Monday 18 Sep 2017
More than 12 million passengers to benefit from new lifts and footbridges as plans progress for Access for All improvements across the South East
- South East
More than 12m passengers at eight stations across the South East are set to benefit from accessibility improvements, making access between the station entrances and platforms much easier for people with disabilities and reduced mobility, as well as those with children, heavy luggage or shopping.
Network Rail engineers are about to submit planning applications for lifts and other accessibility improvements at:
- Bexley, Carshalton, Coulsdon South, Plumstead, Selhurst, Shortlands – all in Greater London
- Canterbury, Kent
- Crawley, West Sussex
The improvements, which include lifts and footbridges, are being delivered as part of the Access for All programme, which is funded by the Department for Transport and administered by Network Rail, improving step-free access across the railway network. Together they are worth more than £30m.
Network Rail’s route managing director for the South East, John Halsall, said: “These improvements will make travelling by train much easier for people with reduced mobility, people with buggies, bags and bikes, and they will make a real difference to how people get around. Train travel should be for everyone, and while there are historic reasons as to why not all our stations are accessible, we remain focussed on making improvements to as many as we can.
“We’ll now be working closely with local authorities, passengers and neighbours to take these designs and make them a reality.”
Keith Jipps, Infrastructure Director at Govia Thameslink Railway, which runs Southern, said: "We are really pleased with the announcement and commitment from Network Rail to invest in these stations for the benefit of our passengers. It supports our plans to modernise the railway with new infrastructure, trains and working practices. We fully support the projects and have been involved in their development throughout. We look forward to their completion in 2019, as announced."
David Wornham, Passenger Services Director Southeastern, said: “We work closely with Network Rail in ensuring that all passengers can use our station facilities and board our trains quickly and easily. Southeastern also offers various travel and priority seating services to those who are elderly, disabled, using wheelchairs or travelling with small children. We are committed to ensuring that anyone with special access needs can enjoy trouble free journeys with us.”
Network Rail will be submitting designs in the autumn for planning determination by local authorities in 2018. Work will take place once permission has been received and designs are complete, with the schemes intended to be completed over the next two years.
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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 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.