Published on : Saturday, September 3, 2016
Passengers requiring step-free access at Ascot station are advised to allow extra time for journeys from 6 September to February 2017, as Network Rail begins work to extend all three platforms and install a new bridge with lifts to make the station fully accessible.
This investment will provide thousands more seats on trains between London Waterloo and Reading and also make the station fully accessible for the 1.2million passenger journeys through the station each year. Network Rail is extending the platforms at Ascot to accommodate longer 10-car trains, as part of the Waterloo and South West Upgrade, an £800m investment in the railway running into London Waterloo, the UK’s busiest railway station.
It is the biggest package of improvements for passengers travelling on this railway for decades and will provide space for 30% more passengers during the busiest times of the day.
This work will require the closure of the ‘barrow’ crossing which currently provides the only step-free access to platforms 2 and 3, and can only be used with the assistance of staff. As a result passengers are currently advised to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure to receive assistance to use the crossing.
During the work, passengers requiring step-free access will be provided with a free taxi from Ascot station to the nearest station with step-free access, depending on which will be most convenient for their onward journey.
At present, only platform 1 (for trains towards London) has step-free access via the side entrance from the station car park. Passengers who need step-free interchange from platform 1 to platforms 2 (for trains to Bracknell and Reading) and 3 (for trains to Aldershot and Guildford) must use the ‘barrow’ crossing.
Tatiana Kotrikova, project manager for Network Rail said: “Since 1996 the number of passenger journeys on routes into and out of London Waterloo has increased from 108 million to over 230 million making it one of the most intensively used sections of the railway network in Britain, so we’re really excited to be delivering a better railway, a better station and better journeys for passengers on this route.
“We’re replacing the current footbridge by February 2017 and extending the platforms at Ascot by March 2017 to provide full step-free access and accommodate longer trains as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. During this time we will need to close the barrow crossing at the station, but we will be providing free taxis for anyone requiring step-free access across the platforms to nearby accessible stations.
“I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out the works, and remind everyone to check before they travel while the works are ongoing.”
Jenny Saunders, head of stations for South West Trains, added: “These improvements will make a real difference for the 1.2million passenger journeys through Ascot station each year. We would just ask passengers who need step-free access between platforms to plan ahead and keep these temporary changes in mind.”