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12 January 2021

Community Rail Team secures accessibility study for Ulverston Station

A study to assess the feasibility of improving passenger access to Ulverston railway station is set to start later this month.

The study has been made possible thanks to close collaboration between Furness Line Community Rail Partnership, Network Rail, the Department for Transport and train operating company, Northern.

Generous contributions from Ulverston Town Council of £10,000 and Cumbria County Council’s Local Committee for South Lakeland of £5,000, have been the catalyst to attract the necessary match funding to progress this important study. 

Access to and from the eastbound platform at Ulverston station is currently via two steep stairwells and an underpass or by using a ‘barrow crossing’ over the railway track accompanied by station staff (see images below). 

This Grade II listed station needs infrastructure refurbishments to enable all passengers to move around the popular station independently. 

The feasibility study will assess how to transform the access to/from the eastbound platform and improve passenger waiting areas to create a welcoming inclusive experience for all. It is hoped the study’s findings will pave the way for a funding bid to the DfT’s Access For All programme. 

Local resident Tony Jennings, an ambassador for improving infrastructure and facilities for people with disabilities, has been integral in advising the Furness Line Community Rail Partnership in developing the business case for the study. 

An initial assessment session will be held virtually, followed by a site meeting when Covid restrictions allow. It is anticipated that the study will be completed within six months and include recommendations for the next steps to implement a preferred option. 

Mayor of Ulverston Cllr Sharon Webster said: “The council was very pleased to contribute £10,000 towards the cost of this very important project. Creating better access for the station for everyone is a priority for the council and we look forward to the outcome of the study and the ongoing support of Network Rail and Northern to implement the project.” 

Cllr Nick Cotton, Chairman of Cumbria County Council’s Local Committee for South Lakeland, commented: “There is a clear need for better access at Ulverston railway station to bring it up to modern day standards. Local Committee members welcomed the opportunity to make a £5,000 contribution towards a feasibility study to progress these much-needed improvements so everyone can move around the station safely and independently.” 

Tim Owen, Chairman of the Furness Line Community Rail Partnership said: “This is a very welcome step forward to identifying and evaluating a much-needed solution to enable full accessibility at this very busy station. The Furness Line Community Rail Partnership is extremely keen to see this project move forward to the implementation stage at the earliest opportunity and thanks all its partners for their support and financial assistance.”

Access to the eastbound platform at Ulverston station via the barrow crossing must be booked in advance and passengers must be accompanied by a member of staff. During the past three years approx 500 bookings have been made but there have been many occasions when passengers have asked for assistance on the day. 

The DfT’s Access for All programme aims to address the issues faced by disabled passengers and passengers with mobility restraints (such as heavy luggage or pushchairs) when using the railway in the UK. 

For further information contact Cumbria County Council's communications team on 01228 221008 or 226601.


Community Rail Team secures accessibility study for Ulverston Station