The announcement of £3.5 million funding for Leyland Station, under the Government’s Access For All scheme has been welcomed by South Ribble Borough Council, Lancashire County Council, Network Rail and Northern Rail.
The funding will enable the installation of a new footbridge and three lifts, providing access to all platforms for wheelchair users, people with prams and those with limited mobility.
The announcement comes just weeks after the completion of a new ticket office at the station and other recent improvements, such as new shelters and a CCTV system, carried out by South Ribble Borough Council, Lancashire County Council, Network Rail and Northern Rail.
County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “High-quality, accessible public transport is key to Central Lancashire’s future prosperity which is why we have been lobbying for this funding for some time. This is the latest in a programme of continuing improvements to Leyland Station and, as part of the Central Lancashire Highways and Transport Masterplan, we are also working to ensure that the station becomes a key interchange with the rest of the public transport network.”
Councillor Margaret Smith, leader of South Ribble Borough Council, said: “This is absolutely wonderful news, and the most significant step on a journey we began in 2008 to make Leyland Station fit for the 21st Century.
“We’ve created productive working relationships with all interested parties in that time, bringing about a number of improvements to the station. The provision of lifts has been the crucial improvement that we’ve been lobbying for all along, and this announcement will also be welcomed by our businesses, South Ribble Partnership and Runshaw College, all of whom have thrown their support behind this.
“They recognise the boost this could bring to the local economy, at a time when work is also moving forward on the nearby Cuerden site, which will bring many jobs to South Ribble.”
Ian Joslin, area director for Network Rail, added: “More and more people are travelling on our railways than ever before, so it’s important that we make taking the train as easy as possible for everyone. Better accessibility will mean a better experience for people with reduced mobility, carrying heavy luggage or travelling with children, but we’ll also be investing to improve signage and customer information for all passengers.”
Craig Harrop, client and stakeholder manager for Northern Rail, commented: “This funding will allow huge improvements to be made for customers travelling from Leyland station, bettering their journey experience and allowing more people to travel by train.”
The funding has been made available as part of a £100 million extension to the Government’s Access for All programme which aims to improve access to the country’s rail stations. Work on this phase of the Access for All programme will be completed between 2015 and 2019. Whilst the Leyland Station work is at a relatively advanced design stage the exact schedule for the work to be carried out has not yet been established.