Disabled access at Penrith train station to be improved using £100m fund

The Westmorland Gazette: Disabled access at Penrith train station to be improved using £100m fund Disabled access at Penrith train station to be improved using £100m fund

DISABLED access at Penrith train station is set to be improved with brand new lifts thanks to money set aside by the Department of Transport.

Virgin Trains and Network Rail applied for funding from a £100m pot to improve the station's accessibility for wheelchair users, replacing the station’s ‘barrow crossing’ that they currently rely on.

Sue Howarth, Virgin Trains’ customer experience manager for Cumbria, said: “This is fantastic news and we’re delighted that Penrith is finally going to be given facilities suitable for the 21st Century.

“The existence of a barrow crossing across the West Coast Main Line – the busiest mixed-use rail route in Europe – is an anachronism and does not afford disabled passengers the dignity they deserve when travelling by train."

The news follows calls by disabled passengers for the outdated barrow crossing to be replaced.

Penrith station is the last on the Virgin Trains network to have one.

Rail Minister Baroness Kramer announced today that Penrith will be one of 42 stations across the UK to benefit from the £100m investment.

Rory Stewart MP said: "This is a win for Penrith, and I would like to sincerely thank all of the constituents who have sent in stories to help bolster our case, and the local councillors and residents who have supported me, and of course Virgin Trains for being strongly supportive of our campaign and for the excellent service their staff continue to provide at Penrith."

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