Government approves funds for platform access lift at Retford station

The Department for Transport has approved funding for a lift on platform three at Retford station. Members of the North Notts & Lincs Community Rail Partnership with Retford Civic Society chairman Derek Turner, John Mann MP, and town mayor Mick Storey.
The Department for Transport has approved funding for a lift on platform three at Retford station. Members of the North Notts & Lincs Community Rail Partnership with Retford Civic Society chairman Derek Turner, John Mann MP, and town mayor Mick Storey.

The Department for Transport has approved funding for a new lift to improve disabled access at Retford station.

The decision follows a campaign led by the North Notts & Lincs Community Rail Partnership and London North East Railway (LNER) to win support from the government’s Access for All programme.

Rail partnership chairman Rick Brand said: “This is really great news for Retford and a major vote of confidence for North Nottinghamshire.

“As improvements to the station take place, larger numbers of travellers will use the station and visit the town and surrounding area.”

He added: “We are very grateful to LNER, John Mann, and the huge number of companies and individuals who provided letters of support for the bid.”

Bassetlaw MP John Mann has been a vocal supporter of the funding bid, and has lobbied the Department for Transport on constituents’ behalf.

He said: “This comes after a series of meetings with the railways minister and a lot of arm twisting from me.

“This is excellent for our local area and will mean that access to the station is opened up to everyone.”

He added: “It will make a huge difference for wheelchairs users and people with pushchairs, and makes dealing with the problems of heavy luggage much easier.

“I would like to thank Rick Brand and everyone involved with this important bid.”

As well as 22,000 local residents, Retford serves some 500,000 passengers a year as an interchange from LNER and Hull Trains services to those serving Sheffield, Lincoln and intermediary stops.

Platform three is the last at any station served by LNER services between London and Edinburgh that does not have modern level access provided by a lift.

Primarily used for the Retford to Sheffield connection, it is currently only accessible by stairs or by station people accompanying people across the line itself, using barrows for those with limited mobility.

This can cause passenger delays, and leaves those with large luggage or pushchairs struggling on the stairs, thereby increasing the risk of accidents.

A significant increase in traffic is expected from May 20, as the new service opens from Sheffield to Gainsborough Central, just days after the new improved Azuma trains arrive on LNER.