Greater Anglia backs campaign for Access for All improvements for Needham Market
Hope for improved access at Needham Market train station has been renewed following a Department of Transport bid.
Train operator Greater Anglia has included Needham Market as one of four bids submitted to the Department for Transport for funding to improve passenger access.
A bid for government funds in 2018 was unsuccessful, but campaigners hope it is now Needham Market’s turn to benefit from a national scheme to improve access arrangements at railway stations.
Jen Overett, of Needham Market, said: “We have been campaigning for step-free access since 2011. Passengers who use a wheelchair and many with limited mobility or with buggies, heavy luggage or bikes are excluded from using the train by the 49 steep steps to and from the Ipswich-bound platform.
“We very much hope the Government will at last rectify this discriminatory and unacceptable situation by granting the necessary funding.”
The campaign – which has already gathered more than 2,500 signatures via a paper and online petition – has been boosted by the active involvement of Needham community members, councils, charities, Greater Anglia and Network Rail.
If successful, funds could be used to construct a ramp to the Ipswich bound platform.
The long-term aim is to introduce a new access to the existing subway through the station building.
This in turn links to the
district council’s plan to build a £600,000 visitor centre at Needham Lake.
It is hoped the new centre will attract more visitors, with it thought many of these could arrive in the town via the train station.
More by this authorPaul Derrick