Britain’s rail sector is continuing its move towards greater disability access, with improved facilities now in use at Kirkham & Wesham station.
As part of the Great North Rail Project, the station’s facilities have been upgraded to include lifts and a new footbridge linking a brand new platform to the station.
This step-free access makes it easier to get to trains, owing to the upgrade of the Preston to Manchester railway.
The new facilities at Kirkgham & Wesham station include improved track layout, the installation of a new platform complete with lifts to give access to all platforms; and electrification – part of a wider Network Rail scheme of modernisation – has been undertaken, as part of the rail revolution in the region.
To mark the official opening of the step-free access, Mark Menzies, the MP for Fylde, unveiled a plaque at the station in a short ceremony attended by Network Rail, Northern, town councillors and Lancashire County Council.
And Mr Menzies is pleased that disabled access has been upgraded at Kirkham & Wesham.
He said: “When I became an MP, improving the access at Kirkham Station was a project I made a priority and I am delighted to see not one but two lifts, ensuring the station will be fully accessible to everyone.
“For too long, the station was a no-go area for those with disabilities, anyone with a pram, or even heavy shopping.
“In this day and age, there should be no barrier to someone in a wheelchair or someone with a pushchair being able to access services.”
Final testing of the lifts have now been successfully undertaken and are open to the public.
Improving accessibility is a crucial function for the rail industry in the UK and follows a significant, ongoing programme of work by Transport for London and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to improve step-free access on the Underground.
Thanks to the Great North Rail Project, the same will happen further away from London.