Disabled passengers warned ahead of ‘fantastic’ renovation of Stevenage train station
- Credit: Archant
Disabled passengers are being urged to plan ahead with existing lifts set to close while renovation work takes place.
Train operator First Capital Connect has announced that Stevenage Railway Station will undergo a refurbishment which will see lifts installed which passengers can operate themselves, as well as new flooring, tiles and lighting for the concourse and ticket hall.
Areas behind the existing shops will also be brought back into use, allowing for the units to be expanded.
During the work, being carried out by Network Rail from December 9 until March next year, the existing lifts will be taken out of service and there will be no step-free access at the station.
The existing lifts are designed for goods and require a member of staff to be present, so they will be replaced with modern equivalents.
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While the lifts are out of service, support will be provided for passengers able to make use of the stairs but who have heavy luggage or buggies. Alternative transport to the nearest accessible station will be arranged for passengers who can’t use the stairs.
First Capital Connect’s customer service director Keith Jipps said: “It is fantastic news that Stevenage is getting the smartened up station that it deserves. There will be some unavoidable disruption to passengers as work is carried out but we have briefed our staff and urge people to book in advance with our free assisted travel helpline team who will do all they can to help. The benefits that the new lifts will bring to passengers long term – along with the new lifts at Hitchin and Letchworth – are massive.”
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Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland said: “I am absolutely delighted Stevenage station will be getting a makeover and the plans include the fully automated passenger lifts. We have all helped families struggling with suitcases and pushchairs up the stairs, so this will come as a welcome relief to everyone and especially disabled passengers. I very much look forward to working with First Capital Connect to deliver the modernisation plans with as little disruption as possible. This is another fantastic investment in our town, which we can be proud of.”
Disabled passengers are asked to call a free helpline before they travel on 0800 058 2844 or visit www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk/accessibility