Disabled access funding snub for railway stations
Two railway stations in the borough bidding for cash to improve disabled facilities have been snubbed in a move which has prompted fury.
Transport chiefs and politicians expressed unhappiness after the Department for Transport (DfT) overlooked both Bryn and Hindley stations for the funding pot.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) had submitted both stations for consideration in the Access for All Programme to make them easier to access for everyone in the community.
However, the Government has awarded funding to just two of the 10 stations suggested in Greater Manchester, those being Daisy Hill in Bolton and Irlam in Salford.
The decision has been blasted by Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue who had been backing the bids for improved disability access.
Ms Fovargue said: “I am angry at this decision which will be met with dismay by rail passengers.
“Accessibility improvements at Hindley and Bryn would have benefitted all: people with health conditions or impairments, people with children, heavy luggage or shopping and supported the ageing population.
“It’s important that there is continued investment in rail station infrastructure, enhancing the role of stations as gateways to our communities.
“Hindley and Bryn are two of the most used rail stations in Wigan with a combined patronage of over 510,000 in 2016/17.
“Hindley Station is a very important transport hub for my constituents in Makerfield, providing access for people to Wigan town centre for shopping, education and leisure.
“As Makerfield does not have access to Metrolink, train travel is the preferred transport choice for people traveling in to Manchester and beyond so further improvements at both Hindley and Bryn should have been supported.”
Hindley’s bid was also supported by the Friends of Hindley Station group, which has won numerous awards for its work improving the appearance of the platforms, and ward councillors.
In a letter announcing the funding decision TfGM said: “Greater Manchester Combined Authority is disappointed that only two stations of the 10 we submitted for consideration by the government have received awards.
“We want all our stations to be fully accessible and will continue to work with the government to achieve this.
“TfGM is seeking further information from the DfT regarding the rationale for their decision.”