Rail passengers are celebrating step-free access to Kirkham and Wesham station’s platforms for the first time following a major upgrade.
Lifts, a new footbridge and a new platform are all features of the refurbishment of the station which has been carried out as part of the Great North Rail Project, which include an upgrade of the Preston to Blackpool railway.
Fylde MP Mark Menzies was joined by officials from Network Rail and train operator as well as county, borough and town councillors and rail user group members as he unveiled a plaque to mark the improvements to the station, which also include an improved track layout, and electrification as part of Blackpool’s recent rail revolution. The new lifts will be open from next week.
Mr Menzies said: “For too long the station was a no-go area for those with disabilities, anyone with a pram, or even heavy shopping.
“In this day and age, there should be no barrier to someone in a wheelchair or someone with a pushchair being able to access services.”
Andrew Morgan, senior sponsor for Network Rail, said: “The accessibility improvements we are making will not only benefit disabled people or those with reduced mobility, but also those with children, heavy luggage or shopping.”
Craig Harrop, interim regional director for Northern, added: “The upgrade work helps to support us on our journey to making the Northern network accessible to all and furthers our commitment to inclusive rail travel.
Kirkham station provides a key route into and out of the Fylde area, and the new infrastructure will provide our customers with a modern environment and easy access for years to come.”
Liz Oades, who represents Kirkham on Lancashire County and Fylde Council, said: “Having spent so many years campaigning for a lift at the station I am thrilled we are now getting two. I’m also very happy to see other improvements to the station and the stock and hopeful we will now be given the service passengers deserve.
“Moves are ongoing to provide parking facilities at the station, which will enable the improved facilities to be enjoyed by all without inconvenience to nearby residents.”