Audley End Station lift to trial 24-hour opening

PUBLISHED: 10:34 22 July 2010

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A LIFT at Audley End Station, which has angered some elderly and disabled passengers because of its early-evening switch off, will now be opened around the clock for a trial period.

A LIFT at Audley End Station, which has angered some elderly and disabled passengers because of its early-evening switch off, will now be opened around the clock for a trial period.

Work on a £3 million lift and footbridge, which was financed by the Department for Transport’s Access for All fund, was recently completed at the station near Saffron Walden.

However, as highlighted by the Reporter earlier this month, some passengers travelling on senior railcards felt that switching the lift off at 7pm was discriminating against them.

Given that off-peak trains do not leave London until after 6.34pm, anyone travelling on a cheaper ticket could not use the lift when they arrived back at Audley End Station.

Chairman of the Women’s Institute at Wendens Ambo and Littlebury Green, Maxine Wilde, said: “Many of our members won’t go to London for the day because they can’t get back on a senior railcard.

“If the lift is switched off and you can’t use the footbridge then you have to ring up in advance and get the train diverted so that it stops at the other platform, but not many people are aware that you can do this. Otherwise you have to get off at Elsenham or Newport and get picked up by a family member.

“Obviously we’re very pleased that the lift is going to be opened for longer and I just hope that there’s no vandalism.”

Station manager Alan Neville said: “In response to customer feedback, I am pleased to inform passengers and visitors to the station that we will be trialling 24-hour, seven-days-a-week operation of the lifts commencing on Monday (July 19) for a period of approximately six to seven weeks.

“During the trial we will closely monitor and assess usage of the lifts at all times.

“I would welcome any comments or suggestions passengers may have concerning the trial of these extended opening hours. Please liaise with my staff at the station who will be happy to pass your comments on for my attention.”

Any customers who require travel assistance can call the travel assist team, ideally 24 hours in advance of their journey, on 08000 282878 so arrangements can be made.

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