Southern Railway, Mid Sussex District Council and Network Rail have welcomed a £1 million award from the Department for Transport for step-fee access improvements at Wivelsfield station. The investment comes from the national Access for All programme, funded by the department and administered by Network Rail.
The council had already pledged £1.1 million towards a scheme for a new lift from street and ticket office levels to the northbound platform (Platform 1), and with this new Government funding promised, detailed planning can now go ahead.
The Government funding is subject to design and project approval. Southern will now work with the council and Network Rail to develop options for the scheme.
Angie Doll, Southern’s Managing Director, said: “This is great news for disabled passengers, parents with buggies, older people and people with heavy luggage travelling towards London from Wivelsfield station.
“Southbound passengers already have step-free access, so this investment will make the station completely step-free between street and platforms. It will also tie in with the council’s plans to create a better transport interchange here. We are committed to working with Network Rail and local authorities to make travel on our network as easy as possible for everybody.”
Councillor Judy Llewellyn-Burke, Deputy Leader of Mid Sussex District Council added: “We are delighted with this award from the Department for Transport. The improvements to access at Wivelsfield station will complement our Place and Connectivity Programme as we increase and improve connectivity between transport hubs and Burgess Hill town centre.”
Network Rail’s route director for Sussex, Shaun King, said: “Accessible stations make it easier for people to visit friends, get to the shops or to work. The upgrade to Wivelsfield station will provide an easier and more accessible station that can be utilised by all members of the public and we are delighted to facilitate this.”
Photo credit: Govia Thameslink Railway