Kidsgrove station’s multi-million-pound accessibility upgrade has ramped up this week as work to stabilise historic mine shafts under the site gets underway.
As part of the Department for Transport’s ‘Access for All’ programme new lifts and a footbridge are being installed to provide step-free access to all four platforms for the first time.
Network Rail began the multi-million-pound station upgrade in 2018 but had to pause the project in 2019.
Poor ground conditions caused by unmapped mine shafts underground meant the footbridge could not be built to its original plans.
Work has started this week to secure the ground so the footbridge work can resume.
Deborah Fairweather, sponsor for Network Rail on the project, said: “We understand how frustrating this delay has been for passengers, but after many months of hard work I’m please to say we are now ready to provide a firm footing for the new footbridge at Kidsgrove station. As some of this work will be noisy, we have written to people living nearby and we will do our very best to minimise disruption to residents.
“I’d like to thank people for their continued patience while we work to transform accessibility at Kidsgrove. We’ll be making progress throughout this period of national lockdown as part of Network Rail’s commitment to build back better and get the railway ready for when Britain emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.”
The footbridge preparation work will take place between January and May 2021, every weekday between the hours of 8am and 6pm, and overnight on Saturday nights from 1am until 5am when trains are not running.
Construction traffic will access the site at Kidsgrove station itself and through the Tesco superstore car park on Liverpool Road.
The work will not disrupt trains, but the station will look and feel different for passengers while construction continues.
Lisa Angus, transition and projects director at East Midlands Railway, said: “We are working very closely with Network Rail to help support this vital project and keep any disruption the works cause to a minimum. The new lifts and footbridge will greatly improve accessibility at Kidsgrove station and help passengers with reduced mobility more easily access our services.”
The vital upgrade will see lifts built at either side of platforms 1,2, 3 and 4 with the new footbridge linking the platforms.
For more information on the ‘Access for All’ programme visit www.networkrail.co.uk/access-for-all.
Photo credit: Network Rail