Bid for station access improvements submitted
Earlestown Rail Station has been put forward as one of a number of stations that could benefit from accessibility funding.
Article date: 22nd September 2022
The plans have been submitted as part of Access for All funding by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to Government to support access for rail users at all stations.
Earlestown has been selected through following the Access for All criteria set out by the Department for Transport which take into account things like how close the station is to essential services, station usage and census data of the local population.
The inclusion of Earlestown Station is welcomed as accessibility improvements have been long been campaigned for by St Helens Borough Council, on behalf of the community and rail passengers. Earlestown Rail Station is also one of only two triangular railway stations left in the UK, which presents particular mobility challenges for access to all platforms, and with the oldest station building in the world still in passenger service investment is long overdue.
The recently adopted Earlestown Town Centre Masterplan Development Framework identifies such as a priority and a key component of one of St Helens Borough Council's bid submissions to the Levelling Up Fund Round 2 focussed on complementary improvements at Earlestown Station, for which an outcome is eagerly awaited from Government.
Councillor Andy Bowden, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: "Our Borough Strategy calls for our places to be well connected with accessible transport, and thus there is strong alignment with the Access for All programme. My ambition is clear in that all stations within the borough should be made step free at the earliest possible opportunity and I will continue to push for this.
"I welcome this bid submission as resolving the accessibility issues at Earlestown Station forms an integral component of our own exciting regeneration proposals for Earlestown town centre, which are clearly set out in the recently adopted Masterplan Development Framework, and complementary enhancements to the station were a prioritised ask of Government in our Levelling Up Round 2 submission.
"I do, however, remain absolutely committed to pursue further access improvements or solutions for all stations in St Helens Borough. In particular, Garswood Station, which is the other facility in the borough without step free access and is in need of earliest improvement. I will therefore continue to campaign to all relevant bodies for this outcome."