Published on: Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Last updated: Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Greater Anglia has been successful in its bid for funding to help improve access at Colchester rail station.
The company has secured Access for All funding - a Government funding programme for schemes to improve station access – to build a new passenger lift that will link the platforms and subway to the main booking hall and car park.
Although there is a lift on the other side of the station, disabled passengers arriving at the main booking hall currently have to use a stairway fitted with a wheelchair stair lift to access the platforms.
It means that Colchester station will become entirely step free benefiting an estimated 52,000 people a year who require lift facilities because of restricted mobility.
The bid was supported by Colchester Borough Council, Essex County Council and the Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership.
Simone Bailey, Greater Anglia's Asset Management Director, said: “We are absolutely delighted to hear that our proactive funding bid for Colchester station has been successful, enabling us to make rail travel more accessible for all.
“We are very grateful to our partner organisations who worked with us to get this fantastic result that will make a big difference to so many people.
“Along with the enhanced accessibility features of our new fleet of trains, this funding means that we are really starting to transform rail travel for people with disabilities and other accessibility needs, making it much easier for them to travel.”
Greater Anglia was also successful in gaining funding for accessibility improvements at Bury St Edmunds and Needham Market stations in Suffolk.
The company is committed to improving accessibility across it network with a number of initiatives, including pioneering accessibility awareness training courses – all delivered by professional disabled trainers in order to improve customer service for disabled passengers.
The company has commissioned a team of Accessibility and Inclusion trainers to deliver regular sessions over the next two years to ensure its 2,500 strong workforce feels empowered to help improve the journeys of people with accessibility needs.
This makes Greater Anglia the first operator in the country to implement accessibility courses that meet the rail regulator’s new standards, ahead of new rules that come in in 2021 requiring all train operators to undertake such training.