Beeston Station

Part of Petition - Residential Development on Nicholas Road, Irthlingborough – in the House of Commons at 5:32 pm on 12th September 2018.

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Photo of Nusrat Ghani Nusrat Ghani Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), Assistant Whip (HM Treasury) 5:32 pm, 12th September 2018

My right hon. Friend is being as fair as she usually is, but today we have put Beeston on the map.

The deadline is 16 November. Nominated stations will be selected based on their annual footfall, which we heard about, weighted by the incidence of disability in the area. We will take into account local factors such as proximity to a hospital or the availability of third-party funding for the project. We will also ensure that there is a fair geographical spread of projects across the country. I encourage my right hon. Friend to liaise with East Midlands Trains and ask it to put the station forward and, ideally, to seek a proportion of third-party match funding that will help to weight the business case.

This new funding builds on the success of the Access for All programme, which was first launched in 2006 as a 10-year programme, but which we have continued to extend. We are also pressing the industry to comply with its legal obligations to ensure that work at stations meets current accessibility standards, not just on flagship projects such as Crossrail or the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street, but as part of the business-as-usual work of their renewals programme—for example, by making sure that any replacement bridges have lifts or ramps. It is important that the industry meets its obligations to anyone who needs assistance, whether or not booked ahead of time. People should expect the best possible help to use the trains, particularly at stations that do not have proper accessible facilities.

My right hon. Friend has written to the Department several times asking for a Minister to visit Beeston station to see the fantastic work that has been carried out by Friends of Beeston Station, to admire its beauty and to see some of the issues that it faces. I am delighted to accept that invitation, and I look forward to visiting the station after the conference recess. I will work with my right hon. Friend to continue to help her to champion her constituency.