Thursday, May 01, 2014

Government funding for improved access at Market Harborough station

Market Harborough is to be one of 42 stations in England and Wales to share in a £100m government fund to improve access for disabled passengers.

Detailed designs and costing for each station will be drawn up by Network Rail in due course, and the projects will be completed by 2019.

Announcing the funding, the Liberal Democrat transport minister Susan Kramer said:
"We are transforming our railways through record levels of investment and improving accessibility at stations is an important part of that. 
"These improvements will make a real difference to the lives of disabled passengers and those with limited mobility, allowing them to get to work and pursue leisure activities more easily. That’s good news for them and good news for the economy."
Welcoming the news, my old friend Phil Knowles - Liberal Democrat district councillor in the town and one of our candidates at this month's European elections - said:
' This matter has been a cause of real concern for a very long time, for example to users of Market Harborough Station. I contacted Baroness Kramer and urged that she looked closely at the situation particularly in respect of the less mobile, wheelchair users and in some cases those with prams and buggies who have had to gain access to the southbound platform at Market Harborough by being escorted across the tracks. 
"Though the staff do a wonderful job at the station this type of access is far from ideal. ... I certainly hope that the powers that be will do everything possible to bring this project to fruition at the earliest possible date. So many people and groups have campaigned on this and I am sure that they, like me hope to see Baroness Kramer in Market Harborough viewing the completed project."
The Lib Dems have long been campaigning for better access at the station and I am delighted that the campaign has succeeded - and that the good news was announced by a Lib Dem minister too.

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