A major investment in disabled facilities at Cheltenham Spa station has been brought forward following robust lobbying from Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk.
Rail Minister, Paul Maynard MP, at the Department for Transport has instructed Network Rail to bring forward a variety of plans for stair-free access at the station. The investment is being funded through the national ‘Access for All’ scheme. Following assessment, Network Rail will then submit a detailed design, with work on site to start shortly after that. The Minister confirms that it will be completed by March 2019 at the latest.
Alex Chalk said: “I was determined to get the national ‘Access for All’ funding unlocked for the Cheltenham Station improvements. There was no firm start date and no deadline to the works.
“I’ve been in the Minister’s ear for some time about improving our local train services and upgrading the station facilities. I’m pleased that he has intervened on our behalf. Those conversations are now paying dividends for Cheltenham.
“Getting state of the art, stair-free access at the station will be a major improvement for our disabled community.
Mr Chalk added: “Earlier this year I hosted Cheltenham’s first ever Disability Confident Fair. I’m encouraged that so many local businesses are keen to recruit those with disabilities. Employment levels are at an all-time high. But more needs to be done. Improving access at Cheltenham station is another small but important part in supporting our disabled community to work and to socialize.
The Minister has also confirmed that new cycling facilities at the station, supported by £733k of Government grant is due for completion next year (2017).
Mr Chalk continued “As a keen cyclist, I’m pleased to hear that the cycle facilities are due for completion next year. The scheme provides access to the station through an extension of the Honeybourne line, with the provision of 300 additional cycle parking places, information boards and maps."