Disabled access at Crowborough railway station is to be improved as part of a £300m project making stations across the UK more accessible.
Transport Minister and Wealden MP Nus Ghani has announced that over the next five years improvements will be made at 73 stations as part of this Access for All funding.
Improvements at the stations across the country will include new footbridges, lifts, tactile pavements and adjustable ticket counters, in order to make it easier for disabled people to travel on the UK’s rail network. Ms Ghani said:
I am particularly delighted that Crowborough station, in Wealden, has been selected for Access for All funding: ensuring that people here can get out and about.
The Conservatives have embarked on an unprecedented investment programme to upgrade our transport network, ensuring it is both fit for the future and accessible for everyone.
This funding does just that. We are committed to providing disabled people with the same access to travel as everyone else and delivering step-free access at Crowborough station will help thousands more people travel easily and without additional cost, time or stress.
We want the 13.9 million disabled people in Britain to be empowered to travel independently, which is why I am delighted to announced this roll out of upgrades across the whole network.
In the next five years, these newly accessible stations will open us routes across the country, helping us move closer to a transport sector that is truly accessible.
Nus Ghani was interviewed on BBC Sussex on 8th April about step-free access at Crowborough Station: click to listen (at 17:39).
Step-free access will also benefit those with health conditions, older people with impairments; along with those travelling with children, heavy luggage or shopping.
Greg Rose, current Mayor of Crowborough, and Independent Council Candidate, said:
This fantastic news is something which is long overdue for Crowborough.
It will make life so much easier for the disabled, elderly and parents with kids and push chairs.
I congratulate all of the Town Council members who have long campaigned for this change to happen.
The down line at Crowborough station is not accessible for people with mobility problems as to get to and from Platform 2 you have to use the footbridge. The list of facilities on Southern’s website also highlights that Crowborough station does not have a disabled toilet and the Booking Office Counter is not accessible:
Following nominations from the rail industry, stations were selected based on a range of criteria including footfall weighted by disability in the area, value for money, and local factors such as proximity to a hospital. The stations were also chosen to represent a fair geographical spread across the country.
The Department of Transport are unable to say what modifications will be carried-out nor how much will be spent at Crowborough, as Network Rail will now develop designs for each scheme.
The Access for All programme was first launched in 2006 and has delivered more than 200 accessible routes into selected stations so far.
A further 1,500 stations have received smaller scale improvements such as accessible toilets, platform humps to reduce stepping distances and improvements to help those with a visual or hearing impairment.
Keith Richards, Chair of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee, said:
The Access for All programme has already delivered significant improvements in access to rail travel for disabled people over the last 13 years. It’s crucial to continually build on that.
The announcement is very welcome and must go hand-in-hand with clear and practical information to ensure that disabled people are aware of what improvements have been made, and that more travel options are now possible as a result.
We are working with the Government to deliver a commitment to accelerate improvements, to target the funding effectively, and to monitor and assess outcomes.
Click to see a full list of the 73 stations to benefit from the £300m Access for All funding.