Barnes railway station, which is used by thousands of commuters every day, will be made step-free after the Government agreed to fund its upgrade following lobbying by Richmond Park and North Kingston MP Zac Goldsmith.
Transport Minister Nus Ghani announced today which stations will benefit from the latest tranche of the Access for All fund, which is allocated each year to make railways stations more accessible and disability-friendly. She announced that Barnes Station will be one of 73 stations nationwide to receive funding from the Government’s £300m fund.
The Minister met with Zac, the local MP for Barnes, and praised him for his campaigning for funds to go towards upgrading Barnes station.
She said: “Zac has been campaigning to make Barnes Station step-free so it is safer for all passengers, especially those with restricted mobility or parents with push chairs and I’m delighted to be able to announce today that his hard campaigning work has again paid off for the people of Richmond Park and North Kingston.”
Commenting Zac said: “Sadly, most of our local railway stations weren’t designed with disabled people in mind, but that’s not a reason to leave things as they are. Barnes is a busy station and it’s high time that it was made genuinely accessible to all – I am delighted that the Government listened to our calls for it to benefit from this fund, and I look forward to the upgrade works taking place as quickly as possible.”
Barnes Councillor Aphra Brandreth said: "It is fantastic news that Barnes Station is to be made accessible. This reflects the ethos of Barnes being a community that welcomes everyone, and having a station that all can use and benefit from is hugely important."
Alan Benson trustee of Ruils and Chair of Richmond Transport and Mobility Forum said: "This investment at Barnes station is very welcome and will be transformative. Our members have long bemoaned the lack of access at this station. We know that public transport is vital for physical and mental health and also plays a key part in Disabled and Older People being able to play a full role in society. This work will not only give them more freedom but also benefit others who struggle with stairs such as those with buggies or luggage."