Network Rail, North Yorkshire County Council and TransPennine Express are continuing to make progress on plans for a major project to improve accessibility for passengers at Thirsk station.
The station was awarded £1million in Government funding in 2020, as part of the Department for Transport’s Mid-Tier Access for All Fund. Since then, Network Rail has worked with North Yorkshire County Council and TransPennine Express to develop detailed proposals for the scheme.
The plans for the Access for All project would see lifts installed, as well as a new footbridge, creating step-free access throughout the station, including to both island platforms.
North Yorkshire County Council is now preparing to submit a bid for the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, which would then allow work to start onsite.
Network Rail is working closely with local stakeholders to provide more information on the plans and feedback will be used to develop the final design stages. Once funding is secured, the upgrade will be able to move into the construction stage.
Kieran Dunkin, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “We know how important this scheme to improve accessibility at Thirsk is for passengers. We’ve been working collaboratively with North Yorkshire County Council and TransPennine Express on the design of these improvements, which will include installing lifts at the station.
“We’re now supporting the County Council on their work to prepare a funding bid to deliver the project in full. To inform the submission, we’ll be getting feedback from local stakeholders to identify the option which will work best for passengers.”
North Yorkshire County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “The County Council welcomes this Access for All funding for Thirsk station and looks forward to working with Network Rail to ensure its delivery. The step-free access to the platforms will be a very significant improvement for all passengers and will provide further encouragement for our residents to use public transport.
“We anticipate that there will be a further opportunity to bid for government funding as part of its levelling up agenda and if or when that funding window opens, we will be ready with a bid. Officers are working closely with district and borough council colleagues on a wider transport bid covering a number of stations, including Malton/Norton and Seamer rail stations.”
Adam Fairclough, Head of Customer Experience Improvement for TransPennine Express, said: “We’re very pleased to be working alongside Network Rail and North Yorkshire County Council in developing proposals for step free access at Thirsk station. Accessibility for all our customers is key to us as a train operator and we’re delighted to support the County Council in their preparation of a funding bid to make these plans a reality.”
Photo credit: TransPennine Express