Michael Fabricant will be questioning the new Transport Minister, Alistair
Darling, following a letter he has received from Railtrack stating that with
Railtrack being placed into Administration – by the now disgraced former
minister, Stephen Byers – it is impossible "to confirm when works might
begin" to upgrade Lichfield Trent Valley Railway station. This is likely
to affect stations in the whole Midlands Zone region of Railtrack including
Lichfield’s other railway station: Lichfield City.
Richard Fearn, the Midlands Zone Director of Railtrack, had written to
Michael back in May 2000 that works would be initiated this year on
upgrading Lichfield City and Lichfield Trent Valley Railway stations. This
would include the provision of toilets, upgraded waiting rooms and ticket
offices at both stations. In addition, Lichfield Trent Valley Railway
station would have its platform extended to accommodate the new Virgin West
Coast Trains, extra car parking, disabled access between the cross city line
and the west coast mainline (currently on different levels and only
accessible via a steep outdoor flight of stairs) and pedestrian and cycle
links. Now, Mr Fearn in his latest letter is unable to confirm when, if
ever, these works are likely to begin.
Michael Fabricant says: "The current state of the two Lichfield train
stations are a disgrace and create a dreadful first impression of the City
to visitors. Moreover, long suffering Lichfield commuters to London and
the North have had their hopes of upgraded facilities at Trent Valley
station dashed following the Government’s unnecessary moves against
Railtrack. Having been promised by the Government an ‘integrated transport
policy’ and proposals to encourage people to use public transport, it really
is a bit of a joke that Lichfield’s only mainline railway station only has a
portacabin and a too-short platform to its name.
"Now that Tony Blair has appointed a new Transport Minister, perhaps I can
now persuade him to cast a fresh look at the appalling facilities
Lichfield’s commuters have to endure".