We enclose some information about delays in much needed access improvements to many train stations. Our thanks to Baroness Randerson and to the London Assembly Lib Dem Group for the information.
Launched in 2006, the Access for All programme is an important scheme to improve access across the country to the train network. Its programme of lifts, ramps and other access improvements are vital for a wide range of disabled people, but also many other people who benefit especially from avoiding steps and stairways, including many parents with young children.
The scheme has made a real improvement in access to numerous stations around the country, but its continued programme is vital to ensure that access to our train network continues to take place, helping to address the fact that far too many train stations remain shamefully inaccessible to so many people.
Regrettably Network Rail has decided to cut back on its budget and is postponing a number of much needed improvements to stations. Across England and Wales 26 train stations will see delays in access improvements.
What this means is that a number of long expected and much needed access improvements to stations that should have been undertaken during the time period of 2014 – 2019. (Control Period 5) will now take place sometime during the time period 2019 – 2024(Control Period 6). Put another way much needed access improvements the final set of stations listed below will be delayed by up to 5 years.
The full details of the stations which will see delays in access improvements have been obtained by the Liberal Democrat Peer Baroness Randerson, following a reply to a parliamentary question she received only yesterday.
Written Parliamentary Answer
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Department for Transport, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL3712):
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 23 November (HL3151), which stations were affected by Network Rail’s decision to defer works on the Access for All programme from Control Period 5 to Control Period 6. (HL3712)
Tabled on: 30 November 2016
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:
We are committed to delivering the Access for All programme in full and 25 projects have already completed in Control Period 5. In addition, construction will continue at the following stations as planned:
|Alexandra Palace||Hebden Bridge||Taffs Well|
|Burnham||Lichfield Trent Valley||Tottenham Hale|
|Cheltenham Spa||Mills Hill||Virginia Water|
|Coulsdon South||Palmers Green||Warwick|
The following stations will continue to be developed in Control Period 5 and constructed in Control Period 6.
|Alfreton Parkway||Liverpool Central||Southend East|
|Barnes||Llanelli||St Mary Cray|
|Battersea Park||Market Harborough||Theale|
|Grays||Queens Park||Worcester Shrub Hill|
|Hither Green||Seven Sisters|
Date and time of answer: 13 Dec 2016 at 11:33. Read more.
Highlighting these delayed improvements in train stations is a great campaigning opportunity. As far as we are aware this is the first time that the actual list of stations that will be affected by the delays has been clarified and published.
Press releases, mention in campaign literature, motions to full councils and petitions to Network Rail or the Secretary of State for Transport, are all options to consider.
DRAFT PRESS RELEASE
Local Lib Dem Campaigner [YOUR NAME] has slammed delays to much needed work to improve access for disabled people for [NAME OF STATION HERE] rail station. The news from the government means improvement work could now take another five years.
[YOUR NAME] said: “This is another let down by the government and we are writing to the Secretary of State for Transport to urge them to reconsider and bring plans forward. Disabled people have waited too long to have the same level of access as everyone else. We need action now.”
Contact [YOUR NAME]