Major improvements to provide passengers at Wellingborough train station step-free access between the station entrance and platforms for the first time have been completed.
The project, which was jointly funded by Network Rail and the government’s national Access for All programme, included the installation of a new footbridge and two new lifts, making it easier and safer for passengers to move around the station.
An event was held today (Friday 30 September) at the station to mark the official opening of these new facilities. Peter Bone, MP for Wellingborough and Rushden, said: “I am delighted that the much needed improvement at Wellingborough station is now open. In the past it has been extremely difficult for disabled people, young families and passengers with heavy luggage to cross platforms.”
Martin Frobisher, Network Rail route director, said: “These new improvements at Wellingborough will make a big difference to passengers, especially those with reduced mobility or with small children, and is part of a wider effort to build a bigger, better railway. The new lifts and footbridge will better meet the needs of passengers and businesses in Wellingborough.”
David Horne, Commercial & Customer Service Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for people to access our train services, and we’re currently investing more than £40 million to improve our stations and trains.
“We’re pleased to have worked successfully with Network Rail and the Department for Transport to deliver these improvements, and we hope the changes will mean an easier journey for all passengers using Wellingborough station.”
The new footbridge and lifts will allow Network Rail to close the barrow crossing, which is used by passengers unable to use the existing footbridge to cross between platforms. Closing the crossing will improve safety and is a crucial first step in Network Rail’s plans to increase line speed on the busy Midland main line, with the potential for quicker journeys for passengers in the East Midlands in the future.
Other improvements are planned along the line as part of a Network Rail scheme to increase maximum speeds on the Midland main line with the potential to shorten journey times in future. Other level crossings will be closed or enhanced, track will be renewed and realigned, sets of points will be upgraded and the gradient of corners altered, with incremental improvements to maximum speeds delivered over the next three years.