Access for all improvements at Leyland Station
A multi-million pound overhaul of Leyland Railway Station is currently underway and is on track to be completed by the end of May. Improvement works at the station are being undertaken to ensure that all members of the community and those travelling to and from Leyland can access all parts of the station.
The scheme was announced as part of the Government’s Access for All programme last year, which will see improvements made to stations around the country between 2015 and 2019.
Chris Atkins, Scheme Project Manager at Network Rail said: “The project is funded by the Department for Transport and it is their job to go around stations in the country, working with local authorities to review which stations require access for people with restricted mobility.”
Work has included a new footbridge and three lifts to provide access to all platforms for wheelchair uses, people with limited mobility and people with prams.
Sam Burger, AMCO Rail Project Manager at AMCO Rail said: “The way that the station was laid out before was that it was all stairs to get you from one platform to the next, so some of the local population couldn’t use the station. Once the lift shafts are commissioned and the new bridge, with access ramps, is in place, then everyone can use it, so it is about making the station more accessible.”
Work on the improvements began in August 2015 with Network Rail and AMCO Rail. So far work completed has included the installing of the foundations, lift shafts and footbridge, installing new platform lighting, a new power supply to the station, new fibre optic cables and creating new switch rooms and motor rooms.
Work still being undertaken during the final weeks of the project include the completion of the new access ramp, finishing off cladding on the lift shafts, completing CCTV camera systems, installing new drainage on the platforms and resurfacing work.
Despite the improvements being on track for a spring finish, there have been challenges whilst on site. Work removing the foundations of an old platform building and severe weather conditions were two of the main issues faced by those on site.
Chris said: “The station used to have a really old station building on platform one, which was demolished but only down to platform level, so there were all of the foundations dating back to the 1950s that needed to be broken out. Other challenges have been the weather – we have had every type of weather imaginable.”
Now that the improvements are near completion, it is hoped that the local community will welcome improved access to travel.
Chris said: “It means that everyone can use all of the platforms on the station. Before now you could get to platform one and platform four if you had restricted mobility but there was no way that you could use the island platforms, which are platforms two and three. So you could get to a destination but you wouldn’t actually be able to get back to Leyland or vice versa, so now, at least everyone can fully utilise the station.”
Spectrum Contracting Services Ltd specialise in the provision of labour to the rail and construction industries, backed by a dedicated team of rail consultants hand-picked to ensure the best collection of staff available. Throughout 2016/17, Spectrum Contracting Service Ltd’s main focus is to support, inspire and attract more women to the rail industry.
Working on the Leyland Station project, Spectrum Contracting Services Ltd supported AMCO through the supply of dedicated, reliable and experienced labourers.
Rebecca Mason, Spectrum Contracting Services Ltd, said:
“Leyland Station is a local project to the Spectrum Head Office, so it means a lot for us to have been involved in this project as it has allowed us to help more people gain access to the station. We believe strongly in equality and diversity and that all people should have the same opportunities and this is a perfect example of this.”
As well as being important to the local community, the project has been of importance to AMCO Rail and Network Rail.
Sam Burger commented: “I live in the local area so a lot of my friends can see the work that has been done so I am quite proud that I was part of it. You get a sense of satisfaction by constructing something that is going to be there for the next 200 years and will be used by everybody in the area, so it is definitely a worthwhile project to have been involved in.”
Chris concluded: “There has been some really good relationship building and collaboration between all stakeholders as well, so Network Rail and Amco in particular, but then also we have got Northern Rail who manage the station involved and we have kept them involved and up to date with everything and that has really helped us when we have needed their help.”