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 New facilities to help disabled users at Birkenhead North station

New facilities to help disabled users at Birkenhead North station

Published on 03/06/2014

​New improved facilities at Birkenhead North train station that have been installed to make it easier for passengers, particularly disabled people, to get around will be officially opened at a special ceremony on Wednesday 4th June.

Involving Merseyrail, Merseytravel and Network Rail, the works include a new lift and bridge and are the second part of a £2.7m scheme, the first part being a 274 space car park that opened in December 2012.

The latest works involved removing an existing passenger footbridge and constructing a brand new footbridge and lifts. The new bridge includes a link span with ramped access from the car park, greatly improving access to the station for customers.

The project has been delivered by Merseyrail, with the work carried out by construction business Morgan Sindall. Funding has been provided by the Department for Transport's 'Access for All' major scheme programme, Merseytravel and Network Rail.

It is the first time that an Access for All scheme has been delivered by a train operating company instead of Network Rail, who are usually responsible for large construction projects at railway stations.

The event on 4th June will see a commemorative plaque unveiled followed by a customer engagement event, giving members of the local community the chance to come along and meet the managers and find out more about improvements taking place on the Merseyrail network.

Liam Robinson, Chair of the Merseytravel Committee said:

"This project is a great example of how a range of organisations can come together to deliver new station facilities that will benefit the whole community.

"The response since the new car park opened at the station has been fantastic. It is already close to running at capacity and the new link to the bridge will make it much easier to access the station.

"We are always looking at ways to improve the customer experience on the public transport network and by providing step-free access; these new facilities will help to make the journey more comfortable for everyone."

Maarten Spaargaren, Managing Director of Merseyrail added:

"These station upgrades will make a big difference to people, especially to those with disabilities or travelling with young children.

"We aspire to make Merseyrail accessible to all our customers, and this continuous programme of improvements throughout the network brings us one step closer to achieving our goal."

Ian Joslin, area director for Network Rail said:

"Better access to stations and platforms is one way the industry is reacting to an ever-increasing number of passengers wanting to travel by train.

"The work at Birkenhead North has provided much better facilities for passengers and has been delivered through close working between Merseyrail, Network Rail, Merseytravel and the Department for Transport. We will continue to invest in the network whenever and wherever possible to continue to provide the best possible level of service."

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said:

"Improving access and providing step-free routes will really make a difference to passengers' journeys from Birkenhead and across the Merseyrail network. It will open up access to work and leisure for more passengers, all of which will help secure the UK's long-term economic growth."

Birkenhead North is a busy commuter station on the Wirral Line of the Merseyrail network. Used by over 800,000 passengers per year, the station is an interchange between services to Liverpool, West Kirby and New Brighton and has good links to local communities and the M53. The station sits within an area earmarked for considerable regeneration as part of the wider Wirral Waters scheme.

Improvement work to enhance access for passengers at other stations on the Merseyrail network is also on-going. A lift scheme at Formby is currently being constructed and the DfT has just announced funding for a second lift at Liverpool Central.

In addition, a package of improvements is being developed under the National Stations Improvement Programme (NSIP) which will see circa £5m invested across various stations on Merseyside.