MP hopeful about improvements to Newstead train station
Improvement work at Newstead train station has moved a step closer to potentially being completed ahead of schedule, it has emerged.
The news comes after Sherwood MP Mark Spencer wrote to Network Rail and the Rail Delivery Group last week regarding accessibility improvements for Newstead and Hucknall stations.
Mr Spencer specifically highlighted the need for tactile weave paving to be introduced to platforms at both stations.
Tactile warning paving increases safety at stations and improves orientation for those living with sight loss.
Mr Spencer said at the time: “Train travel is a vital form of transport for people with sight loss, and these improvements will allow people to travel independently with safety of mind.”
Now Network Rail has responded to the MP’s letter, revealing its ambition to create a ‘truly inclusive and accessible railway’.
In its reply to him, Network Rail said: “We want all passengers to travel safely, independently and with confidence and that includes those who are blind and partially sighted.
“To date, we’ve worked on the basis of all operational platforms being fully tactiled by the end of control period seven in 2029, subject to funding being agreed with the Department for Transport (DfT).
"But, recognising the urgency of this issue, we want to achieve this faster.
"We’re already working with the DfT on proposals to help fund and deliver this.
“Alongside these discussions, our route team are preparing a plan for how we’d prioritise this work across our region.
"The prioritisation exercise will likely lead to the work at Hucknall station being undertaken prior to Newstead, due to the footfall and interface with the adjoining tram platform.”
Mr Spencer stressed that the current lack of tactile warning paving is a ‘great concern to many’ of his constituents.
“I am grateful to Network Rail for their speedy and timely response,” he said
"I am reassured to see that they have committed to adding warning tactile paving and that they will be seeking to speed up the works both at Hucknall and Newstead.
“Making our railway accessible to everyone is extremely important and I am hopeful that these improvements will increase independence, and make people feel safer when travelling around Nottinghamshire.”