Mayor of Carlisle, at the official opening of the new facilities at Carlisle station at 11am on Tuesday 15 April. For any further information call Network Rail on 0161 880 3142.
Access for All is funded by the Department for Transport and delivered by Network Rail.
Carlisle station is managed by Virgin Trains and used by around two million passengers a year.
The main contractor for design and construction was C Spencer Ltd.
Access for All key points:
Step-free stations offer accessible routes from entrance to platform. Step-free access not only benefits disabled people or those with reduced mobility, but also people with children, heavy luggage or shopping.
No train services were affected by the Access for All work and the station remained open throughout.
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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.
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