Council will not accept ‘broken promises’ over train station improvements

51-2249-1''Alfreton Station
51-2249-1''Alfreton Station

Councillors pushing for improvements to Alfreton Railway Station have said they will not accept ‘anymore broken promises’ as they anxiously wait on news about funding.

Alfreton Town Council has been working to address the problem of disabled access to platform two of the station, which is only accessible by bridge.

Passengers in wheelchairs are often forced to travel further to another station, just to catch a return train to Alfreton to arrive at the opposite platform.

The council has even sought the help of MP Nigel Mills, who brought the issue up in Parliament.

Concerned residents were told in 2011 that the situation would be resolved with a year, but nothing came of it.

The council then pressed for a meeting with Network Rail, where they were told that the money that had been made available for the alterations had been redirected by Central Government.

They are now waiting on news due next month of planned rail work, and are keeping their fingers crossed that Alfreton will make the list.

Mayor Coun John Walker said “We, at Alfreton, have made a strong case for improvements at the station only to find the funds had been directed elsewhere, and seemingly the works promised for April 2014 are still to be financially approved and individual projects selected.

“Alfreton is one of the few stations in the country where people with mobility difficulties who alight on the southbound platform - platform two - cannot cross to the other platform to allow them to exit the station.

“It has been the practice for some while for people with disabilities to travel further south and leave the train at Nottingham and journey back up to Alfreton to allow them access to the northbound track and to exit the station - an additional journey of some 40 miles to cover a distance of less than 40 yards.

“We hear that an announcement will be made in April of the 53 projects under the Government’ scheme.

“We have heard, following our own research, that Alfreton is number two in the stations in the East Midland’s region, scheduled for these works.

“I hope that Alfreton is successful; the remedial works are long overdue and we will not accept anymore broken promises.

“We have asked for early notice of the situation. I can say that if Alfreton Station does not get the approval I shall be pressing for action and if necessary involve local disability groups in raising a case under the Equality Act 2010.”

As well as better disabled access, the council will also press for improvements of the ticket and waiting facilities, which they say are also overdue.