RORY CONFIRMS £3.3m PENRITH STATION LIFT AND UPGRADE
Rory Stewart on Friday met with Network Rail and Virgin Trains to confirm the details of the £3.3m ‘Access for All’ upgrade at Penrith railway station, which will provide a lift for the station. Network Rail confirmed that survey work will begin later this year, with the lift due to be installed in 2016.
Rory has heralded the upgrade as a “triumph for community activism”, praising the many residents of Penrith and The Border who have supported the MP and local Eden District Councillor John Thompson in their bid to obtain long-awaited funding for a lift and improved disabled access at Penrith station. The victory is the result of intense lobbying efforts by the local MP, including numerous meetings with rail companies, Ministers and West Coast franchise bidders, a site visit to the station with Secretary of State Patrick McLoughlin (picture attached), and the initiation one year ago of a well-attended Parliamentary debate on disabled access.
Chris Winfield, a member of Network Rail’s Route Investment Team, met Rory and John Thompson on-site to show them the exciting plans for the station, which has recently seen an increase of 11% in passengers using the ever busy station. Survey work will begin in one month and will involve a detailed general overhaul of the station’s cladding and structures as well as the construction of two lift towers, new staircases, and a connecting bridge. The outdated barrow crossing will be removed, whilst passengers can look forward to a cafe and shop.
Rory Stewart MP said: “Penrith Station is going to receive the important improvements that the people of my constituency deserve. I am thrilled that Network Rail are really investing in making the station an accessible, modern, comfortable place to spend time. I for one am very much looking forward to seeing the results of what sounds like a very exciting engineering project. This is a win for Penrith, and I would like once again 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 exellent service their staff continue to provide at Penrith.”
It is hoped that the project will reach completion by Easter 2016.Penrith Station CGI’s Feb 2015