Plans to create step free access at Walkden station have been given the go ahead after as part of a £50 million government fund nationally to improve station access.
City Mayor Paul Dennett announced that Salford City Council, Network Rail and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) have successfully bid for funding to improve facilities at Salford’s second busiest station and Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s number one priority for investment.
The government funding, awarded to 12 stations across England and Wales will be used to install a new lift at Walkden and will form part of a package of improvements for the area which includes 107 park and ride spaces, disabled and cycle parking and electric vehicle charging points close to the station and the provision of new walking and cycling routes to link Walkden with the soon to open 5th national garden, RHS Garden Bridgewater.
Mayor Dennett said: “This is something I have been campaigning for, along with local ward councillors, MPs, and the Friends of Walkden Station for some time. We were rebuffed the first time of asking in December but refused to give up and I am delighted that we have secured this funding.
“It is a life changing decision for people who struggle with steps such as those in wheelchairs and with walking difficulties. This new funding opens up a whole new route for them and I am so pleased for them today.
“Walkden is one of the busiest stations in Salford with over 301,500 passengers using it every year. It will also become a key gateway to a key green asset and tourist destination in our city, RHS Garden Bridgewater. This opens later in the year with free access for Salford’s residents on Tuesdays.
“This funding will pay for a new lift to be installed to make the station more accessible and provide facilities to encourage people to use public and greener means of travel, reducing congestions on our roads, improving air quality and the city’s carbon footprint.
“Last year we secured Access for All funding to improve Irlam station and we will continue to lobby for improvements to all stations in Salford to make them fully accessible. These are major projects so detailed design work, procurement and construction won’t happen overnight but we are finally on the right track, and moving in the right direction.”
The funding comes under the National Access for All programme.