Liphook station is set to become more accessible for passengers using a wheelchair or mobility scooter, with the installation of a new boarding and alighting ramp, and the construction of a new footbridge which has a lift at either end.
The new ramp, to be installed by South Western Railway (SWR), will allow for a shallower gradient when boarding and alighting, following the removal of cycle hoops from the platform. The cycle hoops, which SWR has reinstalled outside the station entrance, were previously preventing ramped access on certain services, due to limited platform space.
As part of a broader effort to provide greater accessibility right across its network, SWR is pleased that customers using a wheelchair or mobility scooter can now board and alight all services at Liphook station, and not just some. An existing ramp is currently providing access, but the new ramp will mean an improved customer experience.
East Hampshire locals will also soon benefit from a new, fully enclosed, step-free footbridge. Featuring a lift on each platform, the new, steel bridge will replace the current bridge, and provide step-free access for customers using wheelchairs or mobility scooters as well as people with pushchairs and cyclists. It is being built by Network Rail and is expected to be complete by August this year.
Michael Adlington, SWR’s Senior Accessibility Manager, said:
“SWR is determined to make travel by rail more accessible for all. That’s why we are investing in a number of accessibility initiatives right across our network, and we are pleased to have worked with the ORR to resolve this particular boarding and alighting issue at Liphook station.”
Giles Turner, HM Inspector of Railways at ORR, said:
“We’re pleased that South Western Railway is taking action to make Liphook station more accessible, and we worked closely with them to ensure it resolved the issue preventing the provision of boarding aids. The new footbridge will also improve the experience for all passengers, but importantly it will make it possible for those using a wheelchair or mobility scooter to get to and from platform 2.”
Andrew Magee, Senior Asset Engineer for Network Rail Wessex, said:
“While the new bridge is being built, the existing footbridge will remain open for passengers to use the station. Work is progressing well and when complete, the new bridge will better serve the people of the area for decades to come.”
Mark Miller, East Hampshire Community Rail Partnership Officer, added:
“This is a major improvement for Liphook station and one we have been seeking for many years. Our volunteers have been lobbying for this for a considerable time and we have been actively engaging with all parties in the rail industry to get this approved for the benefit of all passengers. The Partnership commissioned accessibility studies in support of this project through the East Hampshire Disability Forum and seeing our aspirations come to fruition is amazing. We are all truly grateful to everyone involved.”