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Bury St Edmunds and Needham Market railway stations to be upgraded

Thousands will be spent on making Bury St Edmunds and Needham Market railway stations accessible, the government has said.

The Department for Transport revealed the 124 stations which will receive a share of £20million to improve infrastructure to meet the needs of disabled passengers.

As part of this Access for All funding, it was revealed Bury St Edmunds would receive £688,000 towards the £738,000 needed. This will go towards a new entrance and exit at the side of the station.

Bury St Edmunds railway station
Bury St Edmunds railway station

And after almost 20 years of campaigning, Needham Market passengers are celebrating a £380,000 grant towards a £760,000 project. This will allow a ramp to be constructed to provide access to that side - which has 50 stairs.

Franchise holder Greater Anglia has been paying for taxis to take the disabled to Ipswich.

The remaining amounts will be paid by a combination of Greater Anglia, Suffolk County Council, Mid Suffolk District Council and the Needham Market Group.

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Jen Overett, coordinator of the Needham Market campaign, said: “I am delighted by the news that the station has been granted this much-needed funding from the Government.

“Full step-free access has been long-awaited and will make such a positive difference to our town and surrounding villages.

“Residents have run a strong campaign, which began several years ago but has picked up renewed momentum in recent years.

“I’m very grateful to the whole campaign group, the thousands of people who have signed our petition and offered words of support, and the active backing of Mid Suffolk District and Suffolk County Councils and local councillors.

“I look forward to the work getting started and a fully accessible train station at last.”

Needham Market Railway Station
Needham Market Railway Station

Last year Needham Market was overlooked for Access for All funding, with Stowmarket railway station getting the nod.

As part of the latest round of grants, a lift will also be built at Colchester station.

It has not been stated when work will start or be completed.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “This is just the start of a much more ambitious agenda. My goal is to go much further in the years ahead to help ensure that our country’s transport system becomes one of the most accessible in the world.”

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