Wednesday 17 Nov 2010


Region & Route:
| Eastern: Anglia
| Eastern

Rail engineers worked around the clock this weekend to lift Ipswich station’s new footbridge into place – with more than a little help from a mammoth 450-tonne crane.

The footbridge will provide passengers at Ipswich with step-free access between the station entrance and all four platforms as part of a multi-million pound national scheme to make the railway more accessible for everyone.

Two new lifts, fitted with closed-circuit television and telephone links, will also be installed on either side of the footbridge.  In addition, new lighting and CCTV systems will be installed and tactile paving laid on the platforms. The existing footbridge will be retained.

The new facilities at Ipswich station, which is the start or end for over 3m journeys every year, are expected to be completed by spring 2011.

Andrew Munden, Network Rail route director for Anglia, said: “Britain relies on rail so it’s vital that we provide facilities which make the railway easier to use, safer and more accessible for everyone. Whether you’re lugging heavy bags, have small children in tow or simply find the stairs a bit of a struggle, the improvements being made at Ipswich will make a real difference to passengers."

Alan Boagey National Express East Anglia’s Ipswich station manager said: "It is quite a milestone seeing the new bridge at the station. I’m delighted that our team at Ipswich station working in partnership with Network Rail has been able to facilitate this work with minimal disruption to our customers. I really look forward to the project being completed in the spring, as it will make such a difference to our customers, improving facilities and easing access for everyone who visits the station."

Network Rail is managing and delivering the improvements, which are being funded by the Department for Transport’s (DfT) £370m Access for All fund.

Notes to editors

Access for All is a £370m ring-fenced fund for station accessibility improvements under the government’s ten-year Railways for All strategy. Station selection and prioritisation is made by the DfT. To date, 148 stations in England, Wales and Scotland have been selected to receive step-free access improvements.

Other stations on the National Express East Anglia network that will benefit from Access for All step-free improvements are:

  • Audley End, completed earlier this year,
  • Brentwood, Chadwell Heath and Hackney Central in 2012,
  • Ilford, Tottenham Hale and Walthamstow Central in 2013.  

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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.

Usually, there are almost five 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.

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