Following the news earlier this year that Ruabon Station was to finally get step free access there’s been lots of work going on behind the scenes to move the project forward.
A steering group of key partners now meets regularly and a feasibility study is being progressed to provide plans to bring the improvements to reality.
The station currently only has step access between platforms meaning disabled, those with young children or travellers with luggage are not access the Chester platform – it’s the only station on the Chester to Shrewsbury route that is failing to meet passengers expectations of modern, accessible train stations.
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It’s also the rail and bus gateway access for important tourist destinations such as Llangollen and the Pontcysyllte World Heritage Site.
Cllr David A Bithell, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said, ”
Cllr David A Bithell, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said, “Works are progressing well and it’s a pleasure to work with the steering group who are all committed to putting together a practical and speedy solution to improve the station so it is accessible for everyone.”
Simon Baynes, Member of Parliament for South Clwyd, said, “I’m very pleased by the progress on step-free access at Ruabon and also by the regular meetings of the key stakeholder steering group. I keep the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP, regularly updated on our progress and I was very pleased that he came to visit Ruabon Station in May where he met with Cllr David Bithell and myself.
“Many representatives, organisations and residents in Ruabon have been campaigning for step-free access at Ruabon Station for many years so I am very pleased to see the pace of progress being made. And it shows the commitment of the UK Government to Clwyd South and North Wales as this project is much needed so all passengers can access the jobs and leisure opportunities that will make our community an even greater place to live and work.”
Ken Skates, Member of the Senedd for Clwyd South, said: “I have worked alongside the fantastic Friends of Ruabon on this campaign for a number of years on behalf of local people, and I am pleased we are now seeing some progress.
“The First Minister, Mark Drakeford, asked the UK Department for Transport to prioritise long-awaited improvements at Ruabon after our previous bids for were unsuccessful, so I know the people who use the station will welcome this too.
“I look forward to seeing the project move forward after such a dedicated and passionate campaign, and will continue to work with all stakeholders to help ensure it finally comes to fruition.”
In a statement to Simon Baynes, MP, Sam Hadley, Head of Communications at Network Rail, confirmed the news, he said, “Ruabon is now included in the Access for All Programme. This is fantastic news as Ruabon wasn’t included in the original list of stations in Wales and Borders announced by the Department for Transport in April 2019.
“The overall aim is to engage with the Council’s Conservation Officer and develop an outline design by the end of this funding period in 2024. This will allow us to establish the cost of the scheme and progress to detailed design and delivery in CP7 – subject to support from funders
“The involvement of stakeholders at Parliamentary, Senedd and local authority level is important as is the backing of the wider community. We absolutely recognise the passion of the community in Ruabon, it’s role as a gateway to Llangollen and the surrounding area, and the rich railway heritage of the town.
“We look forward to working with our partners to progress this project – we’ve committed to meeting with key stakeholders regularly, to update them on progress and to help them keep the people and communities they serve informed.”
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