Station is on track for better facilities

PUBLISHED: 06:15 26 October 2006 | UPDATED: 09:56 31 May 2010

Audley End Station - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

Audley End Station - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

DISABLED access to platform two of Audley End Station could soon be introduced thanks to pressure from local groups and Sir Alan Haselhurst MP. The Co-ordinating Committee of Uttlesford Local Agenda 21 has been lobbying Sir Alan, the MP for Saffron Walden

DISABLED access to platform two of Audley End Station could soon be introduced thanks to pressure from local groups and Sir Alan Haselhurst MP.

The Co-ordinating Committee of Uttlesford Local Agenda 21 has been lobbying Sir Alan, the MP for Saffron Walden, to seek disabled access for Platform 2 from the Department for Transport (DfT).

The DfT decides which stations receive funding under the Government initiative Access forAll, which improves disabled access at stations nationwide.

Sir Alan wrote to the DfT and John Armitt, Chief Executive of Network Rail, expressing his desire to see disabled access introduced at the platform.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Tom Harris MP, responded to Sir Alan's letter.

He said: "We are currently in the process of selecting the second group of stations to be targeted for investment under the Access for All programme.

"Audley End has been considered as part of that process but I hope you will understand that I cannot give any indication of whether or not it will receive funding until the full list of stations is released."

Sir Alan was also concerned that land surrounding the station might be sold off and that this may render the installation of improved access impossible.

John Armitt replied and assured him that this would not happen.

Mr Armitt said: "I am pleased to be able to reassure you that at this current time we have no plans to sell or lease on a long-term basis the land adjacent to Audley End Station that would have an impact on providing disabled access."

However, Mr Armitt revealed that Network Rail had "commenced preliminary investigations into the possible disposal of a small parcel of land at the station for residential development".

Mr Armitt assured Sir Alan that any such decision would only be taken after a significant amount of consultation.

The announcement as to whether or not Audley End Station has been selected for improvements is likely to be made next month.

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