Transport Minister, Baroness Kramer visited Cornwall today (22 January 2015) to see how government investment is transforming journeys and improving accessibility for passengers using St Austell station.
A new footbridge with accessible lifts has been installed at the Grade II listed station thanks to £2.5 million of funding from the government’s Access for All programme, which improves access to the UK’s rail network. The waiting room and toilets have also been refurbished, and the shopping facilities improved.
The minister joined representatives from First Great Western, Network Rail, Cornwall Council, St Austell Town Council and the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership to celebrate the completion of the works.
Baroness Kramer said:
It is vital that our rail network is accessible to all. That is why by the end of 2019, we will have spent more than £550 million improving accessibility at more than 200 stations, as part of the record investment we are making in the railways.
These improvements will make a real difference to passengers in St Austell, as well as providing an impressive and convenient gateway for tourists visiting the area. This is all part of our plan to build a stronger economy and a fairer society.
The bridge and lifts will improve access to the station, benefiting people with reduced mobility and passengers with children, heavy luggage or shopping. A further £500,000 has been spent updating the waiting room, toilets and providing a new retail outlet.
By the end of 2019, the government will have invested more than £500 million in delivering step-free routes at more than 215 stations across the country, while a further 1,100 stations will have benefited from smaller-scale improvements.