Alec has welcomed the Conservative Government’s funding to improve accessibility across the rail network for disabled people. There has been a lot of speculation over delays to the step-free access at Garforth Station, but the Minister of State for Transport has now confirmed that the project will go ahead.
This funding will provide Garforth Railway Station with step-free access, helping thousands of disabled people every day in the Garforth area use trains more easily to get to work, to access vital services, to travel across the country, and to visit friends and family.
Nusrat Ghani MP, Transport Minister, said:
“Everyone should be able to access our rail network and I am pleased to announce that Garforth will now become a fully accessible station in the next stage of the programme.
“So far, Conservatives in government have delivered step-free access at over 200 stations through our Access for All programme and are committed a further £300m of accessibility investment.
“Alec Shelbrooke MP has been campaigning to make Garforth Railway Station step-free so it is safer for all passengers, especially those with restricted mobility or parents with push chairs and I’m delighted to be able to announce today that their hard campaigning work has again paid off for the people of Garforth”.
The Conservatives have today announced funding for a further 73 stations that will benefit from the £300m Access for All funding. This is the latest move towards a fully inclusive transport network, which will make it easier for disabled people to use more of the rail network.
75% of rail journeys across the UK now step-free and over the next five years journeys will be opened up across Britain as upgrades including footbridges and lifts make it easier for disabled people to travel on the UK’s rail network.
Several stations will also see smaller scale improvements to allow disabled passengers to travel with confidence. The funding will also benefit those with health conditions or older people with impairments, along with people traveling with children, heavy luggage or shopping.
Transport is vital for connecting people with work, friends and family, but also enabling them to enjoy visiting some of the wonderful cultural, historical and natural sites across the UK.
We want the 13.9 million disabled people in Britain to be empowered to travel independently, which is why the Conservatives are delighted to announce this roll out of upgrades across the rail network.
Over the next five years these newly accessible stations will open up routes across the country, helping us move closer to a transport sector that is truly accessible.
Commenting, Alec said:
“I have been campaigning for step-free access at Garforth Station for many years. We had an original plan submitted but this then incurred unnecessary delays along the way. This additional funding announced today will make a huge difference to people’s lives in Garforth.
“Since coming to power, the Conservatives have embarked on an unprecedented investment programme to upgrade our transport network, ensuring it is both fit for the future and accessible for everyone.
“This funding does just that. We are committed to providing disabled people with the same access to travel as everyone else and delivering step-free access at Garforth station will help thousands more people travel easily and without additional cost, time or stress.”
Following nominations from the rail industry, stations were selected based on a range of criteria including footfall weighted by disability in the area, value for money, and local factors such as proximity to a hospital.
The Access for All programme was first launched in 2006 and has delivered more than 200 accessible routes into selected stations so far.
A further 1,500 stations have received smaller scale improvements such as accessible toilets, platform humps to reduce stepping distances and improvements to help those with a visual or hearing impairment.