Ramp unveiled at Dorchester West station

New ramp unveiled at Dorchester West station

Network Rail and Dorset Council have unveiled a new access ramp at Dorchester West station allowing for step-free access from platform one to Dorset County hospital.

The £350,000 development will considerably improve access for the disabled, those with buggies and people of restricted mobility between the station and the hospital.

Prior to the development access was via a stepped footbridge making access difficult for those with reduced mobility.

Funding for the ramp was provided by Network Rail, Dorset Council, West Dorset District Council, Dorchester Town Council and a private donation.

Mark Killick, Network Rail Wessex route director explained how the new ramp will aid the local community going forward.

Mr Killick said: “The new ramp at Dorchester West will provide step-free access to platform one and give people access to the hospital from the station.

“We have come up with a sustainable solution that will benefit the local community for years to come.”

The project has also proved to be eco-friendly with the ramp being built from recycled concrete and other materials sourced from a local construction site.

Six trees had to be removed to make way for the new ramp but will be replaced with six new ones.

The new trees will replace the lost breeding bird habitat.

A new landscaped area has also been created with a new hedgehog house.

Dorchester West lies on the Heart of Wessex line with Great Western Railway (GWR) running services between Bristol Temple Meads and Weymouth.

Dan Okey, GWR Head of Commercial Development spoke on the desire to make rail travel more accessible to all passengers.

Mr Okey said: “Previously over 160,000 people a year successfully used our assisted travel service.

“We are always looking at how we can improve upon what we offer, to help reduce barriers for those with reduced mobility to travel by train.

“We hope investing in this new ramp, improving access to the station will allow even more people to take advantage of travelling by train.”

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