A £2.3 million scheme which will deliver new lifts and footbridge by Spring 2019 was visited by Lichfield’s MP, Michael Fabricant, today (7th December 2018).
Michael Fabricant says “Having campaigned for years for this improvement, I was very pleased to see that work has begun and to meet with Network Rail who showed me where they plan to install the 2 lifts that will give disabled access to all platforms.”
Harpreet Singh-Moore, Michael Fabricant, Richard Brooks inspect plans for the two lifts
Network Rail has started work on the Lichfield Trent Valley Access for All upgrade this week, which is part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, representing the biggest investment in the railway since the Victorian times.
The investment has come directly from the Department for Transport’s Access for All programme that was launched in 2006 with the vision of improving accessibility at train stations nationwide.
At Lichfield this vital upgrade will install two new lifts which will provide vital step free access to all three platforms for the first time. The station, which is linked to London via the West Coast Mainline and Birmingham on the city line is widely used by commuters.
This programme of work will not be disruptive to passengers but the station will look and feel different whilst the works are being undertaken.
Michael adds: “This will be a major improvement to this important local interchange railway station which connects the all important West Coast Main Line with the Cross City Line.
“But I also took the opportunity of showing them the step only access to the station from the new car park on the ‘London side’ platform. We need a ramp to provide disabled access there too.
“I understand the lifts will be fully operational in June 2019.”
Harpreet Singh-Moore, Network Rail scheme project manager said, “This upgrade will unlock the railway network for many people in and around Lichfield, allowing them easy access to travel that was previously not possible.
“We are working closely with the station operator, West Midlands Railway, to ensure our work brings as little disruption as possible to passengers at the station, which will only be until late Spring 2019.”
The steps from the new car park with (l to r) Francis Thomas (Head of Government Relations and Customer Access at London West Midlands Railway), Michael Fabricant, Richard Brooks
Transport Accessibility Minister Nusrat Ghani said:
“The new lifts at Lichfield will allow disabled passengers to access the station independently and with confidence.
“It’s vital that we remove barriers to travel faced by disabled people across the network. We know we are making good progress towards this goal, as 75% of passenger journeys are now via stations with step-free access
“However, there is more to do, which is why we announced up to £300m as part of the Inclusive Transport Strategy to extend the Access for All programme. This will allow more stations like Kidsgrove to develop new accessible features that makes rail accessible to everyone.”
And Richard Brooks, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, said: “Improving accessibility at Lichfield Trent Valley is a key part of our plans for local rail users. New trains are being built in Derby for both London Northwestern Railway and Wests Midlands Railway passengers on the West Coast and Cross City Lines as we continue to respond to the popularity of rail travel across the region.”