Passengers at Godalming, Surrey, will benefit from a better, more accessible station after Network Rail officially unveiled a £4m upgrade, which was completed four weeks earlier than planned, alongside representatives from the Department for Transport; the council; a local access campaigner; Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey; and South West Trains.
The upgrades mean that passengers now have step-free access across both platforms in the station, via two 16-person lifts and a fully enclosed footbridge. The upgrades also include canopy extensions to shelter the path from the footbridge to the existing platforms canopies, and resurfaced platforms throughout the station.
Stuart Kistruck, route managing director for Network Rail said, “The early completion of the £4m improvement works at Godalming marks another step towards the delivery of our Railway Upgrade Plan, providing a better railway for the growing number of passengers in Surrey.
“Both platforms are now fully accessible via the two lifts and the footbridge, and I’m delighted to be able to provide passengers in Godalming with a better station. I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carried out the upgrades.”
Network Rail and the Department for Transport are currently working to deliver 68 Access for All schemes around the country, which are either in the design or construction stage.
Andrew Crawte, a local passenger and campaigner for disabled access said, "I'm a volunteer at the Godalming Hub and I use an electric wheelchair when travelling by train. Therefore, the alterations at Godalming railway station, combined with the new accessible trains, will help me and hopefully they will help our other volunteers and clients who use our service."
Jeremy Hunt MP for South West Surrey said, “The upgrade work at Godalming is great news for residents and commuters using this busy station. The work has certainly improved the appearance of the site and will, I am sure, help with ease of access and users’ overall rail travel experience.”
Arthur Pretorius, Customer Service Director for South West Trains, said: "It's vital that we make our stations as accessible as possible for all of our customers, and we're pleased that over two thirds of customers now travel through fully accessible stations. With around 1.4 million customer journeys every year through Godalming station, the opening of the new footbridge and lifts will make a huge difference to our customers."