Cash is finally in place for lifts at Railway Station

Coun Margaret Smith, leader of South Ribble Council
Coun Margaret Smith, leader of South Ribble Council

Leyland Railway Station has been granted a £3.5m windfall for crucial access works to finally be carried out.

The funding will enable the installation of a new footbridge and three lifts, providing access to all platforms for wheelchair users, people with prams and those with limited mobility.

At the moment, passengers with limited mobility finding themselves on the central two platforms have to travel on to Preston or Chorley and come back to Leyland to ensure they end up on one of the outer platforms.

The announcement comes just weeks after the completion of a new ticket office at the station and other recent improvements, such as new shelters and a CCTV system, carried out by South Ribble Council, Lancashire County Council, Network Rail and Northern Rail.

Coun Margaret Smith, leader of South Ribble Council, said: “This is absolutely wonderful news, and the most significant step on a journey we began in 2008 to make Leyland Station fit for the 21st Century.

“We’ve created productive working relationships with all interested parties in that time, bringing about a number of improvements to the station.

“The provision of lifts has been the crucial improvement that we’ve been lobbying for all along.”

The funding has been made available as part of a £100 million extension to the Government’s Access for All programme, which aims to improve access to the country’s rail stations.

Work on this phase of the Access for All programme will be completed between 2015 and 2019, and whilst the Leyland Railway Station work is at a relatively advanced design stage, the exact schedule for the work to be carried out has not yet been established.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds were secured to draw up the ambitious plans in 2012, but more cash was needed to actually do the work.

The ticket office was originally set to be built that year too, but the existing footbridge was in the way.

Instead, a ticket office was built in the car park this year, in case the rest of the funding didn’t become available.