Posted by: Belinda Hargreaves
Fri 2nd February 2024
Work has reportedly finally started on a ‘multi-million pound’ project to improve accessibility at a Derbyshire town’s train station.
Although there was no visible evidence of such work having yet being started at Alfreton Train Station at lunchtime today (Friday, February 2), Network Rail has stated this week that ‘enabling’ work on the installation of the long-awaited step-free footbridge at the station has now begun.
Over the past few years, The Spirit of Alfreton has reported a number of times about the frustration of disabled passengers who can not access Platform Two of the station due to the access only being via the current stepped footbridge.
The station is now finally set to see two new lifts attached to the existing footbridge which is also to be refurbished as part of the project.
Network Rail has stated that changes to the footbridge will start to be visible after April this year, and that the project is set to be completed by “early next year.”
A spokesman for Network Rail said on Thursday (February 1): “The 50-year-old footbridge will be refurbished and stairs will be replaced as part of the project.
“Minor improvements will also be made to the station’s platforms and lighting, improving the overall passenger experience as people travel to and from Alfreton.
“There will also be a new ramp and stairs from the car park to the station entrance.”
The spokesman continued: “Engineers have started work at the Derbyshire station, with the upgrades planned to be completed in early 2025.
“During the work, no train disruption is planned, and the station is set to remain open throughout.
“Some of the car park spaces will be relocated and some will be temporarily closed while work is carried out.”
The project is part of the Department for Transport’s ‘Access for All’ scheme, bringing step-free accessible routes at hundreds of stations across Britain.
Gary Walsh, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Midlands route, said: “It is great to see work starting on this vital project that will bring step-free access to Alfreton station. Our team will be carrying out enabling work until April, after which the changes to the footbridge will start to be visible.
“We’ll make sure that disruption to passengers is minimal as we complete the work and look forward to delivering a station which better serves the local community early next year.”
Nigel Mills, MP for the Amber Valley, reportedly visited the station with Network Rail representatives and members of Alfreton Town Council on January 18. He said: “It was very helpful to get a briefing from Network Rail about the project, and I am looking forward to the construction starting in the near future.”
Dave Meredith, Customer Services Director for East Midlands Railway (EMR) said: “We’re delighted the ‘Access for All’ scheme at Alfreton railway station has started. This investment means Alfreton customers will benefit from two new lifts, a refurbished footbridge and stairs, allowing for easier journeys across the East Midlands.
“Working together in partnership with Network Rail, we’ll continue to do everything we can to ensure we keep disruption to a minimum and the station will remain open throughout the works.
“Once complete, Alfreton railway station will be accessible and safer for our customers for the future.”
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Alfreton Town Council said of the update from Network Rail: “The town council were pleased to hear of development from Network Rail about the accessibility of the station and that work has finally started.
“This comes alongside assurances from EMR that the ticket office will remain open and that whilst missing out on upgrades to the Computerised Information Screen will be considered for an upgrade, something that the town council also continue to pursue.”
Read more Spirit of Alfreton articles about the long-awaited step-free footbridge at Alfreton Train Station here
Photos by Belinda Hargreaves.
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