October 30 2014 Latest news:
Friday, October 25, 2013
Work has started on two new lifts at a railway station, but it will cause disruption for commuters into next year.
The work at Letchworth Garden City Railway Station is being carried out by Network Rail and their contractors to provide new passenger lifts.
The existing lift towers are not suitable for modern lift equipment, so two new towers are being built. When complete, they will be joined to the existing footbridge and provide step-free access to both platforms.
Construction work began on Monday and is due to be completed in March 2014, during which time the main station car park will be shut.
A spokesman for First Capital Connect said: “We were informed on Friday, October 18, that Network Rail and Euro Car Parks would be closing the car park at the station to allow access to the work site. When we found out, we did everything we could – including making additional station announcements and tweeting news of the closure – to ensure that passengers who regularly use the car park were made aware of the change.
“With the exception of the situation with the car park, we do not expect any major disruption to affect passengers at Letchworth as a result of this project.”
Work at the station follows a campaign from disabled action groups backed by North East Herts MP Oliver Heald, which had been ongoing since 1999.
In April, campaigners from Leonard Cheshire Disability in Hitchin held a protest outside the station to bring back the lifts, which have been out of action since the 1980s.
Mr Heald said: “I am delighted that work has at last started to construct the lifts at Letchworth Garden City Station. It has been a long hard campaign but we can now see work in progress. I know that my disabled constituents, amongst others, will be very pleased.”