New lifts for Warwick station under threat after funding cut

MHLC-31-03-10 Trains MAR151-
  Cllr John Holland
MHLC-31-03-10 Trains MAR151- Cllr John Holland

Lifts and ramps planned for Warwick railway station are at risk after an announcement that vital government funding may be pulled – or held until 2020.

Residents are now called to join the fight to ensure disabled travellers and parents with pushchairs do not lose out on the vital upgrades.

MHLC-20-01-10 Warwick station Jan 70

MHLC-20-01-10 Warwick station Jan 70

Funding for a lift for the southbound platform, which is only accessible by steep steps, was secured last year.

It is now in jeopardy after news from the Department for Transport that not all of the 42 projects approved for a share of the £100 million Access for All fund can go ahead in time.

The government will now decide which projects to fund as planned and which must wait until at least 2020, in a move campaigners hope won’t leave Warwick behind.

The plan, supported by Warwickshire County Council and Network Rail, hopes to install a lift down to the subway and a ramp onto the street at the back of the building.

A council spokesperson said: “We have expressed our concern with Network Rail that there is a potential risk to this project.

“The Department for Transport are working with Network Rail to prioritise work to be funded and delivered before 2019. We hope for a decision later in the year.

“In the meantime we will continue to apply pressure in the hope that Warwick will be one of the selected stations to deliver the Access for All scheme before 2019.”

A decision is due to be made in the coming weeks but residents are being asked to get behind the council’s fight to ensure work goes ahead.

Cllr John Holland said: “At the moment wheelchair users or parents with prams have no option but to struggle up and down the steep steps to access the southbound platform.

“This is an important project from an equality and a commercial point of view. It may help if people write asking for lifts to be installed now.”

Letters can be sent to Network Rail directly, or via Cllr Holland.