Network Rail has reached a milestone in the £5.8 million Crawley station upgrade, part of the Department for Transport’s Access for All programme, which include new lifts, ramps and a new footbridge to transform the way people with mobility needs use the railway.
The existing footbridge at the station has been removed as part of the project which is due to finish in Autumn 2020. The new bridge will improve accessibility at Crawley station and significantly reduce the time it takes passengers to get from platform 2 to the main station and to Crawley shopping centre.
This work is part of the Department for Transport funded Access for All programme which aims to provide obstacle free, accessible routes to and between platforms. More than £300m has been secured to continue with the Access for All Programme over the next five years.
With the new lifts installed on both platforms, more passengers can travel to Crawley town centre instead of nearby Three Bridges, which will benefit parents with buggies, people with shopping and those with mobility issues.
In the addition to the new lifts, tactile surfaces have been installed on both platforms to improve the station experience for visually impaired passengers.
Shaun King, Sussex route director for Network Rail, said: “Step-free access at Crawley will benefit passengers who use the station and we’re really pleased to reach this milestone in the project.
“The new and improved bridge will benefit people in the area for future generations.”
Angie Doll, Managing Director for Southern and Gatwick Express, said: “On behalf of our Crawley passengers, especially those for whom the lack of lifts made the station difficult or impossible to use, we welcome this milestone on the way to making it step-free from street to platform.
“While we still ask people to consider whether they really need to travel, we thank those who do need to use Crawley station for their patience while this major investment is carried out, and we continue to work with Network Rail to minimise the inconvenience.”
Crawley station sits on the Arun Valley line, between Three Bridges and Horsham, and serves over 1.7 million passengers per year. Currently passengers with mobility issues need to travel to Three Bridges, the nearest accessible station.
More information on the project is available at www.networkrail.co.uk/crawley.