Railway passengers are now enjoying improved access at Cadoxton in South Wales after new passenger lifts, and a footbridge was opened at the station.
This now means those using a wheelchair, pushchair or have heavy luggage will be able to access both platforms at Cadoxton as they are both step-free following the £3 million upgrades at the station.
The improvements also include a new waiting shelter, doorways widened at the ticket office and the installation of tactile paving on the platform edge.
A new ramp from the ticket office to platform one has also been built as part of the upgrade.
These improvements have come thanks to an investment by Network Rail as part of the Access for All programme, launched in 2006 by the Department for Transport.
Bill Kelly, Network Rail’s route director, was joined by the Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris, Jane Hutt Deputy Minister, Alun Cairns MP Vale of Glamorgan and James Price CEO Transport for Wales and Simon Green, chair of Bridgend Coalition of Disabled People and trustee of Disability Wales, who officially opened the lifts on 28 August at a socially distanced official opening ceremony.
Rail accessibility minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “These new facilities at Cadoxton will be a fantastic improvement for passengers, giving disabled people increased confidence to travel as more people return to Wales’ railways.
“But there is still more to be done, and the UK government is already making 15 further stations in Wales more accessible as part of our £350 million Access for All scheme.”
UK Government Minister for Wales David TC Davies said: “The accessibility improvements at Cadoxton train station demonstrate the UK Government’s commitment to building a bigger, better railway for Wales.
“Accessible stations will open up routes to more passengers across the country, empowering people to travel independently and helping us to make inaccessible transport a thing of the past.”
Bill Kelly, Network Rail route director said: “I am delighted as the lifts and footbridge at Cadoxton are a real game changer for passengers who will no longer need to travel to Barry Island to benefit from step free access.
“Step free access benefits not only those with reduced mobility but also passengers with children, heavy luggage or shopping. We are committed to making our railway accessible for passengers and the new lifts are a welcome addition which will enhance the journey experience for many years to come”.
James Price, Transport for Wales CEO, said: “I’m pleased that the new facilities at Cadoxton station have now opened for customer use, including the new step free footbridge. It represents a major improvement to the facilities at this busy station, and I’d like to thank TfW and Network Rail colleagues for their hard work in delivering this.
“At Transport for Wales, we’re fully committed to building a fully accessible rail network for Wales and the Borders and improving accessibility at stations is a key part of this. We’re proud to have worked collaboratively with Network Rail on improving the accessibility at Cadoxton, and we’re looking forward to working together to develop more schemes throughout the Wales and Borders network in the years ahead.”
Simon Green, Chair of Bridgend Coalition of Disabled People and trustee of Disability Wales, said: “I have been a wheelchair user since 2003 and use trains almost every day from my home in Pencoed. It frustrates me that there are many stations around Wales that are not accessible and so pleased more and more platforms are being made more disabled friendly and easier for those with heavy luggage.
“I have needed to travel home from Cadoxton before and haven’t been able to, the fact I and others with reduced mobility can now is great news. It will be an honour to be there and see the hard and essential work that’s been done. The more lifts that are built and more that is done to improve access the better so a big thanks to Transport for Wales”.
Kevin Collins, project director for Network Rail, said: “We will continue to work hard to ensure a more equitable journey experience for passengers.
“Although the improvements at Cadoxon are positive, we know there is more to do so we will continue to step up our work to make our facilities truly inclusive. We are now planning further accessibility improvements at Barry station in 2021”.
Thomas Edwards, project manager for Network Rail Wales and Borders, said: “We would like to thank the community for their patience while we carried out this important work to make the station more accessible.
“The pandemic has changed the way we work and it’s thanks to the hard work of our of our contractors Alun Griffiths that we can now have step-free access to the platforms for those who need it.”
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