Four stations on Network Rail’s Sussex Route, served by Southern and Thameslink, are to benefit from new Access for All funding announced in yesterday’s budget.

Southern stations at East Grinstead, Eridge and South Croydon and Thameslink’s Tooting station will gain accessible improvements, delivered by Network Rail. In addition, Thameslink’s Flitwick station, near Bedford, will also be made accessible.

Network Rail’s Investment Director for Southern Region, Paul Harwood, said: “This is great news for passengers and we are looking forward to working with Southern and Thameslink to deliver these schemes. We know there is a long way to go to create a fully accessible railway but travelling by train should be for everyone and we are committed to making it as easy as possible for all our passengers.

“We play an important role in local communities and look forward to working with local stakeholder groups as we develop plans for each scheme.”

Christiane Link, Head of Accessibility for Southern and Thameslink, said: “We want everyone to be able to use our rail network as independently as possible. We are delighted that this funding for step-free access has been granted. This will make rail travel easier for disabled people, people with heavy luggage and those with baby buggies. We will now work closely with Network Rail and our community stakeholders to help develop schemes for each of these stations.”

The next step will be to develop options for the various sites, which will then allow final costs and timescales to be estimated.

The four stations were part of a wider £50m investment in Access for All schemes across the country, including nearby Motspur Park in South West London.