Accessibility at 25 stations on the Northern network has been improved thanks to an increase in the working hours of the lifts installed at the stations.
The project, delivered by Northern and Network Rail will be a welcome upgrade for those with special mobility needs and who require step-free access to the platforms at the stations.
More thank 50 station lifts across the 25 stations have had their working hours extended, and include the following stations.
Altrincham, Ashton, Atherton, Barrow in Furness, Birchwood, Blackburn, Bolton, Buckshaw Parkway, Cheadle Hulme, Deansgate, Huyton, Kirkham & Wesham, Leyland, Manchester Victoria, Marple, Newton-le-Willows, Manchester Oxford Road, Poulton-Le-Fylde, Roby, Rochdale, Salford Central, Salford Crescent, St Helens Central, Warrington Central, Warrington West, Wigan Wallgate.
Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said: “We have inherited an ageing infrastructure with many of our stations tracing their heritage and facilities back to the Victorian era.
“As an industry we are working hard to modernise the network and the improvements made to the lifts will enhance the overall experience for our customers.
“This is a phased project to deliver improved accessibility and we will seek to roll out similar improvements at other stations in the future.
Stephen Brookes, Minister for Disabled People’s rail sector champion, said: “It is vitally important that the large number of disabled passengers who travel by rail are supported by projects which make trains and stations more accessible.
“I am very pleased to see that Northern is continuing to empower disabled people to access rail services independently. By making changes and improvements to the lift operation times at many stations, this is another positive step toward a truly integrated transport system.”
Phil James, North West route director at Network Rail said: “The rail industry is working hard to improve accessibility and I hope projects like this demonstrate our commitment to give people with additional mobility needs the confidence to travel by rail.
“Extending the operating hours of the 50 lifts in 25 of Northern’s stations will mean passengers can travel more flexibly across the full timetable and help themselves when assistance staff are not on duty. We are delighted to work with Northern on this putting passengers first initiative.”
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