Campaigners say they are “absolutely delighted” after a big step forward was made in plans to make Beeston railway station easier to use for people with disabilities.
Beeston Rail Station has two platforms directly linked only by stairs to a bridge over the line – meaning anyone who cannot use stairs faces a 500m-long alternative route to get from one to the other.
At Broxtowe Borough Council’s cabinet on July 25, councillors are now expected to agree to the disposal of a patch of land to Network Rail so lifts could be built.
Trish Roberts-Thomson, the chair of Friends of Beeston Station, said she was “absolutely delighted” that the plans were moving forward. She has been campaigning for the lifts since 2017.
But she said she now wants to see “public confirmation” from Network Rail that plans for the lifts will be implemented.
She said: “It’s been a very complicated process because the ownership of the land is not clear cut.
“For the last 12 months, Network Rail has been doing design work and loads of staff have been at the station.
“But they’ve never come out publicly and said: ‘We’re going to put lifts into the station’.
“It’s fantastic if the council agrees to the land disposal. It’s another step in the process of owning the land so they can put a lift shaft where they need it.
“We are looking for confirmation that it will go ahead – all the indications are there.”
She said lifts would mark a “huge change in the accessibility of the station”.
She added: “At the moment people in wheelchairs use the station very rarely because they can’t, or they have to travel a long way around to get from one platform to the other. It is a huge disincentive.
“It is also difficult for people with prams or luggage.
“It will transform the station and be a real boost to the community and public who can’t face having to climb a lot of stairs.”
Council papers said: “Network Rail is currently undertaking design works to install lifts at Beeston Station to make the Station accessible for all.
“To enable the works Network Rail would need to permanently acquire a parcel of land extending 165 sq m from Broxtowe Borough Council.”
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Network Rail is progressing with plans for the Access for All scheme at Beeston station, and a further update will be provided in due course. It is not currently able to confirm a transfer of land.”