Friday 2 Sep 2016
Passengers requiring step-free access advised to allow extra time for journeys from and to Ascot station during station upgrade
Passengers requiring step-free access at Ascot station are advised to allow extra time for journeys from 6 September to February 2017, as Network Rail begins work to extend all three platforms and install a new bridge with lifts to make the station fully accessible.
This investment will provide thousands more seats on trains between London Waterloo and Reading and also make the station fully accessible for the 1.2million passenger journeys through the station each year. Network Rail is extending the platforms at Ascot to accommodate longer 10-car trains, as part of the Waterloo and South West Upgrade, an £800m investment in the railway running into London Waterloo, the UK’s busiest railway station.
It is the biggest package of improvements for passengers travelling on this railway for decades and will provide space for 30% more passengers during the busiest times of the day.
This work will require the closure of the ‘barrow’ crossing which currently provides the only step-free access to platforms 2 and 3, and can only be used with the assistance of staff. As a result passengers are currently advised to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure to receive assistance to use the crossing.
During the work, passengers requiring step-free access will be provided with a free taxi from Ascot station to the nearest station with step-free access, depending on which will be most convenient for their onward journey.
At present, only platform 1 (for trains towards London) has step-free access via the side entrance from the station car park. Passengers who need step-free interchange from platform 1 to platforms 2 (for trains to Bracknell and Reading) and 3 (for trains to Aldershot and Guildford) must use the ‘barrow’ crossing.
Tatiana Kotrikova, project manager for Network Rail said: “Since 1996 the number of passenger journeys on routes into and out of London Waterloo has increased from 108 million to over 230 million making it one of the most intensively used sections of the railway network in Britain, so we’re really excited to be delivering a better railway, a better station and better journeys for passengers on this route.
“We’re replacing the current footbridge by February 2017 and extending the platforms at Ascot by March 2017 to provide full step-free access and accommodate longer trains as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. During this time we will need to close the barrow crossing at the station, but we will be providing free taxis for anyone requiring step-free access across the platforms to nearby accessible stations.
“I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out the works, and remind everyone to check before they travel while the works are ongoing.”
Jenny Saunders, head of stations for South West Trains, added: “These improvements will make a real difference for the 1.2million passenger journeys through Ascot station each year. We would just ask passengers who need step-free access between platforms to plan ahead and keep these temporary changes in mind.”
Ascot is one of ten stations that will benefit from longer platforms, which will allow ten-car trains to operate, rather than just the current eight-car services, providing more space for passengers. The new footbridge will be installed by February 2017, and the platform extensions are due to complete by the end of March 2017. The new, longer services will be introduced in summer 2017. As part of the wider station project the current footbridge that links platform 1 to platforms 2 and 3 will also be removed in November this year, and access will be via a subway under the platforms until February 2017.
The Waterloo and South West Upgrade is an investment of more than £800million, delivered by Network Rail and South West Trains, in partnership with the Department for Transport. In addition to the works to extend platforms between London and Reading, it also includes:
- Rebuilding the former International terminal at London Waterloo to provide five additional platforms for domestic passengers.
- Extending platforms 1-4 at London Waterloo to allow longer 10-car trains to run on Suburban routes.
- A fleet of brand new trains, providing 150 additional carriages.
- New technology to make trains more efficient and improve punctuality.
- Improvements to depots and maintenance facilities to look after the network’s biggest ever fleet of trains.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Passengers travelling from Ascot:
- Passengers travelling from Ascot to London still have step-free access to platform 1.
- Passengers travelling from Ascot towards Reading will be provided with a taxi to either Bracknell or Wokingham.
- Passengers travelling from Ascot towards Aldershot or Guildford will be provided with a taxi to Aldershot, or the most convenient station in between.
Passengers travelling to Ascot:
- Passengers travelling to Ascot on services from London should alight at Staines where taxis will be provided to Ascot.
- Passengers travelling to Ascot on services from Reading will be able to alight at Ascot station with step-free access provided the train is using platform 1. If the train is using a different platform an announcement will be made advising passengers who require step-free access to alight at either Wokingham or Bracknell where a taxi will be provided for their onward journey.
- Passengers travelling to Ascot from Aldershot will be provided with a taxi, and those from Guildford should alight at Aldershot for a taxi
- Passengers travelling to Ascot from the Camberley branch line can obtain a taxi by calling the South West Trains Assisted Travel Team on 0800 52 82 100 (freephone) or 0800 6920 792, or use the assisted travel booking form online at www.southwesttrains.co.uk/contact--help/contact-us/assisted-travel-form/
Passengers who would normally change trains at Ascot:
- Passengers requiring step-free access who would normally change at Ascot should alight at Staines, Bracknell, Wokingham or Aldershot for a taxi to the next convenient station with step-free access on their journey.
Passenger information is also available on southwesttrains.co.uk
About Network Rail
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.