There’s more in store as Stevenage railway station gets a welcome lift
- Credit: Archant
It’s taken a little longer than planned – but new facilities at Stevenage’s railway station, including passenger lifts, are now up and running.
Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland was on hand to wield the scissors and declare the new look officially open.
Mr McPartland said: “It has taken a little longer than planned but the newly refurbished train station looks a lot better and is a massive improvement.
“I am delighted that the goods lifts have been replaced by fully automated passenger lifts.
“This means passengers with pushchairs, suitcases and mobility problems will no longer have to struggle up the stairs or wait in the rain for a member of staff to open the goods lifts.
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“I am very proud to open the new lifts and refurbished station in Stevenage, but this is just another step forward as I already have more plans for further improvements.”
The lifts, which were originally for goods and required assistance from station staff, were replaced and opened in March this year but can now be used by passengers on their own.
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They are part of a scheme to improve accessibility in Hertfordshire which will benefit passengers with mobility issues, prams and heavy luggage.
Last week the Comet reported on the case of a disabled woman who had booked staff to help her use the old lifts so that she could catch an early morning train – and nearly missed the vital connection as she headed to London for an operation because nobody turned up.
Carole Pont’s frustrating experience had echoes of a similar case in April when another disabled woman was denied access to the lifts at the station.
Train firm First Capital Connect apologised for their shortcomings and offered her a full refund.
As well as the lifts, the station concourse has been refurbished with new slip-resistant flooring, improved lighting and sleek slate-grey wall tiles.
New shop units are also planned, to offer passengers a selection of food and snacks.
As Mr McPartland did the honours, First Capital Connect customer service director Keith Jipps said: “We are delighted to have completed the lifts.
“With lifts also being installed at Hitchin, Hatfield and Letchworth stations, this is a massive boost for Hertfordshire passengers.”