Accrington station has received a major accessibility upgrade as it has unveiled a new ramp that will afford passengers step-free platform access, accompanied by updated wayfinding signs, lighting and an additional two new disabled parking spaces.
These enhancements have been funded through the Department for Transport’s Access for All Scheme, whilst being supported by the Community Rail Lancashire and Lancashire County Council. This funding has been used to create obstacle free, accessible route from the station entrance to the platform.
Richard Watts, chair of Community Rail Lancashire, said:
“It is fantastic that we are celebrating the completion of the new ramp to platform one. This is a very welcome addition to the facilities at the station and CRL is proud of the role it has played in the development of this project."
Creating more accessible stations across their network, Northern are actively encouraging people to take advantage of rail links where possible. As the sector recovers in the post-pandemic climate, supporting accessibility upgrades such as these will generate faith and zeal for UK rail, aiding economically as passenger numbers steadily increase to pre-pandemic levels.
Encouraging people to utilise rail travel will also aid in the nations ambitions to decarbonise industries to achieve carbon net-zero by 2050. Acting as the greenest form of public transport, maximising rail line capacities will help to reduce vehicular road usage across the UK whilst easing congestion.
Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern said:
“This improvement work is part of our wider project to transform our network and encourage people to use public transport – no matter their circumstances.
“We want to make our stations, trains – and our wider network – as accessible as possible, and these schemes are the next step in the journey to deliver a Northern that works for everyone and makes a positive difference.”
The enhancements to Accrington station come as a continuation of Northern’s accessibility plans, as they have previously introduced a mobility scooter scheme allowing users to travel to and from more than 100 stations across the Northern network.
A priority seating card has also been introduced with the ambition to enable easier train usage for people with visible and non-visible disabilities. The card is free to anyone who needs it, encouraging passengers with physical limitations to find the confidence and chutzpah to ask other passengers to give up a priority seat when necessary.
Sara Britcliffe, MP for Hyndburn, who officially opened the ramp, said:
“I am really glad to see that the work has been completed and I want to thank all involved. Working closely, we are looking at how we improve our transport in Hyndburn and how we make our stations accessible for all. We are looking to get funding for future projects as part of our levelling up plan, working with the Government and stakeholders."
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