Transport Secretary Ken Skates has backed a bid to the UK Government’s Access for All programme to improve fifteen stations across Wales.
AfA is a UK Government funded programme, used to create an obstacle free, accessible route from station entrance to platform. This generally includes providing lifts or ramps, along with associated works to improve accessibility for rail passengers.
The stations, which cover Mid and West Wales, North Wales and South East Wales, were recommended by a Wales and Borders railway industry group and are in addition to four previously committed-to schemes which were deferred by the UK government.
Transport Secretary Ken Skates said, “Improving accessibility for passengers is a key priority for me. An unacceptable number of our stations are wholly or partly inaccessible and this provides an opportunity to address some of those issues in Wales.
“Although rail infrastructure is non-devolved and the responsibility of the UK Government, our Wales and Border rail service contract includes a £15m investment by Transport for Wales (TfW) towards station accessibility improvements.”
He said Welsh Government had worked with TfW to allocate £10m of this to match fund the Wales and Borders station nominations to the UK Government’s Access for All funding, so increasing what can be achieved .
A list of fifteen stations have been nominated for a share of the Department for Transport’s £300 million station improvement programme, planned to run from 2019 to 2024.
If those applications are successful they will be given step free station access, and will build on the 11 stations already benefitting from previous investment, including Radyr, Wrexham, Bridgend and Prestatyn.
The Transport Secretary added, “My ambition is to improve accessibility at all stations, based on an assessment of need, and to ensure a fair distribution of investment in step free access across each region of Wales.”