Major work by Network Rail to improve accessibility at Spalding railway station will now complete in September, after the need to implement social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic slowed progress.
Network Rail began work in December 2019 to install new lifts at the station, which will create step-free access to platform 2. The work, which will also see new lights and CCTV installed, will provide improved accessibility and make it easier for passengers to use the station.
The project was originally expected to complete in June and good progress had been made. However, work to install the lifts could not be done safely in line with COVID-19 social distancing measures, which meant changes had to be made to the working method. The revised working method is now in place, meaning work on this part of the project can continue, however it does mean that the project will take longer than originally planned.
Work already complete on the project includes building the lift shafts, in keeping with the Grade II listed building. Whilst fewer people were using the station, workers also took the opportunity to improve the drainage and surfacing on platform 2.
Once the lifts are installed, the final stages of the project will involve connecting them to the footbridge and the existing station building. All of this work is being carried out without disrupting train services and both platforms remain open for passengers. The small compound in the car park will remain in place until the project is completed in September.
Passengers are reminded that they should continue to avoid public transport where possible. Those who must travel should wear a face covering, however some passengers are exempt, including young children and people with hidden disabilities or breathing difficulties.
Gary Walsh, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Midlands Route, said: “This is a vital project to improve accessibility for passengers at Spalding station and we are sorry that work is taking longer than originally planned.
“Due to social distancing guidelines, we needed to change our working methods to protect the safety of our workers. We have done this, and work is able to continue, however it has had an impact on the completion date of the project.
“We’d like to thank passengers for their continued patience, and we look forward to them reaping the benefits.”
Sophie Hammond, Area Manager for Lincolnshire, East Midlands Railway, said: “When completed, this project will massively improve accessibility at the station, which will open up travel opportunities and make using the station much easier for our passengers at Spalding.”