Improving access to Great Britain’s railway stations is a key priority for this government. I am therefore pleased to announce today a further £37.5 million of ‘mid-tier’ Access for All funding for projects requiring up to £1 million of government support.
This forms part of the wider £370 million Access for All programme launched in 2006 which will deliver an accessible, step free route at 148 key stations. Rail passengers will benefit from better access through the provision of new lifts, ramps, raised ‘easier access humps’ on platforms as well as new accessible toilets.
Major improvements will take place at stations across the country including at London Paddington, St. Austell, Stratford, Stratford-upon-Avon and Ystrad Mynach. Network Rail will also receive funding to add tactile edge paving at 27 stations and £5 million to provide ‘easy access humps’ to reduce the stepping distance between the platform and the train. The full list of successful stations will be made available on the Department for Transport’s website.
All work at the stations will be completed by March 2014. We are also taking the opportunity to increase the funding allocated to train operating companies. This funding will increase from £5 million a year to £7 million a year for the next three years, beginning in April 2012. It is based on the number of stations that they manage and is used to deliver smaller scale or more locally focused access improvements at stations.
Finally, I have agreed to release £57 million from the existing budget earlier than planned to allow the accelerated delivery of obstacle free routes at 27 stations.