A Surrey station, Ewell West, is now fully accessible, after a new footbridge, costing £3.9 million, was opened on Friday the 4th of October 2019.
The opening ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Epsom and Ewell, Councillor John Beckett, and Chair of the Ewell Village Residents Association, Brian Angus, to mark the completion of the 11 month work programme.
The footbridge provides step-free access to all platforms via its two lifts, and was funded by the Department for Transport’s Access for All Scheme, aiming to ensure obstacle-free, accessible routes into stations and to and from their platforms.
Over the next five years, six other stations in the South Western Railway network will benefit from the Access for All scheme improvements.
What did the officials say?
Stewart Firth, Network Rail Wessex’s Director of Route Sponsorship, said:
“The accessibility improvements at Ewell West are a crucial part of our commitment to putting passengers first. It’s great that everyone will be able to enjoy easier travel from this station and we would like to thank the local community for their patience while the work took place”.
Clare Burgess, Chief Executive of the Surrey Coalition of Disabled People, said:
“We were so pleased to hear of the accessibility improvements that have been made to Ewell West station and we hope that these are repeated at other stations around the county.
“Disabled people face a variety of barriers in travelling around Surrey and further afield. Providing step free access at this station will allow people with a mobility impairment the same freedom of access as everyone else.”
Peter Williams, South Western Railway’s Commercial Director, said:
“It’s great to see the footbridge complete and open for our customers at Ewell West station, providing step-free access for those with reduced mobility.
“More people will now be able to access this station and this will also help those who previously used the steps such as parents with prams and small children.”
Accessibility Minister, Nusrat Ghani, said:
“We are determined that disabled people should have equal access to our rail network, which is why it is fantastic to see Ewell West passengers benefitting from our Access for All programme.
“So far, we have provided step-free, accessible routes at more than 200 stations, and have more than 90 at various stages of design or development.
“We have also recently opened a £20 million fund to see further improvements at railway stations across the country and benefit even more passengers.”
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