Station manager Bernie Lee, Step-Free Access campaigner Ian Cook and Bedford Commuters' Association chairman Arthur Taylor celebrate the success of the campaign to secure funding for lifts at Flitwick station, Bedfordshire

Funding to provide a new footbridge with lifts 

Thameslink rail managers and community leaders have welcomed a Government announcement of additional money for Network Rail to make Flitwick station fully accessible.

The additional £50m of Access For All funding was announced in Wednesday’s budget and detailed by the Department for Transport. It will be used to provide a new footbridge with lifts at the station.

Thameslink and Great Northern managing director, Tom Moran, said:

“More than 1.6 million people use Flitwick station every year and lifts to the platforms will make an enormous difference to everyone who struggles because they use wheelchairs, have baby buggies, heavy luggage or find walking difficult.

“That is why we have been supporting the campaign to fund lifts and a new footbridge. This is great news, particularly given the 150th anniversary of Flitwick station that we are celebrating this year. We will now work with Network Rail and our community stakeholders to help develop a scheme.”

Disability campaigners were disappointed when the last five-year round of Access For All funding did not include Flitwick. This latest announcement is an additional sum.

Ian Cook, founder of the campaign group Step Free Access, said:

“We’re incredibly pleased at the success of our community’s campaign to have lifts and ramps installed at Flitwick station and look forward to being involved in the design stage to ensure that the needs of everyone with mobility problems are accommodated.

“Meanwhile we will not rest until we have a firm decision from the Government of the day and all parties involved, that all stations and all trains are fully step-free.”

Arthur Taylor, chairman of Bedford Commuters’ Association, said:

“I am absolutely thrilled at this news. We have lobbied hard and been waiting for many years for this and were very disappointed when it did not make it through the last round of funding. This will be so much better for Flitwick passengers.”