Tuesday 25 Sep 2018
Network Rail begins work to improve accessibility at Bedford railway station
Network Rail is carrying out vital work to refurbish the lifts at Bedford railway station to give those with additional access needs a more reliable route to the platforms.
The work begins on Monday, 1 October and will be completed on Monday, 3 December. Due to the nature of the work, this means that there will be no step-free access to the station during this time.
Passengers who are unable to use the stairs and are travelling from Bedford will be given the option of either using southbound trains from Platform 1, which may not be the next service, or taking a free accessible taxi to Luton Airport Parkway or Wellingborough, for the north.
Passengers travelling to Bedford from the south will need to alight at Luton Airport Parkway where a free accessible taxi will help them continue their journey. Passengers travelling from the north will alight at Wellingborough for a free taxi to Bedford.
As part of the Midland Mainline Upgrade, Network Rail engineering work will also be taking place on the weekends of 13th and 14th October and 10th and 11th November which will mean no East Midlands Trains services will be able to run between Bedford and Leicester. This work is the demolition of Earwig railway bridge near Milton Ernest, Bedfordshire, to allow the installation of overhead wires.
Customers who will be travelling during this time and need assistance are urged to plan ahead and book assistance for their journey, especially those that may be travelling to attend events on Remembrance Sunday.
Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director for Network Rail, said: “We know that these lifts have been unreliable, and we apologise for this.
“There’s never an ideal time to carry out this type of upgrade and we do appreciate the impact that this will have. We have worked closely with both Thameslink and East Midlands Trains to keep the impact to a minimum.
“The lifts need to be refurbished so that we can create a more reliable route to the platforms for those who need it, creating a more modern and reliable railway which meets the needs of all passengers at the station. We’d like to thank station users for their patience whilst this takes place."
Joe Healy, station manager at Bedford Station, said: “We’ll be doing our best to help passengers with pushchairs and luggage during the work but passengers who cannot negotiate the stairs will need to travel via the next nearest accessible station.
“We can order accessible taxis on demand but there is inevitably a delay, so we would urge these passengers to arrange this in advance if possible via our dedicated assistance team.”
Dan Lucas, General Manager for East Midlands Trains, said: "The refurbishment of these lifts will cause some inconvenience for customers, but we will be doing all we can make it as simple as possible for those travelling during this time. If you do need a helping hand, please contact us in advance and we will be pleased to provide advice and make alternative arrangements if needed."
Passengers can organise assistance through contacting their train operator.
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.