No sub navigation available on this page
Mark Sturgess of Network Rail, left, Cllr Roger Horton and Terry Oliver of London Midland.
Acocks Green station given a lift in £1.7m improvement scheme
Work has begun on installing lifts in a £1.7 million improvement scheme at a busy Birmingham railway station.
They will be fitted on the platform and to the car park at Acocks Green station, with work due to be completed in summer 2014.
The station dates from the Edwardian-era and is the busiest rail station without step-free access in the West Midlands, with 388,592 passenger journeys in 2012/13.
However it has previously only had stairs to allow access to the platform from the street and booking hall.
The work is being delivered by Centro, the region's transport authority and part-funded by the Department for Transport as part of the Access for All scheme.
Access for All is a Department for Transport strategy to improve the accessibility of the UK's railway network.
Funding is granted to improve infrastructure at stations to allow access for anyone for whom stairs would be a barrier, including the disabled, parents with small children or people with heavy luggage.
The Department for Transport awarded £1 million of the total cost and the remainder is being funded by Centro.
Network Rail has been contracted by Centro to deliver the project and has commissioned J.Murphy & Sons to carry out the work.
The scheme involves installing lift access from the station booking office to the car park and platforms via a new footbridge spanning the tracks.
The station, which has a free 132 space park and ride facility, is a key stop on the Birmingham Snow Hill to Leamington Spa line, an important commuter route that also serves Solihull.
However, the station's main entrance and booking office is on Yardley Road, more than 30 feet above the platforms and car park.
Cllr Roger Horton, Centro lead member for rail, said: "This scheme is fantastic news for passengers, it means it will be much easier for people to go by train from Acocks Green.
"A key feature is that we consulted with the local community about what we were doing and used that feedback to ensure the design of the new lift towers is in keeping with the rest of the building."
Mark Sturgess, Infrastructure Maintenance Delivery Manager for Network Rail said: "These vital improvements to Acocks Green station will make life easier for everyone to use the train, especially those with heavy luggage or reduced mobility.
"The new facilities at the station will play an important role in helping us to manage the individual needs of the increasing numbers of passengers who travel on the railway."
Terry Oliver, head of Snow Hill services for train operator London Midland, said: "We are delighted that accessibility is improving for passengers at Acocks Green station, thanks to the partnership between the Department for Transport and Centro.
"It is one of the busiest suburban stations within the West Midlands, so this is a fantastic step forward for the hundreds of thousands of passengers that use the station each year."