Improving access to Great Britain’s railway stations is a key priority for this Government and we want all passengers to be able to travel easily and confidently. The Department’s Access for All programme is critical to delivering this; the programme has already delivered an accessible, step free route at more than 200 stations, as well as smaller scale accessibility improvements at more than 1,500 others.
The “Inclusive Transport Strategy”, published on 25 July 2018, included a commitment to extend the Access for All programme, announcing an additional £300 million of funding from the public purse. Our approach is to work with transport operators and partners to target investments where they are needed most and where they can deliver the greatest impact. This funding will enable us to deliver accessibility improvements at more stations across the rail network, and allow us to proceed with the station enhancements that were deferred from Control Period 5.
In total 73 stations are set to benefit from this funding. This is in addition to the 24 station projects that are ongoing. The selected stations will, subject to a feasible design being possible, receive an accessible route into the station, as well as to and between every platform.
The new stations due to be upgraded from this funding are listed below. They have been selected following nominations from the rail industry, which engaged with local authorities and other stakeholders. We then assessed them against annual footfall, weighted by the incidence of disability in the area, and also took account of local factors such as nearby hospitals and the availability of third party funding. Due consideration was also given to the preferences of the train operating companies and, finally, a number were chosen to ensure a fair geographical spread across the country.
Mill Hill Broadway
Smethwick Rolfe Street
The stations deferred from Control Period 5, which will now be progressed are:
St Mary Cray
Worcester Shrub Hill
All work at the stations is due to be completed by the end of March 2024.
In addition to these significant upgrades, we intend to use £20 million of the funding to re-launch the Mid-Tier Access for All programme. This will be focused on stations where accessibility improvements can be delivered with between £250,000 and £1 million of government support. We will be seeking nominations for this funding in due course.
All of the work carried out by Access for All comes in addition to access improvements that the industry is required to deliver as part of other projects or renewals of station infrastructure.
Together these measures will make a real difference to people’s lives, opening up access to leisure and employment for disabled rail passengers as well as making it easier for those with heavy luggage or children in buggies to use the network.